Yesterday, in remarks she delivered at North Greenville University in South Carolina, Rick Perry's wife, Anita Perry, explained how God had called her husband to run for president and is now testing Perry with a campaign in which the Texas governor is besieged by Republican rivals.
"We are being brutalized by our opponents and by our party," she said. "So much of that is I think they look at him because of his faith. He is the only true conservative. Well, there are some other conservatives, and they are there for good reasons. And they may feel like God called them too.”
As it happens, quite a few of them do.
According to Karen Santorum, Rick Santorum's wife, he, too, was called. "It really boils down to God's will," she said. "We have prayed a lot about this decision, and we believe with all our hearts that this is what God wants."
Michele Bachmann has said she regularly receives "assurance" from God about her direction, including running for office.
Frontrunner-of-the-Week Herman Cain has said that God pretty much insisted that the former pizza executive campaign for the White House. Cain, however, expressing a humility not much in evidence among the chosen few, does allow that it's not a dead certainty that God's plan includes a President Cain. "Whether that is ultimately to become the president of the United States or not, I don't know," he said. "I just know at this point I am following God's plan."
Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich appear to have mortal political consultants.
(Francis Wilkinson is a member of the Bloomberg View editorial board.)