Sarah Posner

Sarah Posner's coverage of religion and politics has appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Times, Rolling Stone, The Week, and many others.


Recent Articles

The FundamentaList (No. 14): Huck-a-Muck Edition

Waiting for end times, banning gay marriage, and Huckabee's Christmas surprise: A foreign policy!

1. Huckabee's Christmas Surprise: A Foreign Policy! Until Mitt Romney demanded that Mike Huckabee apologize for daring to criticize President Bush's "arrogant bunker mentality," not much was known about Huckabee's foreign policy -- a frightening prospect, given his frontrunner status in some early primary states, including Iowa, South Carolina, Florida, and Michigan -- and his propensity to hang around with pre-millenial dispensationalists . The most Zev Chavets could wring out of Huckabee for his New York Times Magazine profile was that he likes to read Thomas Friedman and Frank Gaffney and thinks that Duncan Hunter would be just dandy as secretary of defense. It was odd then, that just a few days after the Times Magazine piece ran, Huckabee's foreign policy treatise appeared in Foreign Affairs . In tone, at least, it was decidedly more Friedman-esque than Gaffney-esque; even so, given Huckabee's past deer-in-the-headlights reactions to foreign policy questions, it seemed to come...


Just a few weeks ago Mike Huckabee was touting how his campaign is "not about high-paid consultants" but about "ordinary people who've come from as far away as Oregon and Florida to get to Iowa, many of whom are coming up there from Southern states where they're having to buy a coat so they can survive going door-to-door, answering phones, getting out material and signing up people for the caucuses." He met with Ronald Reagan's 1984 chief campaign strategist, Ed Rollins, who reminisced, Huckabee told the Associated Press, that "'we were so broke, we were sleeping three to a room in New Hampshire and eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.'" Now, Huckabee said of Reagan, "he's the icon, and everybody wraps themselves up in Ronald Reagan . . . . he's the gold standard of the Republican Party. He was anything but that, prior to his election and his term." This afternoon Huckabee is expected to announce that Rollins will be his national campaign chair. No word on whether they are going...


On CNN yesterday, Mike Huckabee said he had apologized to Mitt Romney for his "innocent" question about whether Mormons believe Jesus and Satan were brothers: Speaking with CNN Wednesday, Huckabee expressed disbelief that the comment has caused an uproar. "We were having a conversation over several hours, the conversation was about religion and he was trying to press me on my thoughts of Mitt Romney's religion, and I said 'I don't want to go there.'" Huckabee said. "I really didn't know. Well, he was telling me things about the Mormon faith, because he frankly is well-schooled on comparative religions. As a part of that conversation, I asked the question, because I had heard that, and I asked it, not to create something -- I never thought it would make the story." At the National Review , whose editors have endorsed Romney, Jim Geraghty called Huckabee on his feigned ignorance:"The apology is the right move, but I'm going to call horsepuckey on Huckabee's claim that a New York Times...


The Romney campaign is angry about Mike Huckabee 's musing in the Chavets piece, "Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?" Many evangelicals, as I alluded to in this week's FundamentaList , believe that such a heretical filial relationship is a bedrock of the Mormon faith. Romney hasn't addressed that theological question, but the Mormon church denies it. The Huckabee campaign says "the full context of the exchange makes it clear that Governor Huckabee was illustrating his unwillingness to answer questions about Mormonism and to avoid addressing theological questions during this campaign." So the question remains why, if he admittedly doesn't know much about Mormonism, why he would let that little nugget of apostasy -- so sensational for Mormonism's evangelical critics -- drop at all. --Sarah Posner


Like Addie , I found a number of fascinating tidbits in the forthcoming Zev Chavets profile of Mike Huckabee , among them that his thinking on foreign policy (to the extent he has done much thinking, it seems) has been influenced by Thomas Friedman and Frank Gaffney . When asked about his lack of foreign policy experience, Huckabee pointed to our current president's same lack of experience in 1999 (not a good answer, Mike!), and, in another Bush deja-vu, pledged to "surround" himself "with the best possible advice." Who might provide that advice? Duncan Hunter , who Huckabee said is "extraordinarily well-qualified" to be defense secretary. As for Regent University professor Charles Dunn's theory that envy is keeping some in the evangelical leadership from endorsing Huckabee, I can't get inside their heads, of course, but based on the people I've talked to, I really do get the sense that at least part of their reluctance is that they are very threatened by what they perceive as his...