on more politics

Just another thought about Dr. Bob’s endorsement of Romney.

I have said to some that I personally wouldn’t be prepared to endorse Romney at this stage, but I don’t live in South Carolina. As this blog at Real Clear Politics points out, the SC primary is less than 100 days away. This makes it important for SC residents to make up their minds concerning their primary vote.

Some criticise Dr. Bob for not supporting someone like Huckabee. While Huckabee is an attractive candidate ideologically, it seems highly unlikely that he is going to lead the ticket, although there is some talk of him as VEEP. If Dr. Bob endorsed Huckabee (or someone like him), the endorsement would have a negligible effect on the outcome. It would also contribute to another possible effect, which I think is part of the political calculus that is behind the endorsement.

The other effect is the danger of a Third Party or Independent candidate. While none of the front runners for the GOP are completely satisfactory to me or to many other Christians, I like each of them well enough that I can support them in the general election. But some Christians (influenced, perhaps, by James Dobson) are considering getting behind an independent or third-party candidate if Romney or Giuliani are the nominee, especially if it is Giuliani. A reasonably strong third-party candidate on the right would almost ensure another Clinton White House.

For someone perceived to be as right wing as Dr. Bob, his endorsement of Romney may not have a huge effect on the primary or the nomination, but it might mitigate the attractiveness of a third-party option for the Christian Right. A sort of, “if he can swallow Romney’s negatives, I guess I don’t need to split the vote on the right” mentality.

So the endorsement makes sense from a couple of standpoints: the proximity of the SC primary and the general dissatisfaction of Christians with the front-runners in the GOP.

Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

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