Lots of zeros and ones burning today over the comment from Huckabee in the New York Times Magazine this weekend where he jokingly asks, "Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?"
Was it a dig at the evident confusion of the voting public about the Mormon faith? Yes. Was it a serious attack on Mitt's faith? No. The underlying problem with any Mormon joke is that there is still tons of confusion about the Mormon faith. I wonder how many reporters and readers actual had to stop and look up whether or not the Mormons actually do believe that the two were brothers. As much as I can figure from a minute-long search, it appears that they're brothers in the loose sense that we're all children of God of varying degrees.
The problem for Huckabee is that he wants to have that same dry, charming sense of humor that John McCain has. The problem is that we reporters and the general public have been hearing McCain's jokes for eight years. When he calls a student "a little jerk," he expects us to go along with the joke. When he turns World War III into the missing verse of "Barbara Ann," we're supposed to think its clever … well, he doesn't knock every one out of the park, but there is a sense of levity in it all — not panic.
When Huckabee says something clever during a press opp, the next question from the pool is always, "Are you serious?" At which point, Huck looks shaken and has to put the car in reverse and run over the quip. It looks like he'll have to keep following each joke with "Obviously, I'm joking" until the crowd catches on.