With Focus on the Family’s James Dobson going public yesterday with his threat to back a third-party candidate against Rudy Giuliani, the press corps accompanying the ex-Mayor is obsessively asking him about his troubles with the Christian Right. Giuliani appeared to brush them aside: “I don’t worry a lot…. Political pluses and minuses are not one of the things to worry about.” Asked whether evangelicals would be as important in the ’08 presidential race as in previous cycles, Giuliani turned Yogi Berra philosophical: “You know when we’ll find out who is going to be influential in this year’s election? When it’s over.”
But Giulianis’ more telling remark, the one that’s become his familiar refrain, appears calibrated for Christian ears. “[M]aybe people of faith can respect someone who is honest with them,” he told reporters. “With me, you know what you’re going to get.” After the alleged deceptions of Larry Craig, David Vitter, Mark Foley–God-o-Meter could go on (and on) but its space is limited–could this simple pledge of honesty have special resonance among religious voters? God-o-Meter is not naive; it knows the message’s appeal will be somewhat limited. But it also knows that the Giuliani doesn’t have to win the evangelical vote to seal up his party’s nomination. He just has to not lose it entirely.


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