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OPINION, June 26 /Christian Newswire/ -- The following is submitted for publication by Gary McCullough, director of Christian Newswire:
Barack Obama may have made a political blunder that will impact more swing voters than any other single factor: he insulted Jim Dobson's integrity.
By picking a public fight with America's most popular religious radio personality, Obama negated his best advantage with unaligned voters; evangelical Christians.
The evangelical community had been fairly unimpressed by John McCain. But Obama has shown a grave lack of political wisdom: he did not let this sleeping dog lie.
In April I wrote of how the attacks on Obama, his pastor, and his church were unjust, and would not work with evangelicals. True: every time a talk-show host played an audio clip of Jeremiah Wright, the hardcore conservatives were aroused. But McCain already has them; it is the average evangelical who he must woo. And when the Susie Q. evangelical heard the rantings of Jeremiah Wright, or the equally shrill rants against him, she turned the dial to her favorite Christian music format.
The hard core of evangelicals is not excited by John McCain because of his past ambivalence toward same-sex "marriage," and his (recently rescinded) support for federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research.
On June 24, Dr. James Dobson aired to 1.7 million radio listeners his critique of Barack Obama's use of scriptures to justify several Democratic policies and positions.
The following day Obama said that Dobson was "making stuff up;" an indirect way of calling Dobson a liar.
Until this flurry, McCain's standing with the evangelical community was undefined, and tepid at best. Moreover, it is commonly accepted that McCain cannot win without the evangelical vote. Obama's treatment of Dobson did two things; it eliminated any sympathy for the abuse he took for attacks on his religious associations, i.e. Rev. Wright, and two; Obama insulted the single, most powerful influence on evangelicals.
Insulting Dobson's integrity will cost Obama dearly with this critical swing vote. His mistake could prove to make the difference in November -- in favor of McCain.
Reference: June 24, 2008 Broadcast where Dr. James Dobson responds to a speech made by Barack Obama