Cizik's caution vs. Dobson's elation
I'm finally in Minneapolis (the airline lost my luggage, but at least I have my laptop), and I'm catching up on the Sarah Palin developments.
Although I've seen thrilling remarks in the press releases from conservative evangelicals, Suzanne Sataline from the Wall Street Journal talked with one evangelical who is more cautious.
Richard Cizik, vice president of the National Association of Evangelicals, said he was initially stunned because he had never heard of the Alaskan governor.
"Do we have a Dan Quayle on our hands? I'm open to being persuaded otherwise if she proves herself," Cizik told Sataline.
"I like some of the personal choices she's made, such as carrying a Downs child to term,'' Cizik said, referring the governor's infant son who has Down Syndrome. "So will millions of evangelicals.''
Cizik has been an outspoken advocate for environmental issues, which drew heavy criticism from some conservative Christians, including Focus on the Family founder James Dobson. Cizik said he and other evangelicals need more information about Palin's views on the environment and global affairs.
"I don't think evangelicals are going to vote for this team for superficial partisan reasons. I think lots of people are looking beyond labels this time around,'' he said to the Journal. He told Sataline he hasn't decided how he will vote.
On the other hand, Dobson is pretty excited. Even though six months ago he planned not to vote for John McCain, he told Dennis Prager, "But I can tell you that if I had to go into the studio, I mean the voting booth today, I would pull that lever."
He said in a statement: "Sen. McCain's selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is an outstanding choice that should be extremely reassuring to the conservative base of his party. She is a strong executive who hates corruption and puts principle above politics. After floating the names of Tom Ridge and Sen. Joe Lieberman in recent weeks ? selections that would have created consternation among pro-family Republicans ? Sen. McCain has chosen a solid conservative who has a reputation for espousing common sense."