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Why Do Conservatives Presume That God Wants Them to Run for President? (He Probably Doesn't)

Many GOPers refer getting a "call" from God to run for President. Is it crass pandering to the religious right, or their massive egos?

GOPers Receiving "Call" from On High to Run for Presidency

Over the years, while many have heard and heeded "the call," few have emerged victorious, which means that either they didn't really get the call, or the caller was more trickster than heavenly messenger.

George W. Bush did it; Michelle Bachmann has done it a number of times, and appears to be about to do it again; As Mormons, it is highly unlikely that Mitt Romney or Jon Huntsman would dare do it; Newt Gingrich would do it if he thought there was a chance anyone would believe him; Tim Pawlenty's campaign manager did it only a few weeks ago; and, Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump would likely be laughed off the stage if they even tried it.

IT is "The Call" from God to run for the presidency.

George W. Bush got 'The Call'

In 2000, while Governor of Texas, George W. Bush was considering a run for the presidency, "a story circulated that he had phoned televangelist James Robison" and said that he had "heard the call. I believe God wants me to run for president," Edmund D. Cohen pointed out in a piece in Free Inquiry magazine.

Author Stephen Mansfield expanded on the Bush story in his book, "The Faith of George W. Bush":

"On the day that the evangelist entered Bush's office, he was surprised to find political strategist Karl Rove there as well, and even more surprised at what Bush was about to say. 'My life is changed,' the governor said. 'I had a drinking problem. I won't say I was an alcoholic, but it affected my relationships, even with my kids. It could have destroyed me. But I've given my life to Christ.'

"Robison, who had heard rumors of Bush's conversion, was struck by the sincerity he sensed. He was not prepared, though, for what came next. 'I feel like God wants me to run for president,' Bush said. 'I can't explain it, but I sense my country is going to need me. Something is going to happen, and, at that time, my country is going to need me. I know it won't be easy, on me or my family, but God wants me to do it.'

'In fact,' Bush continued, 'I really don't want to run. My father was president. My whole family has been affected by it. I know the price. I know what it will mean. I would be perfectly happy to have people point at me someday when I'm buying my fishing lures at Wal-Mart and say, "That was our governor." That's all I want. And if I run for president, that kind of life will be over. My life will never be the same. But I feel God wants me to do this, and I must do it.'"

A 'Call' nearly as old as God him/her self

"Politicians and operatives claiming that God spoke to them is as old as the hills," Frederick Clarkson, author of "Eternal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy" told BuzzFlash. "Whether said in earnest or as a matter of crass pandering, when people say such things, they should be viewed with extreme skepticism. Not so much to question whether or not God spoke to them, but because they were so unwise as to say so."

This time around, the camps of at least two presidential hopefuls have signaled that "the call" is involved.

Although she hasn't yet formally tossed her hat into the ring, Minnesota Congressman Michelle Bachmann has indicated that she believes that she has a "calling" to run for the presidency. "I've had this calling and tugging on my heart that this is the right thing to do," Bachmann said during a recent taping of the public television program, "Iowa Press."

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