Is John McCain Courting the Religious Right?


Your Business Blogger was strolling through Washington, DC and decided to step into an old building to escape the July heat. The Dirksen beckoned. If it’s named after a Republican, then it’s got to be cold.

So I wander into Room 106 and eavesdrop on a confirmation hearing. John Warner from Virginia chaired. He is a real gentleman. Handling the hearing and the nominees with grace and diplomacy. I almost forgot he voted against impeaching Clinton.

Anyway, I happen see my old friend Anita Blair being questioned, and I mean questioned by Senator Levin. And she did outstanding. She’ll make a great Assistant Secretary for the Air Force.

But what I was interested in was listening to the crowd talk about another John, another member of this committee: John McCain. One observer near me in the peanut gallery said that, “McCain was sucking up to the religious right wing-nuts.”

That’d be me.

And he continued, “I hate that.”

Goodness, Liberals are capable of ‘hate.’ Alert the media.

However, is McCain really sucking up to the religious right? I wish he would.

But I think not. For two reasons.


on left: Bauer, Falwell, McCain on far right

at Liberty University

#1. Charmaine and I saw McCain at the graduation ceremony at Liberty University recently and watched McCain up close. Our good friend, Gary Bauer was also giving a speech and praised McCain no less that three times from the pulpit. Gary is a long-time McCain supporter and looked like an excellent candidate for Secretary of Education in a McCain Administration. (Well, actually, I would be honored to work for Gary in any capacity, but I digress.)

McCain glowed and smiled at Gary’s compliments. But McCain turned dark when Bauer talked about gay marriage or abortion. McCain would fidget, pick lint off his pant legs and stare off in another direction when abortion and babies were mentioned. McCain is a master politician, but not a master of body language.

At Liberty, Falwell did the courting, not McCain.

#2. John McCain was on the invited list for the Family Research Council’s annual briefing coming in September. McCain is “unavailable.” A very polite Code word. (But Ann Coulter and Newt Gingrich are coming!)

John McCain is not courting, nor counting on, true-blue red conservatives.

He should. If he wants the nomination.


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