Huckabee Headlines Jerusalem Reclamation Dinner

Monday, May 19th, 2008

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a dropout from the GOP presidential field who said on Sunday’s “Meet the Press” that he’d love to be John McCain’s running mate, will appear at the New York dinner of the Jerusalem Reclamation Project on June 2.

The organization, also known as Ateret Cohanim, is devoted to buying formerly Jewish property in and around Jerusalem’s Old City to strengthen Jewish presence there.

“Our dinner will be enhanced by Governor Huckabee’s presence,” said Joseph Frager, JRP’s board chairman in a statement.

Unlike other prominent Christian conservatives, such as Rev. John Hagee, Huckabee, who is a Southern Baptist minister, has steered clear of apocalyptic pronouncements about the need to gather Jews in Israel as a precursor to the Second Coming. But he did cause a stir with his 1998 call for Christians to “take this nation back for Christ..”

Political observers say picking Huckabee for the second slot on the ticket could help Sen. John McCain, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, ensure a strong turnout from the party’s evangelical wing – a key worry of his campaign strategists. But choosing Huckabee could also cut into McCain’s expected gains with Jewish swing voters.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.