Opinion: With Sarah Palin aboard, John McCain gets official nod of major evangelical leader Dobson


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Amid a blizzard of disheartening polls a month out from the general election, the John McCain-Sarah Palin Republican ticket got some great news this afternoon:

A clear go-ahead signal to millions of evangelicals across the country from Dr. James Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the Family, to vote for the GOP ticket. It couldn’t have come at a better time given more polls showing a Democratic lead on the eve of the next presidential debate, tomorrow night in Nashville.

On his radio broadcast today to hundreds of stations Dobson said, ‘America’s future seems to hang in the balance.’


Reading from his October newsletter, Dobson said he would not endorse a candidate for president. He then proceeded to endorse a candidate for president.

‘It’s probably obvious which of the two major candidates’ views are most palatable to those of us who embrace a pro-life, pro-family worldview,’ Dobson said.

‘While I will not endorse either candidate this year, (in fact, I’ve only endorsed one presidential nominee in my life) I can say that I am now supportive of Senator John McCain and his bid for the presidency.’

A distinction without a difference for a Republican ticket that desperately needs an energized family values base determined to vote despite what seem increasing odds.

In recent months Dobson had spent more time announcing....

...whom he was not going to endorse -- Rudy Giuliani and McCain, among others -- giving rise to fears that battalions of evangelicals who played such a key role in the 2000 and 2004 GOP election wins would simply stay home in 2008 and let the family values ship sink for one or two terms.

McCain had earned Dobson’s previous enmity by restrictions on political speech put upon non-profits under the McCain-Feingold law.

But McCain’s selection as his VP running mate of Palin, the governor of Alaska and a mother of five who walked the pro-life walk with her recent Downs baby as well as talked it, seems to have sealed the Dobson nod for the GOP ticket.

‘My concern is for the biblical and moral issues that I and millions of Americans hold dear,’ Dobson added.

‘I will gladly support politicians of any stripe who are willing to defend the sanctity of human life, support the institution of traditional marriage, protect the country from terrorism and advance the cause of religious liberty.

‘While certainly not perfect, the 2008 Republican Platform comes closest to embracing those ideals by a wide margin.’

Without mentioning Democrat Barack Obama and Joe Biden by name, Dobson urged his listeners to pray for the country’s future.

Then, he added that the Nov. 4 balloting ‘will also go a long way toward determining the culture your children and grandchildren will come to realize. I hope you will vote with your children and your children’s children in mind.

‘That certainly puts the election in a different light, doesn’t it?’

--Andrew Malcolm

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