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hillary20.jpgWhen Focus on the Family founder James Dobson came to Capitol Hill last spring for the National Day of Prayer, a prominent Democratic senator made a point of approaching the Republican kingmaker to say hi: Hillary Rodham Clinton. Dobson was none too pleased, but the story made the rounds in Washington’s evangelical circles. Today, Clinton made a similar move, issuing a statement recognizing the National Day of Prayer, an annual event that’s managed by Dobson’s wife, Shirley, out of Focus’s Colorado Springs headquarters. Clinton even talked about it on the campaign trail in Indiana, according to the AP:

Clinton told the audience that she had observed the National Day of Prayer Thursday morning by praying with a group of ministers.
“It is important that we all recognize that praying for our country, praying for people in positions of authority is what people of faith are called upon do,” Clinton said. “Despite the American birthright of being able to complain about politicians, which I totally accept, I think we all recognize the sacrifices of people who put themselves into the arena of politics

These are the small touches that have made Hillary Clinton’s religious outreach so successful to date, and that stand to benefit her in culturally conservative Indiana next Tuesday. Clinton’s religious outreach coordinator, Burns Strider, prides himself on being integrated into the campaign’s top tier leadership, where he can craft messaging in subtle but significant ways. This is one small example of that operation at work.
Here’s the full Clinton statement:

Today, millions of Americans will come together for the 57th Annual National Day of Prayer. I joined this morning with a group of ministers in Indiana. Our prayers were for our nation and for strength and wisdom to be good leaders. It is important that we all recognize that praying for our country, praying for people in positions of authority is what people of faith are called upon to do. This is a day about unity and common ground as our prayers in all their diversity of faiths can bring us together in our common goals for our families, communities and our nation.


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