By Dan Gilgoff, God & Country
Notice any conspicuous omissions from the homepage of the political action committee Sarah Palin launched yesterday? There's no mention of her faith, her pro-life stance, or any other testaments to her religious conservative bona fides, which is what largely made her such an attractive candidate to the Republican base. The site does mention her commitment to education, health care, energy independence, and government reform.
I'm always struck by how little the GOP publicly beats the drum on faith or social issues, given the huge role those forces play in the party's base and as the Democrats talk about them more and more. Republicans probably figure they've already got that based locked up.
But does the GOP risk alienating that base if they ignore it and their issues entirely? Some religious conservatives in the GOP charged John McCain with such negligence during the presidential campaign. And reading this month's trenchant cover story on Palin in Charisma magazine, I couldn't help but notice an important voice missing: Palin's. She hadn't granted Charisma an interview. Is the Alaska Governor the latest to give the GOP's conservative Christian base the cold shoulder? Charisma is the leading publication for charismatic Christians—George W. Bush granted an interview during his first presidential campaign—and Palin hasn't exactly been media shy since the election.
I called Charisma contributor Julian Lukins, who wrote the Palin story. He told me the piece was due before Election Day and that he'd made several attempts to reach Palin through the McCain campaign. "She was pretty much non-receptive," he said. "I went through the [Alaska] governor's press office, but they were passing everything along to McCain campaign. I was hitting brick walls."
"I was surprised," Lukins continued. "It was a shame she wasn't prepared to do an interview at that point because it would have given her the opportunity to clear up a lot of points."
Lukins attributes the stonewalling to the McCain campaign, not to Palin. Let's see if she does any Christian media as she tries to stay in the public eye in the coming months. Let me know if you've seen such interviews already.