Time magazine reports that about 100 pro-family leaders met in Denver Tuesday to discuss and ultimately agree to support John McCain in his bid for the presidency:
The group included leaders like Phyllis Schlafly, the long-time leader of Eagle Forum; Steve Strang, the publisher of Charisma magazine; Phil Burress, a prominent Ohio marriage and anti-pornography activist; David Barton, the founder of WallBuilders and Donald Hodel, a former secretary of the Interior, who previously served on the board of Focus on the Family. Jim Dobson, the head of Focus and an outspoken critic of McCain, did not attend. The McCain campaign was also not directly represented at the meeting.
Why would conservative Christians support McCain despite his previous insults to them, and despite McCain's repeated refusals to meet them half way?
Probably for the same reason I'm backing McCain: the lesser of two evils. As unsavory as he is as a Republican candidate, he is still light-years better than Barack Obama, who would be a disaster for the country: militarily, socially and economically.
From the Time article, someone at the meeting seemed to confirm this sentiment:
A second person who attended the event, but asked not to be named, said that the group was motivated principally by a desire to defeat Barack Obama. "None of these people want to meet their maker knowing that they didn't do everything they could to keep Barack Obama from being president," the participant said. "You've got these two people running for president. One of them is going to become president. That's the perspective. That that's the whole discussion."
Having Dobson's support would definitely be a boost, but it's doubtful whether McCain will ever reach out far enough (despite having no qualms to reach out to anti-family Democrats) to meet Dobson somewhere in the middle.
Even if Dr. Dobson does end up giving some measure of support, it's still uncertain whether that will be enough. Memories of the lukewarm campaign of Bob Dole in 1996 are all too fresh.
A candidate who doesn't inspire or excite the base and personifies the "lesser of two evils" isn't going to fit anyones definition of "a sure thing."
Still, Barack Obama presents such a strong antithesis to American values and principles, and also family values, that McCain still could pull it off.