Saturday, February 09, 2008

McCain to Court Evangelicals

The Washington Post reports that Sen. John McCain, now the presumptive Republican nominee for President, is seeking to court evangelical leaders:

While the senator tried to appeal to conservatives on the stump, his top advisers were trying to set up meetings with some of the nation's more influential evangelical ministers, including Rick Warren, author of "The Purpose Driven Life," and Joel Osteen, to find common ground. The effort has been spearheaded by Sen. Sam Brownback (Kan.), who endorsed McCain after dropping his own presidential bid in November.

When asked about that effort, McCain said, "I'll be glad and willing to meet with anyone who wants to meet with me." He added that there is no formalized strategy to reach out to religious leaders.

Notably absent from this list is James Dobson who has said he will never vote for McCain. If these meetings happen, I will be very interested to see whether Warren or Osteen would endorse McCain. I would be surprised. Warren could very well back Obama if he gets the nomination based on what I have read. At the very least both Warren and Osteen have publicly moved towards the middle and embraced a broader (and I would argue more Christian) agenda than that espoused by the likes of Dobson.

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