Sunday’s NY Times Metro section…

Welcome. I encourage you to take a few minutes here after reading the article to review my posts and learn about our issues and candidates. Next November we face a critical decision on who will be our Commander in Chief – PLEASE – take inventory on the issues most important to you. I did, and Mike is my man – and is likely to win you over as well. You too just might become a supporter, and if I get to help your decision, well please let me know!

Our Towns

In an Unlikely Part of the Country, a Tiny Huckabee Movement Is Born

Laura Pedrick for The New York Times
Bill Garcia, blogging for Mike Huckabee from his home in Manalapan, N.J.

This is how Bill Garcia became what he calls a Huckabeezer.

Mr. Garcia, who is 42 and works for a major Banking institution in Manhattan, moved from Queens to Manalapan, N.J., in July. He looked around for a church to join with his wife of 19 years and his three children. He settled on West Monmouth Baptist in Freehold. There he picked up a copy of New Man Magazine, a Christian men’s magazine. On the cover was a story about a Baptist minister and former Arkansas governor he had never heard of who was running for president. Mr. Garcia liked his views on faith and family values and was impressed that he seemed to have a real record on education and other issues.

He went to the Mike Huckabee for President Web site and learned more, and soon he learned how to put up his own pro-Huckabee blog, called Bill’s Weblog, at njchristiansforhuckabee.wordpress.com. He stuck a Huckabee bumper sticker to the top of his computer monitor at work and voilà, as this year’s improbable political free-for-alls began to play out, for the first time in his life he felt like a player in the game.

“I liked that he had religious values that matched mine, but also that he had a record of doing something about them,” Mr. Garcia said. “I feel we live in a society where we need to step back and maybe go back in time, and when I started telling people about him, it was like converting someone or sharing the Gospel with them. The way this thing has snowballed is pretty cool.”

It’s probably safe to guess that the New York region is not overrun with triumphant Huckabee supporters, delirious over their man’s rise from the back of the pack to the king (Republican version) of Iowa. But in the eHarmony way that matches get made these days, Mr. Garcia is not alone either.

SO along with those scratching their heads over the Republican results or too engrossed in the Obama-Hillary Battle of the Blue State Titans to care, there is, even here, a small core of the Huckabee faithful, feeling as if they stuck their hand in the Cracker Jack box and pulled out a diamond.

“I just wanted to support someone I could feel proud about supporting,” said David Friedrich, a first-grade teacher in Hopewell Township, N.J. “To say that seeing him do so well is thrilling would be an understatement.”

True, even the relatively few people who make their way to Mr. Garcia’s blog, which has had more than 5,000 hits, aren’t all converts. “This is just a warning from a fellow Christian; Huckabee is that glass-jaw candidate that Democrats have been looking for,” said one of the dozen or so posters on the site.

“Does it bother anyone but me that Mr. Huckabee has been caught in so many lies?” asked another, who added: “It takes more than just saying ‘Jesus’ for my vote. It should for Christians, too. Or do you just blank out anything but the abortion issue?”

But for long-suffering Christian conservatives in the Northeast, who often see themselves as a righteous remnant in a realm dominated by Liberal Mammon, Mr. Huckabee has already attracted a small but committed core with an appeal rooted in religion and conservative values. (“Fighting for Faith, Families and Freedom,” says the home page of the New York Christian Coalition. “Faith. Family. Freedom,” says the Huckabee for President home page.)

The most optimistic also see something more: the vision of “compassionate conservatism” that they feel George W. Bush promised and never delivered, a blend of conservative values and pragmatic politics that transcends the Christian conservative label.

“He has a genuineness and sincerity that really resonates and that we haven’t seen in quite a while,” said Peter Kane, a veteran Republican who is his volunteer New Jersey field coordinator — though it would be a stretch to call Mr. Huckabee’s organization skeletal in any state in the region. “I mean, here’s a guy who talks about increasing funding for music and art education in the schools. When was the last time any politician, let alone a Republican one, talked about increasing funding on music and art in the schools and actually put his money down to do it?”

OF course, some will say it’s more important for a potential president to be knowledgeable about Pakistan and Iraq than about music and art, but at week’s end the scattered Huckabeezers of Greater New York were abuzz, hopeful if not of victories in the states where they live, at least about results from more distant locales.

So the Rev. Al Stewart, pastor of the Franklin Congregational Church in Franklin, Conn., was ready to venture to New Hampshire on Monday to support his man there. “I haven’t been involved in the political process per se for 10 years, and this guy brought me back,” Mr. Stewart said. “He did for me what Obama did for many Democrats, and I see that as a good thing.”

E-mail: peappl@nytimes.com
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12 Responses to “Sunday’s NY Times Metro section…”

  1. From the New York Times « A True Believer’s Weblog Says:

    […] From the New York Times January 6, 2008 — wickle More than a hat tip to Bill Garcia of NJ Christians for Huckabee. […]

  2. wickle Says:

    Wow … I was excited to be mentioned in a Washington Post blog. But this? This is impressive, my friend! Well done!

    I hope that this draws some more attention for our guy. I think you’ve done a great thing.

  3. Larry Says:

    Good job, Bill. You are doing a great job. Keep up the good work.

  4. Kingdom Advancer Says:

    Hey, I found your site from Wickle’s, and I thought you might be interested in my site:

    We Want a Christian President
    http://christianpresident.blogspot.com/

    The site is not calling for a theocracy or the advancement of God’s kingdom by force, as some have mistakenly believed. Rather, it is calling for a God-fearing President for a God-honoring democracy.
    Please check it out. I’d love to do a link swap with you.

  5. Cydney Says:

    I actually just found your blog through the NYT article. Great work here–keep it up!

    hucksarmy.com

  6. BSR Says:

    Congratulations! You are doing us proud.

    BSR

  7. Eric Chamberlin Says:

    Thanks for your hard work Bill. I prefer the term Huckabite to Huckabeezer though. You have done a very good job with the website. Go Huck!!! As you, I am also very excited to support Huckabee because we share the same values. Some things I have noted

    fiscal conservative….Proof is in the pudding; Best results and least amount of money so far in this campaign. Mike Huckabee knows how to spend the money!
    Reagan….We aren’t looking for Reagan, we are looking for a new leader, one that will lead us into a new era. Huckabee has a TRUE vision the goes beyond what the other candidates have proposed
    Social Issues….I am looking for a candidate that believes in life and since as I believe, the issue of slavery and abortion are very similar, YES it is pretty much the one issue I MUST vote on. I believe it is similar for most Christians. The attacks on family are disturbing and disgusting to say the least.
    Taxes….the idea of paying taxes only on your purchases has ups and downs but the reality is that if you don’t want to pay taxes in the Fair Tax system….DONT MAKE EXHUBERANT PURCHASES, but spend wisely! It is truly FAIR.
    Faith…I certainly believe that I should vote for someone that has the same Faith values and commitments as I do. Isn’t that what a democracy is all about…vote for the candidate you think is best. As a Christian I must admit that I believe Christian Values ARE the best and I should vote for a person that shares those values.

    I could go on and on, but it is late and I must sleep. Take care and God Bless Bill

  8. christfollower Says:

    Bill, great mention!!!! Sometimes we wonder who is reading our work, but you’ve proven that the blogosphere is a force in this election cycle. Congratulations!!

  9. Bill Garcia Profiled by NYT! « The Christ Follower Blog Says:

    […] Bill Garcia Profiled by NYT! Posted on January 7, 2008 by christfollower My blog buddy, Bill Garcia, of New Jersey Christians for Huckabee, was profiled in a New York Times piece this weekend. Many congratulations to the man of the hour! Click here to read the article. […]

  10. Arthur Soto Says:

    Bill,

    Great article and great job with the blog. I’m going to start to stump for Huck here in Passaic starting this week. Let’s see what a little grassroots campaign can do here…

    Best wishes and God bless,

    Arthur Soto
    Passaic NJ


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