(OK, so he’s not necessarily going after strictly the “fundamentalist Christians” here, I’ll give you that.)
This post from the New York Times’ blog The Caucus tells us…
A fund-raiser is being held tonight in Washington for a nascent political action committee that is hoping to reach out to Christian communities on behalf of Senator Barack Obama.(And by the way, Times reporter Michael Luo managed to work in the whole, “well, Obama has to reach out to these people because they’re still mad about a certain African-American preacher and the whole ‘guns,’ ‘cling’ and ‘bitter’” dookey; thanks loads, Mike.)
Called “The Matthew 25 Network,” the new organization, which is still in its earliest stages, is being spearheaded by Mara Vanderslice, who was director of religious outreach for the Kerry-Edwards campaign in 2004 and did similar work for several statewide Democratic candidates, including Governor Ted Strickland of Ohio, Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Governor Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas.
Ms. Vanderslice, who has been active in the budding movement over the last few years to encourage Democrats to be more willing to discuss matters of faith, declined to detail the group’s plans, because she said the organization is planning an official rollout later in the month.
I wish I could say that I’m impressed with this; here is why I’m so skeptical…
This Talk Left post by the blogger Big Tent Democrat rather exhaustively analyzes the supposed impact of Vanderslice in the 2006 congressional elections, where (as the Times notes) she worked on behalf of Sen. Bob Casey, Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, and others. Among the findings in the post is that she delivered a whopping one percentage point gain among those exalted “values voters” for her gubernatorial candidate Debbie Stabenow over Jennifer Granholm, a Dem who did not benefit from Vanderslice’s “expertise.”
And in both today’s Times story and the Talk Left post from ’06, who happens to come strolling along to extol Vanderslice but none other than Mike McCurry, noted opponent of Net Neutrality and perpetrator of the Hands Off The Internet fraud (an “Astroturf “ group which is nothing but a front for the telcos in the battle for ownership of web content).
Barack Obama has earned my trust as the Democratic nominee, so for now, I’ll assume that he knows how to handle people like McCurry and Vanderslice, who, as far as I’m concerned, are nothing but Beltway bottom-feeders looking for a pay day regardless of which side has the dough. They’re as likely to assure a win in November for Obama as they are of providing John McCain a charisma transplant (at this point, though, I think McBush should concentrate on “World leaders for 100, Alex” based on this – h/t Daily Kos).
And in other Obama news, it looks like Faux News’ E.D. Hill is out after her little “terrorist fist jab” escapade, though I'm sure employment for her at the network will not be an issue as long as she can fit into a tight skirt (and the people at Media Matters continue to do God’s work here).