June 22, 2012, 10:55 am
Don't wait for Romney to bring up religion. (Photo by Austen Hufford via Flickr/CC)
Four years and nine days ago today, Barack Obama stunned (uninitiated) analysts at a campaign stop in Zanesville Ohio with the announcement that if elected he would retain George W. Bush’s much-maligned Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. It would become “a critical part” of his administration, said the junior senator from Illinois.
Some liberals were shocked. They shouldn’t have been. As the current writer and a few others had been arguing prior to 2008, the Democrats had finally figured out that they could no longer be the “Party of Secularism.”
Ah 2008! Good times for Faith and Values politicking, be it red or blue. It seemed every candidate–from Mike Huckabee to John Edwards–was invoking God on …
April 16, 2012, 9:55 pm
That deafening, churning, leather-on-wood sound you just heard is the sound of the entire Romney campaign “pivoting to the general,” as the pundits like to say.
In the coming months, Mitt and his Faith and Values team will need to figure out how to draw lucrative religious voting blocs to the Republican side of the ledger. Faith-based politicking is always a complicated affair, and for these reasons I offer a few hopefully helpful suggestions on how the Romney team ought to proceed:
Bait the secularists (if you must): Secular-bashing is among the easiest, and most intellectually dishonest, forms of Faith and Values politicking out there. Easy, because there is widespread confusion as to what “secularism” means. The dreaded “ism” can conveniently stand in for anything a politician loathes: godlessness, gang violence, pornography–it’s all good. Or, bad as the case may be.
December 30, 2011, 12:39 am
Four years ago, in 2007, we faith-and-values pundits were pondering Mitt Romney’s coupling of secularism and radical jihadism in a memorable December speech. We were trying to figure out why John McCain, of all people, was invoking “Christian nation” rhetoric.
We were assessing presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s many references to youthful Bible study and Sunday School taught by her mom. As for that junior senator, Barack Obama, we marveled at the newcomer’s God-talk skills. He was too green, obviously; maybe 2016 would be his time.
Nor were we really focused on those who would soon become faith-and-values Persons of Interest in 2008. Mike Huckabee only flitted across the radar late in 2007. Outside of the initiated, no one knew who the Rev. Jeremiah Wright was. And few, if any, on the religion beat had ever heard of Sarah Palin.
Which is my way of saying…