Do these guys influence YOUR vote?

Back on this post, regular contributor Weldon accuses me of "trashing" Rudy Giuliani. Come again? Hey, you want to see trashing, check this out:

    Back in mid-2001, when Mayor Rudy Giuliani was busy committing adultery, lurching into his divorce and third marriage and rooming with a gay couple he promised to marry as soon as the law allowed, who among us would have imagined that one day he would be endorsed for president by Pat Robertson?
    Truly, Sept. 11 changed everything.

That’s from Gail Collins’ latest column in the NYT; you can read the rest on tomorrow’s op-ed page.

Beyond that, though, I wasn’t sure how to respond to Weldon, since I couldn’t make out what he meant. So I changed the subject to something that interested me more — in fact, it’s the only question that I think worth asking in light of the Pat Robertson endorsement:

"Whose vote is actually influenced by Pat Robertson or Bob Jones III?"
Seriously. Are Romney and Giuliani chasing fool’s gold in seeking such
endorsements? Do they actually gain more than they lose in credibility?

Really, are you more likely to vote for Hizzoner because the guy who wanted to whack Hugo Chavez is on his team? (And if you were somebody who thought the sun rose and set because the Lord was doing it as a personal favor for Mr. Robertson, doesn’t this endorsement of the guy Ms. Collins just described take him down a few notches in terms of reliability?)

And is Romney better off for having enlisted Bob Jones III? Is that enough to make a religious conservative say, "Oh, well, forget all that stuff I saw coming out of Mitt’s own mouth on YouTube — a thumbs-up from Bob III cancels it all out?"

Is it possible that the negatives that come along with such endorsements hurt more than whatever bounce they provide?

I’m serious here. Help me out. I’m trying to understand why these candidates would lift a finger in an effort to get such allies.

11 thoughts on “Do these guys influence YOUR vote?

  1. weldon VII

    So, endorsing Rudy hurts Pat, and Pat’s endorsement hurts Rudy, so here we have a no-win situation for both, which helps everybody else, except Bob Jones III and Mitt Romney, because they’re caught in the same trap.
    And now we’re right back where we were months ago, where some racist group endorsed somebody, which supposedly meant that somebody was a racist, because he didn’t stand up and say, “I refuse to accept that endorsement,” instead of just doing nothing, which was what he did.
    That kind of thinking is called circular logic. “If P, then Q” does not imply “If Q, then P,” but circular logic would have you believe it does.
    Endorsement is not reflexive. It doesn’t echo.
    Nevertheless, I hearby endorse Brad.
    I wonder how much trouble he thinks he’s in now.

  2. Gordon Hirsch

    Apparently, televangelists still carry enough clout to merit a special Senate Finance Committee fraud investigation, announced this week, “alleging” (surprise) that televangelists live like kings while hiding behind tax-exempt church status.
    Didja know … TBN is the 9th largest broadcaster in the nation “carried on over 275 television stations in the U.S. and on thousands of other cable television systems around the world in 75 countries, where its programs are translated into eleven languages. TBN owns 23 full-power television stations and 252 low-power rural stations in the U.S.”
    Meanwhile, posts his conversations with God and prophecies for 2007 (Rudi wasn’t mentioned), while his touts its Christian Travel Services as a way to “not only save money on a vacation of a lifetime, but you also help to support the Christian Coalition of America and the important work we do in Washington and around the nation.”
    If enough people still send these guys money out of their SS disability checks to merit a Senate investigation, is it so hard to imagine them believing that God endorses Rudi?

  3. bill

    Robertson and Bob Jones? How low can you go?
    Those guys are lunatics.It makes me sad.Nothing is real.
    Will Rudy join the Seven Hundred Club? Maybe Pat can cure him of whatever diseases he might have if he puts his hands on the TV screen(after sending in some well concealed cash).
    This MIGHT play in SC,but as far as the rest of the nation goes-those guys are done.
    McCain must be singing-
    Opportunity,opportunity,this is your big opportunity….

  4. Karen McLeod

    It’s very easy. These guys have a following of people who believe that they have a direct line to God. I don’t buy it; you don’t buy it; but these god panderers can deliver a fair group of people. And these are people who have already made up their minds (to follow Robinson and/or Jones and/or any of that ilk) and are not about to be confused by the facts. And since these politicians are just that–neither of them seems to be statesman–they want the votes, and don’t care that much how they get them. In turn the god panderers want power, plain,raw power; but they don’t want to be perceived as wanting that power. These two groups, politicians and Robinson, Jones, et. al. can be used by each other easily. And each group thinks it’s getting the better deal. The real question is are they pitiful, or is disgusting a better word?

