I think Bob Novak gets it, sort of.

. Affable and sincere -- and more important, seemingly harmless -- Huckabee is treated well by the media that certainly don't share most of his views



First of all, the media does seem to share Huckabee's views on immigraton, global warming and poverty.

But Novak is on to something: Huckabee does not fit the still-enduring press stereotype of a "scary" evangelical. He's not a Sinners-In-The-Hands-Of-An-Angry God-Jonathan-Edwards Calvinist by any means; he's not a premilennialist; he is laid-back and easy-going; he is vulnerable (the weight loss will do that more a man), he is iconoclastic and denies that cows are sacred; he is also, at the same time, a very canny practitioner of politics.

For one thing, he's always accessible. Today, in fact, he's sitting down with some reporters on Capitol Hill.

Certainly, Huckabee knows that the press still cricks its neck toward conservative evangelicalsm and so he plays against type: he knows that the press doesn't like to hear about the evils of homosexuality or the perils of abortion, so he rarely talks about those subjects. (He's a "pro-life for the whole-life" kind of guy.)

Consider: As a former Southern Baptist pastor, Huckabee's moral credentials are unimpeachable. He does not have to pander to -- er, appeal to -- evangelical Christians. He is one.

Consider: Huckabee and Sam Brownback have virtually identical answers to contested cultural and social questions, but Huckabee has cultivated a much more worldly, modernist, broad-based public image.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.