The Things That God Tells Politicians

Matt Berman
National Journal

In early January, House Speaker John Boehner was in crisis. After a brutal fiscal-cliff slog, Boehner's speakership was in serious doubt, and a group of conservative House Republicans were preparing to drive in the knife. But that's when, according to a new Washington Post story, God intervened.

Barely 36 hours after the caustic [fiscal cliff] New Year's Day vote, Boehner faced a coup attempt from a clutch of renegade conservatives. The cabal quickly fell apart when several Republicans, after a night of prayer, said God told them to spare the speaker.

This, of course, is not the first time that God has been said to have stepped into U.S. politics. Here's a brief look at some of the almighty's supposed prior forays.

Michele Bachmann's Political Career


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(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

"God called on me to run for the United States Congress," now outgoing Rep. Michele Bachmann told a mega-church audience while campaigning in 2006. In the summer of 2011, Bachmann also said that God gave her a "calling" to run for president. It's not clear whether God had a say in Bachmann's decision to not seek reelection in 2014.

Herman Cain's Presidential Run


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(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)


Herman Cain didn't want to be president, and never thought of the idea before President Obama took office, Cain told a group of South Carolina Young Republicans in November 2011. "It was only after he took office and I saw his arrogant disregard for the American people that I know that I had to do what I could do," Cain said.

"That when I prayed and prayed and prayed. I'm a man of faith. I had to do a lot of praying for this one."


"And when I finally realized that it was God saying that this is what I needed to do, I was like Moses: 'You've got the wrong man, Lord. Are you sure?' "

Of course, Herman Cain would wind up taking God's advice.

Rick Santorum's 2012 Campaign


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(AP Photo/David Goldman)

"We believe with all our hearts that this is what God wants," Karen Santorum, the wife of the 2012 Republican presidential candidate, told CBN in May 2011.

Of course, what politicans and pundits consider God's interventions don't always pan out. Just ask televangelist Pat Robertson: