When Beliefnet checked in with Gary Bauer following his defense of Fred Thompson in light of James Dobson’s condemnation of the former Law & Order actor, he made clear he wasn’t endorsing Thompson. God-o-Meter takes Bauer at his word. But it has a hunch that Bauer and other marquee Christian Right activists are hedging their bets as Dobson stakes out a harder line position on the GOP field; should Thompson or another ideologically impure candidate win the Republican nomination or the White House, Bauer & Co. don’t want to be left out in the cold. And they may see any Republican as preferable to Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. The Washington Times reports that Bauer has issued a letter to supporters urging them to keep Thompson under consideration:

“I hope pro-family, pro-life Christians will continue to keep an open mind about Senator Thompson’s candidacy, even as we work with him to strengthen his stand on some key issues,” Mr. Bauer wrote in an e-mail addressed to supporters. “A Thompson vs. Hillary [Clinton] race would be an easy call for me to make.”

The Thompson campaign has emailed the story to political reporters, and God-o-Meter believes that Thompson has reason to rejoice. While the Christian Right has failed to coalesce around one GOP candidate, the movement may be moving toward an anyone but Giuliani approach, with Thompson, Mitt Romney, and Mike Huckabee all seen as suitable alternatives.


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