  5. bud

    Does Pat Robertson’s endorsement help or hurt Rudy more? Tough call but I’d say it probably helps more. The followers of these evangelical creeps will throw themselves off a cliff if commanded to do so by the likes of a Pat Robertson. Since these people apparently can’t think for themselves the Robertson endorsement magically increases Rudy’s vote total.
    I really can’t see how such an endorsement would deflect voters away. The wierd and creepy life of Rudy Guiliani is well known so any “turn-off” points have already been factored in, at least for the Republican side.
    In the general election, should Rudy win in the GOP, the Robertson endorsement could turn a handful of independents off who would otherwise support his hawkish/liberal social agenda policies. Yet by that time the Robertson endorsement is probably long forgotten. I can’t see many Dems swithching sides over this one way or the other.

  6. Brad Warthen

    You know, when I look at the video clip at this site, and think on it further, it seems that Robertson is the desperate one here.

    Weldon had a good point in his response back here: "it’s much more likely Robertson is chasing credibility, and maybe something else, by hooking on to someone he perceives as the GOP frontrunner."

    It seems like he’s the one making the most desperate stretch, by endorsing a candidate who should be anathema to him. If he cared about principle — particularly on abortion — he’d back McCain or Huckabee. Giuliani at least is straight about the fact that he doesn’t agree with him. There’s no way he’s going to the wall supporting the kinds of judges Robertson wants. Romney — well, where can you rely on Romney being from day to day (or at least election to election). But on the issue of the sanctity of unborn life, McCain and Huckabee are reliable, from the point of view that Robertson says he espouses.

    But Robertson talks like a man to whom it is more important to have access to the corridors of power. He’s making a bet that Giuliani will be the man, and he wants the man to owe him. When he tries to explain his actions, he doesn’t sound like a man of God by any interpretation of the phrase, but like a man totally immersed in the base concerns of this world.

  7. weldon VII

    Hallelujah! Bud and I agree about something.
    I can’t see people running away from Giuliani because Robertson endorsed him, but I can see enough Robertson groupies doing his bidding to make this endorsement a good deal for Rudy.
    What Robertson wants in trade will likely come floating out of his overactive mouth soon. Over the years, he’s evolved from being almost credible to someone who just doesn’t know when to stop talking.
    Or, perhaps, the truth just found him out.

  8. bill

    Robertson might be the desperate one,but he’s not running for president.If Giuliani wins the nomination,this will come back to haunt him in the presidential election.
    He can already say goodbye to the Jewish vote.

  9. Bud

    Brad, whatever is motivating Robertson is irrelevant. His credibility has long ago been shot. The issue is how this affects Rudy. Frankly, I think it may actually help him a bit, at least in the early primaries. Let’s see how the polls play out over the next couple of weeks.

  10. SGM (ret.)

    It’s all so horrible and evil when it’s the right-wing Pat Robertsons of the world endorsing candidates to their followers. But not a peep is heard from anyone here about the bible thumpers down at the local AME church or the Jessie Jackson’s of the world standing in their pulpits endorsing candidates to their congregations. As far as I can see, it’s exactly the same, just a matter of scale. Political endorsements made by anyone who claims to speak in the name of God have no place in politics, conservative or liberal. It seems, however, that the criticism and analysis is reserved for just the endorsements of the conservative candidates.
    So what about the Pope? As matters of faith vs. fact go, is his and his church’s interference and influence in matters of politics somehow better? Anyone here stepping up to the plate to criticize the Ayatollah Kahmeni being the power behind Amadinejad? Or perhaps someone here has some pointed comments about the local Wahabi mullah down at the mosque sounding off from the minarets about the Great Satin and how the House of Saud is in power because it’s Allah’s will? True, those are all examples of church and state “cohabitation” overseas (except for the Catholic church), but isn’t that what we should all be leery of?
    There’re a lot of critical remarks and pointed comments here, but none that seem to be based on anything more fundamental than personal politics. Pat Robertson’s a loon because you don’t share his or his followers’ faith, and therefore anyone who votes for a candidate endorsed by him must also be loony. Ergo, no endorsement by him has any real significance.
    For my money, anyone here critical of Pat Robertson should be equally critical of any other men of the cloth endorsing Barak Obama, Hillary Clinton or anyone else.

  11. Brad Warthen

    Actually, SGM, I wish the church would mix it up in politics a bit, as I wrote back here. It doesn’t. Most of the political discussion of the church with regard to issues take place out in the secular world, and they are remarkably cramped, limited discussions about a very few issues such as abortion.

    It’s not that I’d want bishops endorsing candidates. Fortunately, it’s hard for me to imagine them stooping to that level. But I wish they would speak out more on the full realm of issues within the Catholic social teachings, just as this doctor did at the synagogue a few Saturdays back. As I wrote then, "Jews know what they’re about." Catholics should know what they’re about too, and not be shy about it.

    When they don’t speak out politically, they leave a vacuum that people like Robertson are only too glad to fill.

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