Sunday, May 25, 2008

Pastors pose problems for McCain and Obama

May 25, 2008

Republican Sen. John McCain and Democratic Sen. Barack Obama, both seeking to use religion to their advantage in the presidential campaign, have learned painful lessons about the risks of getting too close to religious leaders.

Both now realize that sermons given to a narrow audience on Sundays don't always play as well on the national stage, where context can be a casualty. And McCain's rejection of endorsements from two evangelical pastors puts into relief the candidate's problems with that core GOP constituency.

McCain, the Republican nominee-in waiting, and Obama, who is closing in on the Democratic nod, both have been slowed by their respective pastor problems. Whether the controversies will play a role in the months ahead remains unclear, but the two candidates face decisions about how clergy fit into their efforts to reach voters informed by faith. the rest image


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