A 2016 Kodak Moment in Kentucky

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

For Kim Davis, today was about getting out of jail. For a pair of presidential candidates, it was about getting in her spotlight.

Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz traveled to Grayson, Kentucky, on Tuesday to meet Davis, who was jailed last week for refusing to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Huckabee had called her situation “judicial tyranny;” Cruz said he stands behind Davis “or anyone else the government is trying to persecute for standing up for their faith.”

On Tuesday, a judge ordered Davis’s release, saying that since her deputies in Rowan County had issued the documents in her absence, the clerk was no longer considered in contempt of court. So, Cruz’s and Huckabee’s private meetings with their champion for the conservative cause? They turned into photo ops.

Huckabee was by Davis’s side as she exited the detention facility in Grayson. In an impassioned speech to supporters, Huckabee volunteered himself to be jailed for his faith.

“Lock me up, if you think that’s how freedom is best served,” he said. He then introduced Davis, and she joined him on stage, walking up as Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” played.