09/24/2007 05:10 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Huckabee: The Last (Real) Baptist

All the media brouhaha around John McCain: Is he or isn't he a Baptist, and yet so little attention to the Republican candidate who is the real deal. Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor and second place winner of the Ames Iowa straw poll is a Southern Baptist preacher who left the pulpit to exercise "stewardship through public service."

Huckabee calls himself a "conservative who's not mad at anyone," which helps explain why he does as well with Jon Stewart (who wanted to know if he was really a liberal) as with "crunchy con" columnist Rod Dreher.

Whether chatting with Stewart or Chris Matthews, Huckabee is thoughtful, down-to-earth and funny. But he's forthright on the need for Christianity (tempered in some interviews as "religion") in public life as well as his opposition to evolution and abortion.

Despite his complexity (or maybe because of it) Huckabee has yet to win widespread media coverage. The Washington Post profiled him last month , but he's more visible online -- a favorite among right-leaning bloggers. Their elders may soon follow. James Dobson dissed Fred Thompson in a private email leaving Huckabee the last (real) Baptist standing.