"Christ."

Mike Huckabee's new ad will begin airing in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. It throws the viewer for a loop, starting off with a red-sweater-clad Huckabee asking if "we're about warned out of all the television commercials we've been seeing..." the camera pans slowly to reveal a Christmas tree as the bars of "Silent Night" become recognizable. "What really matters," the former Southern Baptist pastor says, is "the celebration of the birth of Christ and being with our family and our friends."

How explicitly Christian. Forget coded appeals to evangelicals: if it were any more full-frontal, it would get an X rating.

(Has a politician ever before run a television advertisement wishing voters a Merry Christmas?)

But who can criticize an ad celebrating Christmas? Many of those anti-Huckabee conservatives who will bristle at the ad are probably the first to bristle at attempts by the establishment to rid the public square of Christ during Christmas. So why not extend the spirit of orthodoxy to politics?

Funny: the Christmas tree is a pagan symbol, but, hey, this isn't a history class.

Here's the script:

“Are you about worn out of all the television commercials you’ve been seeing? Mostly about politics. I don’t blame you. At this time of year sometimes it’s nice to pull aside from all of that and just remember that what really matters is the celebration of the birth of Christ and being with our family and our friends. I hope that you and your family have a magnificent Christmas season. And on behalf of all of us, God bless and Merry Christmas. I’m Mike Huckabee and I approve this message.”
Presented by

Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

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