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The folly of a McCain-Romney ticket

by Brad A. Greenberg

July 30, 2008 | 1:51 am

Let me see if I get this:

Evangelical Christians were integral to George W. Bush’s presidential election and re-election, and can’t be lost if John McCain is to defeat Barack Obama this fall. But evangelicals remain cold on John McCain, and his solution might be to select real-life-Ken-doll Mitt Romney, whom evangelicals were downright frosty on, as his running mate?

That’s been the buzz for the past week, even though onlly in Israel do political moves make such little sense. Sure, Romney would gladly parrot whatever McCain told him to. And between McCain’s wealthy wife, Cindy, and former Bain business consultant and private-equity investor Romney, the two could personally almost keep pace with Obama’s breakneck fundraising. The problem is many people, evangelicals in particular, find Romney absolutely loathsome.

“I’m rich enough, I’m wingnut enough, but gosh darn it, people just don’t like me,” a commenter wrote on Matthew Yglesias blog.

Indeed, Romney is about as far from a swing-vote-grabbing running mate as McCain could pick. Even Mike Huckabee would make more sense. And so, again, evangelicals are complaining about McCain’s political wisdom:

“McCain and Romney would be like oil and water,” said evangelical novelist Tim LaHaye, who supported Mr. Huckabee. “We aren’t against Mormonism, but Romney is not a thoroughgoing evangelical and his flip-flopping on issues is understandable in a liberal state like Massachusetts, but our people won’t understand that.”

The Rev. Rob McCoy, pastor of Calvary Chapel in Thousand Oaks, Calif., who speaks at evangelical events across the country, told The Washington Times, “I will vote for McCain unless he does one thing. You know what that is? If he puts Romney on the ticket as veep.

“It will alienate the entire evangelical community - 62 million self-professing evangelicals in this country, half of them registered to vote, are going to be deeply saddened,” Mr. McCoy added.

What is James Dobson thinking now?

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Since launching the blog in 2007, I’ve referred to myself as “a God-fearing Christian with devilishly good Jewish looks.” The description, I’d say, is an accurate one,...

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