In front of more than 5,000 cheering constituents in a North Little Rock sports arena, Gov. Mike Huckabee took the former Janet McCain to be his lawfully wedded wife Monday night, just as he did nearly 31 years ago, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, until death do them part.
This time, although the actual vows were not repeated, the emphasis was clearly on the "until death" pledge.
Upgrading their vows to that of a covenant marriage, a legally binding contract available only in Arkansas, Arizona and Louisiana, the Huckabees hope to jump-start a conservative movement that has shown little sign of moving in recent years. A covenant marriage commits a couple to counseling before any separation and limits divorce to a handful of grounds, like adultery or abuse....
The event Monday night, held at the Alltel Arena, site of local basketball and hockey games and the occasional concert, was billed as Arkansas's first "Celebration of Marriage." Besides the governor's renewed nuptials there were speeches from national religious leaders and songs by the gospel and pop singer CeCe Winans...
There was no fresh recitation of the wedding vows, just three simple questions: Had they sought counseling before taking this step? Had they had the proper affidavit notarized? Did they have a copy of their marriage license and that affidavit?
"Yes," the governor said.
Mr. O'Brien reached into his jacket and said, "Well, I just happen to have a stamp here."
He clicked the affidavit once, and that was it. The audience roared to its feet.
No word on how the wife liked having her private feelings turned into a giant political display. How utterly unromantic and tasteless! And what a ridiculous notion of the role of government in the lives of individuals!
UPDATE: Sorry for writing "how utterly romantic and tasteless." You can't switch from sarcasm to non-sarcasm in the middle of a sentence. I've corrected it. MORE: I just corrected the correction. Sorry for updating to say something incomprehensible!
ANOTHER UPDATE: Thanks to Instapundit for linking. And here's my more recent post continuing on the subject of the Huckabee spectacle.