A Presidential Bid Analyzed
book The Plan, published in 1989, Pat Robertson describes
his campaign for the Republican nomination for president of
the United States. A summary of that description and the lessons
is hot and steamy in the summertime, and the summer of 1988 was
no exception. But those of us attending the presidential nominating
convention of the Republican Party in August of 1988 weren't
concerned about the weather.
We had come
to nominate the next president of the United States, to position
our candidates to win in the fall, to alternately appeal to
or strong-arm our way through armies of reporters and to draft
a platform which represented strong conservative patriotic family
To many of
the assembled delegates and alternates…this was a time
to revel in the closest brush with real political power they
might ever know, while taking time to taste the delights of
what many feel is the best party town in America.
For me, convention
week in New Orleans in August was to be bittersweet. I had run
as a candidate for the Republican nomination for the presidency.
I had run hard and, in the process, had raised the hopes and
dreams of hundreds of thousands of Americans who shared my goal
of "restoring the greatness of America through moral strength."
They had worked
sacrificially, tirelessly, enthusiastically. They had given
millions of dollars. They had proved in state after state that
God-fearing, dedicated people, even though novices, when working
for a cause, can get into politics and win.
They had shocked
the political world in the early maneuvering by scoring a resounding
victory in Michigan. Then in the crucial preliminary straw balloting
in Iowa -- which had broken Jimmy Carter out of the pack in 1975 -- they
beat all the candidates and gave me resounding victory over
a sitting vice president and the minority leader of the United
States Senate. Excluding Michigan, which frankly, was stolen
from them, they had won four states, scored second in about
eight more, and had brought me a third place finish out of a
field of six with 1.9 million votes.
In the quest
for the highest secular prize our nation has to offer a third
place finish is respectable. But my supporters were devastated.
It was as it they mourned for the dead. Because they felt as
I did, that God had called me to win, not run third.
So in New
Orleans they were asking and I was asking one simple question-did
God call me to run for president or not? And if He did call
me to run, why did I lose? And why, with the loss, was there
such incredible personal abuse and such enormous financial sacrifice?
Did God have
a plan for me? Does He have a plan for you? Can you and I learn
God's plan for our lives, so that we will have lives filled
with purpose and meaning, joy and satisfaction?
Decision to Run Wrong?
In The Plan, Pat describes how he resisted the idea of running
for president initially, convinced he could represent his constituency
as a grass roots leader. Then during an intense period of prayer
the thought pushed into his consciousness: "You will not want
to do this, but you should do it." He prayed repeatedly that
he did not want to be misled about such a momentous decision.
Finally convinced that he should step out in faith, Pat launched
dream died, he asked the same questions we all ask when we think
God has led us into a dead end.
from The Plan:
"I've been asked the question a hundred times: 'Did you miss
God?' I asked over and over, 'Did I miss Your leading, Father?…
Did I hear You?… Why didn't I win?'"
This led Pat
to the broader questions: Is it possible for you to know God's
will and guidance in the large and small matters of life?
Yes, God has a plan for our lives. Yes, we can know that plan
and live in it. We can take heart in the historic fact that
God is concerned with the eternal and with the temporal. In
the final analysis, they are one.
God Want Pat to Run for President?
Quoting directly from The Plan:
"Could it be that the reason
for my candidacy has been fulfilled in the activation of tens
of thousands of evangelical Christians into government? This
campaign taught them that they were citizens with as much right
to express their beliefs as any of the strident activists who
have been so vocal in support of their own radical agenda at
every level of our government. For the first time in recent
history, patriotic, pro-family Christians learned the simple
techniques of effective party-organizing and successful campaigning."
as an active force in American politics may result ultimately
in at least one of America's major political parties taking
on a profoundly Christian outlook in its platforms and party
A presidential campaign is brutal. The president of the United
States is the chief executive of a vast bureaucracy and a budget
in excess of $1 trillion. He sets policies that mean billions
of dollars to businessmen, bankers, investors, labor unions,
and foreign governments. He is commander in chief of the armed
forces and his finger rests on the nuclear button.
the press of this nation will ruthlessly drill any newcomer
who gets near all that power. Some perceived me as
a threat and set out to do me in. The technique was simple.
Merely distort every statement. Leave out key details. Belittle
the size of crowds and popular support. It got so bad that one
of my supporters cried out, "Lord, when will you vindicate your
man?" But God's vindication does not necessarily come during
the short space of an election cycle.
After it was
over, I asked myself a simple question: "If God called Jesus
of Nazareth to be the Messiah, why did He fail?
Pat goes on to say
that Jesus failed by human standards but was part of God's perfect
plan. Was He hurt? Of course he was. Will He be vindicated?
Gloriously so.God had a
plan for Jesus Christ. You might ask, does God have a plan for
you and a plan for me? Absolutely…a plan every bit as
perfect in its timing as God's plan was for Jesus Christ. Will
God's plan or you and me always bring immediate worldly wealth
and success? No, but God's plan will always bring peace and
joy and fulfillment. Our duty is to find the perfect plan for
our lives and to follow it with the ability He gives us. It's
His responsibility to bring about the results.
I know that
something wonderful happened as a result of my run for the presidency.
I know that God not only provided signs and guideposts for the
race that were unmistakable. His hand of blessing after my return
to CBN has been so strong that it can only be interpreted to
say, "Well done, my son. You have been faithful, now receive
by God's Standards
The week before the Super Tuesday primary I flew into the Bristol,
Tennessee, Tri-Cities airport for a rally. There were about
one thousand people in that early-morning crowd-shouting, clapping,
waving banners. After a brief speech, I walked across to shake
hands with the people.
of that big crowd lives in my memory -- a little towheaded, freckle-faced
boy about 10 years old. He looked up at me with eyes full of
trust, and as I shook his hand, said with all the earnestness
he could muster, "Please win!"
To him I must
reply, "Son I don't know your name, but I want you to know this.
I followed God's plan for me, so in His eyes I did win. And
you, too, can always be a winner, if you just put your hand
in God's hand and walk on down the road with Him."