August 19, 2007


Giuliani ducks probing into faith and family (Jonathan Martin, August 19, 2007, Politico)

His calculus is obvious. He has been married three times and cheated on his second wife. His children have publicly distanced themselves from him. If and when he attends Mass, he can’t take communion because his second marriage was not annulled. And he contradicts church teaching by backing abortion rights.

Naturally he’d rather talk about the taxes he cut as mayor.

But experts say it will be difficult for a candidate, particularly one running in a party whose base is dominated by cultural traditionalists, to ask voters to separate church and family from state. For many if not most conservatives, matters of faith and family are central to a candidate’s character.

“It is untenable,” GOP pollster Tony Fabrizio said of Giuliani’s current posture. “With a third of the party, you can get away with it. The problem is the other two-thirds are the ones that control the nomination.”

“People want to get a sense what’s in that person’s heart,” said Fabrizio, who is uncommitted in the race. “Doing a good job on crime is all well and good, but if [voters] don’t have a sense as to what your moral compass is, that’s a problem.”

Pointing to a survey he recently did that showed two-thirds of Republicans believe religion “essential to living a good and moral life,” Fabrizio said, “It’s very difficult to see how you communicate what your values are without explaining what they’re based upon.”

Part of Giuliani’s problem is the precedent set by the two most recent presidents.

A Southern Baptist who could summon appropriate Scripture for any occasion, Bill Clinton was at ease in the pew or pulpit of any church and during his presidency regularly walked into his own church with Bible in hand. And though he despised having to do it, Clinton also took to national television during his 1992 campaign to admit, with his wife right next to him, that he had “caused pain" in their marriage.

President Bush has been equally open about his Christianity. Asked during the 2000 primary to name his favorite political philosopher, Bush responded without hesitation: “Christ, because he changed my heart.” He also candidly talked about the role of religion in helping him quit drinking — a decision that sustained his marriage.

...makes you the kind of man who can't be the nominee of the conservative party.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 19, 2007 9:23 AM

He can always become a Protestant. Divorce is pretty much ok with them.

Posted by: Ed Bush at August 19, 2007 3:32 PM

And an "annullment" would be any different? Anyone who believes in divorce/annullment is not a Christian--Protestant or Catholic.

Mt 19:9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except [it be] for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

Posted by: Randall Voth at August 20, 2007 12:55 AM

Ed does make a good point. IMHO, it started with birth control in the early 1900s for the mainline protestants. It's been all downhill ever since, one bite of the apple after the other.

Posted by: Jorge Curioso at August 20, 2007 1:49 PM

He's going to be the nominee because people think they know what kind of man he is based on 9/11. Clinton & W were unknowns and so they had to stress their personal faith.

By far the best candidate the GOP has is unelectable because of his last name. The next best let his inner figher pilot destroy his campaign over immigration legislation. So we appear to be stuck with Rudy.

Posted by: b at August 20, 2007 2:09 PM

Yes and once they find out he isn't that man they abandon him, which is why he's tanking.

Posted by: oj at August 20, 2007 3:02 PM