Minister Role Hurt Huckabee's Vice Presidential Bid

Huckabee's vice presidential bid faced a trifecta of woes.

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ST. PAUL — With the mounting complications over John McCain's pick of Sarah Palin as his running mate, some conservatives have been asking why the expected Republican nominee didn't choose former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who won eight GOP primary and caucus contests and appeals to the same Christian social conservatives who have hailed the Palin pick. After all, Huckabee has more executive experience, was vetted by the media during the primary season, and honed his debating skills in myriad televised matchups. The answer, according to Richard Land who heads the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, is pretty simple. Huckabee is an ordained Baptist minister and, Land says, "polls show that 15 to 20 percent" of the electorate don't think a minister should be president. There's that, and the fact that economic conservatives are not fans of Huckabee, says Jim Wallis of Sojourners. So Huckabee, in the end, had a trifecta working against him: his ordination, his support of a scheme to replace federal income taxes with a national retail tax, and, ultimately, his gender.