Undue influence

June 23, 2008

A Hoosier columnist thinks the presidential candidates should steer clear of religious endorsements:

While Barack Obama and John McCain are working out the ground rules for the next four months, it would be so great if they would agree to a moratorium on religious pandering.

Before they decide about town hall meetings, running mates, which convicted felon pals to defend or jettison — both men should sign a joint promise to lay off of seeking and trumpeting religion-related endorsements.

Given their experiences so far with religious cheerleaders, McCain and Obama ought to be extra-motivated. The Rev. Jeremiah Wright and the Rev. John Hagee revealed themselves to be such liabilities, it should be cause, not just for renunciation, but for a shared vow to go forth and politically sin no more.

Religious pandering? Do faith-based policy ideas belong only in the pulpit, as she suggests, not on the campaign trail? Seeking endorsments from any group of like-minded people, not just religiously inclined ones, can bring out the eccentrics one would rather do without. Why should only religious-based endorsements be avoided because of that?

I wonder how the candidates are going to handle endorsements in general. Both have presented themselves as different kinds of politicians, not beholden to the usual evil suspects who try to exert undue influence. But an endorsment is evidence of a special-interest group likely to want to exert such influence and sure to arouse suspicion among voters not in that particular group.

I noticed that Gov. Daniels has been endorsed by the Indiana FOP, for example. Sure, it’s the police, but it’s a union. A union likes the Republican? That raises alarm bells for me.


One Response to “Undue influence”

  1. Harl Delos Says:

    quoting from

    As for Barack Obama, Mudcat says, he’s got problems in these parts, but not the kind all these out-of-towners think. The Jeremiah Wright scandal? “It’s a zero,” he says. “Everybody who’s gone to church has heard their preacher say crazy things. Listen, I’m probably going to hell. But if I was held accountable for the crazy s– I’ve heard Baptist preachers say over the years, I’d go straight to the pits of hellfire. I wouldn’t even get an accounting.”

    Great piece. Funny, and the guy makes sense.

    What Obama needs to do, says Mudcat, is get on the ground regularly in Appalachia and give a version of the following:

    I’m a black guy, and I promise you I didn’t have a thing to do with it. If you’re not going to vote for me since I’m black, then go to hell. I don’t care. I don’t want your vote. But what I’m going to do is this: My people are suffering. I’ve worked in south Chicago, and I’ve seen their problems. I’ve been out to rural America, and I’ve seen your problems, and they’re a mirror image of each other.

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