The Wichita Eagle reports today on Sam Brownback’s role as a Catholic organizer for John McCain. Seems like Brownback is still doing the same macro-level Catholic outreach that God-o-Meter reported on months ago. But GOM caught a whiff of a “Brownback more or less has Catholic outreach taken care of, so we don’t have to focus on it too much,” attitude from the McCain campaign in the piece.
Take, for instance, this snippet:
“He has a big following in the conservative wing of the party with right-to-life supporters and those who care about social and cultural issues,” said Charlie Black, a McCain senior adviser and a veteran of Republican presidential politics, “and he has been terrific at promoting McCain among those groups.”
That’s all well and good. But there’s no indication in this piece, or in God-o-Meter’s own reporting, that McCain has integrated a serious Catholic outreach effort into his campaign, above and beyond Brownback’s efforts.
Barack Obama, by comparison, has hired a Catholic outreach director to do actual on-the-ground organizing. Hillary Clinton had her own Catholic outreach strategist for a couple months, and he played a big role in her recent victories in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana.
McCain, though, still lacks a staffer who’s devoted fulltime to faith outreach, let alone someone working specifically on Catholic outreach. Sure, Sam Brownback’s popular with conservative Catholics. But relying mostly on one Catholic surrogate to deliver his message to Catholics can get the McCain campaign only so far.