The Religious Center Blog
The selection of Sarah Palin as McCain's VP is by any estimate a very interesting pick. Her pro-life Catholic roots should help McCain with blue collar Catholic voters generally. I'm starting to feel that this election comes down to who wins Colorado and New Mexico. Perhaps McCain flips New Hampshire. Certainly McCain must "hold serve" on more states than Obama to stay even and that puts more pressure on him. If Obama gets momentum and starts flipping states like Ohio, Virginia, Nevada or Florida its all over. It is less likely that McCain flips Democratic states like Pennsylvania or Michigan but is possible.
So I think it comes down to Colorado and New Mexico. Can two Westerners make these GOP states? And can Palin's Catholic roots help with hispanic voters in New Mexico? We'll see.
There is a widespread assumption in the media that Barack Obama's race may well cost him the election. The assumption is that unspoken racism will cause some people to pull back from voting for Obama and that when they are in the voting booth they will refrain from voting for him strictly because of his race. Its the "Tom Bradley" factor. It is very difficult to test or poll for such racism of course.
Yet could it be that race is more of an asset to Obama than a liability? There is also speculation that the prospect of the first African American President will substantially increase voter turnout by blacks. That there could be some voters who only vote for Obama because he is black. Many black Republicans I have talked to and read about are seriously considering Obama.
I tend to think the negative impact of racism sadly will outweigh the increase in the black vote. But we shouldn't just assume that.
While most of the news media is focused on Mitt Romney as McCain's running-mate, McCain would hit a home run if he walked onto that stage in Dayton, Ohio tomorrow with Colin Powell. That would be the one pick that moves the needle and McCain should be doing everything in his power this week to convince Powell to say "yes."
To me and to Gregg Vanourek!!!
It is historic that there is a Faith Caucus at the current Democratic National Convention. The interfaith gathering last Sunday and the events all week are diverse in terms of representing different religions, but not in terms of ideology, which is progressive across the faiths. The caucus panels are moderated mostly by Obama's director of religious outreach, Joshua Dubois, or by Jim Wallis, a principle architect of the religious left which become politically active following the 2004 elections and formed Faith in Public Life, among other projects, to engage people of faith for the Democratic Party.
In picking Senator Biden, nominee Obama is counting on Obama's Catholic roots to help court blue collar white voters.
It is interesting at the start of the Democratic convention to note that the draft platform that they are beginning to discuss says more about what a faith initiative will not be than what it will be in an Obama Administration. I bet the GOP platform will be more positive. Not that it is negative. The draft platform is just less positive than one would imagine. This contrasts to Obama's rhetoric on the July 08 development and press release of his plans for the Council of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships (as he will call it). Though it does track somewhat his well known 2006 speech to Call to Renewal which sought to show the complexity of faith and policy in America.
Below is the draft section on faith in the Democratic platform. It uses traditional language is praising the place of faith and its importance in solving problems in America. However, when it comes to specifics, the draft Democratic platform wants to make sure any faith based initiative does not endanger First Amendment protections, does not allow proselytizing, does not allow discrimination (they main issue of controversy in Congressional debates on the issue) and is used on programs that actually work. All these points are right and important. However, in a platform they show more concern from the Democrats about faith and government than their flowery language used in the past and that one would imagine in such a document.