The Corner

“The Birth of Christ”

I agree with my colleagues on how savvy the Huck ad is. But I think it boils down almost entirely to the phrase “celebration of the Birth of Christ.” If Huckabee had simply said this is a time to celebrate Christmas, it wouldn’t have had nearly so much cultural oomph. A generic Christmas ad would still have been smart, because it would humanize him and makes him seem like he was taking the high road, but the “Birth of Christ” thing taps perfectly into a very common resentment about Christmas: that the Christianity is being taken out of it. This gives Huckabee’s ad just the slightest spin as a volley in the “Christmas wars” but not enough for him to be fairly tagged as trying to politicize Christmas. Rather, that charge will be aimed at anyone who complains about the ad. It really is quite deft.

Jonah Goldberg — Jonah Goldberg holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute and is a senior editor of National Review. His new book, The Suicide of The West, is on sale now.

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