By Dan Gilgoff, God & Country
The religious outreach staff that helped Barack Obama narrow the so-called God Gap with Republicans on Election Day and that led an intensive listening tour among faith-based groups during the transition is staying on in the Obama White House, a Democratic source close to the administration tells me. The team comprises Joshua DuBois, a 26-year-old Pentecostal and onetime associate pastor who directed religious affairs for the Obama campaign, the transition team, and the inaugural committee; Mara Vanderslice, an evangelical Democratic operative who served as religious outreach director for the Howard Dean and John Kerry presidential campaigns in the 2004 election, became one of the most prominent of a new breed of Democratic "faith consultants" after the election, and served as Obama's liaison to religious groups in the Office of Public Liaison during the transition; and Mark Linton, a veteran of Catholic Relief Services and the Obama presidential campaign's Catholic outreach director, who is leading the effort to design the Obama administration's version of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. "Everyone is staying on," the aide tells me of transition team's faith-based staff. "Working out a few details but hope to share more soon."