How does Sarah Palin’s candidacy change the race?
I think it’s really energized the base of the party and given people a reason to be excited about the ticket. There was a lot of anxiety about McCain picking Lieberman. He really gave people a reason to be not just accepting about the ticket. Everyone I’ve talked to is excited about the ticket. It’s a completely different atmosphere than it was a week ago.
Do you think Palin’s pregnant daughter will change whether people will vote for her?
The way the media went after the daughter is the most shameful thing I’ve ever seen in my life. If anything, it just caused [evangelicals] to run to her. Everyone understands that the basis of being a Christian is that everyone has fallen short of God’s ideal. Everyone understands that. We do understand is that when there’s a problem or failures, the family sticks together. We saw a mother who gave her unconditional love to her daughter. That embodies what Christianity means. We all mess up, the issue is how we respond to it. What she showed us is exactly what we wanted to see in terms of a witness.
Do you think the issues that evangelicals care about have changed?
I think one of the things that is positive is that while they are still steadfast on life and marriage, but there’s a broadening of the issues. People are care about hunger, poverty, and diseases. It’s one of the things I’m very, very thrilled to see. I’ve advocated for a long time education reform, health care reform, and conservation. Those are issues that touch everybody.
How has your faith affected your policies?
In two ways. I don’t have to wake up every morning and think what do I want to believe today. You sense that public policy ought to be a direct result of your deep convictions, not just trends that you can pick up on through polling. I believe in my heart of hearts that sanctity of every human life is important. I don’t support traditional marriage because polls show I should. It’s the foundation of our society. In that way, I think it’s a part of shaping your views and the priorities you have.