Monday, May 15, 2006

McCain is trying to get in good with the evangelicals...

So he spoke at Liberty University's commencement. Apparentely he and Fallwell have patched up their differences...probably a good move for someone with presidential hopes, since you have to have some of the religious conservatives vote for you in order to win....


Here's the intro to an article in the CS Monitor covering it:

Sarah Smith and Bryan Northup, both recent graduates of Liberty University, were surprised when the Rev. Jerry Falwell invited Sen. John McCain (R) of Arizona to deliver the commencement address at their alma mater last Saturday.

After all, Senator McCain has not exactly been viewed as a friend of Christian evangelicals, especially since he tagged the Reverend Falwell - Liberty's founder and president - and a few others as "agents of intolerance" who were "corrupting influences" in American politics during the 2000 presidential campaign.

But as the 2008 race gears up, with McCain a likely competitor, it's a new day - at least for some. Falwell and McCain have patched up their relationship. And if the reaction of a sample of attendees is any guide, McCain may have done himself some good at this campus nestled in the rolling hills of Lynchburg, Va.

"He's a man of action," says Mr. Northup, an '05 graduate who works for the IRS.

Ms. Smith, who graduated in '04 and is now a law student here, appreciated McCain's focus on the Iraq war in his address - a war that he has strongly supported from the start. "I see we have common ground in our patriotism," she says. "He didn't get into religion or abortion; it was smart to avoid hot topics."

Not that McCain favors abortion rights. As a senator, he consistently votes the antiabortion-rights position, but is not a vocal advocate. He also differs in approach in his opposition to gay marriage: While Falwell and other conservative leaders favor a constitutional amendment defining marriage as man-woman, McCain takes the federalist position - leave it up to the states.


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