Paul Kengor has written spiritual biographies of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. A professor at Grove City College, Kengor recently published God and Hillary Clinton.
Why did you choose to write about Hillary?
I wanted to show the Religious Left, and I knew that Hillary would be running for President.
What is Hillary doing to court religious conservatives?
In 2004, I think she saw the importance of the conservative religious vote. So you see her do an about-face on abortion. Her speech in January 2004 to NARAL was terrible, demonizing pro-lifers. But the following year she gave her now-famous address to the New York State Family Planning Providers in which she reached out to pro-lifers.
She has hired someone to reach out to pro-life Democrats and pro-life evangelicals. I understand she consults with him very frequently. But that is as far as her strategy towards pro-life evangelicals goes.
On the other hand, in regards to the Religious Left, she is going to continue to campaign in churches as she has done to an unprecedented degree. She campaigned in 27 churches two months before the November 2000 vote when she ran for the New York Senate seat. That's amazing. She was in six churches on election-day morning alone. She is going to keep talking about social justice, because that works for the Religious Left.
I will give you a striking number. The Pew Research Center did a poll a few weeks ago comparing Hillary versus Rudy Giuliani. It found that she would win the race by eight percentage points. But what is most remarkable is that they were dead even with voters who go to church weekly or more.
I would have to say that her strategy toward religious people can work if she has the right Republican opponent, someone like Giuliani ...1