JONATHAN CHAIT JULY 5, 2011
Amy Sullivan has some good reporting on the evangelical infatuation with Rick Perry, who's the top choice of the Christian Right leadership. One interesting question she veers into is why they haven't flocked to Michelle Bachmann:
[W]hile Bachmann has been on a hot streak since the first candidate’s debate, Christian Right leaders continue to be far less willing to embrace her (or Sarah Palin, for that matter) than the rank-and-file or more secular politicos. Is that sexism at work? Possibly. Maybe even probably. But geography is an important factor as well. Many Christian Right leaders think the GOP primary schedule favors a Southern candidate.
Hmm. So the putative rationale is that Bachmann isn't Southern, and Sullivan suspects the real reason is sexism. Could be a mix of both. It could also reflect the quiet sense among Republican insiders that Bachmann is crazy.
Meanwhile, Sullivan also details Perry's Christian right credentials, which are theocratically impressive:
Sarah Posner of Religious Dispatches recently outlined Perry’s social conservative bona fides and they’re impressive:
- Signed a gay marriage ban into law at a Christian school in Fort Worth with evangelical heavyweights Tony Perkins (Family Research Council), Rod Parsley (Ohio mega-church pastor), and Don Wildmon (American Family Association) in attendance
- The Sunday before his 2006 re-election, Perry attended Cornerstone Church and sat by the side of controversial pastor John Hagee (in 2008, John McCain had to reject Hagee’s endorsement after critics pointed out the pastor’s many extreme statements, including calling the Catholic Church “the whore of Babylon”)
- Supported and was a primary beneficiary of the Texas Restoration Project, an effort to increase the electoral involvement of conservative pastors
All of this, however, pales beside Perry’s current project–a Christian all-day prayer event called “The Response” on August 6 in Houston. The governor is sponsoring the event along with the American Family Association, which is footing the estimated $1.5 million tab for the gathering. The Response is intended for Christians only, although one spokesman said that if people of other faiths attend, he hopes they will see the light and “seek out the living Christ” for their lives.
I suspect a Perry candidacy would put an end to the "will Jews abandon Obama" question.