Conservatives love Bush
"Bush has systematically reached out to virtually every element of the conservative coalition—from antiabortion advocates to western property rights activists to anti-tax groups to evangelical Christians and conservative Roman Catholics to proponents of a robust national missile defense," reports The Washington Post. And conservatives, including religious conservatives, are very grateful. "This president has a very keen sense of who he is and what he believes and what's important to him," says Kenneth L. Connor, president of the Family Research Council. "He's daily giving evidence that at his core he is a conservative." His predecessor, Gary Bauer, agrees, and notes that reaching across party lines is fine, so long as it's just a social thing. "The policy is what matters," he says. "Nobody is going to begrudge watching a movie with Ted Kennedy as long as Ted Kennedy doesn't start winning the policy battles." Similarly, former Christian Coalition head Ralph Reed tells the paper conservatives love Bush: "It's early, but the preliminary indications are that his victory and early weeks have energized the grass roots unlike anything I've seen in recent memory. I can't explain it — I can only tell you it's happening." The Post quotes the Hudson Institute's Marshall Wittmann in gauging reaction to Bush's posting of John DiIulio—a conservative, but a Democrat—to the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. "That was viewed by the right as the boldest personnel move Bush has made" Wittman says, "and they're smitten by it."

Bush's evangelical speechwriter If religious conservatives like the words coming out of Bush's mouth, they have more than Bush himself to thank. ...

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