WOULD THOMPSON/GUILIANI BE A DREAM TICKET?
Either could be a dream or a nightmare. Depending on whose side you are on - or how you look at it. There is no doubt that Romney, Guiliani, and McCain have all failed to galvanize massive support behind them. Romney looks "presidential", but is seen as an opportunist. While he has come out for the marriage amendment, he doesn't seem likely to have the power to get it through a Democratic congress; President Bush seems to prefer him over the others, but that could be a concrete collar. Guiliani is the most erudite on the war on terror, but has moral baggage that people do not trust in their top dog. McCain has the compelling POW experience but doesn't have the temperment most people expect in a President. He also seems to have a different message depending on where he speaks. None of the three really comes across to moral conservatives as a totally unimpeachable ally.
Some think that Fred Thompson entered the race too late. I think it may have been the best thing he has done. The nation seems weary of the others. He has jumped in with his perceived "gravitas" and and surged quickly. While conservatives and liberals alike seem to think Hillary's victory is a foregone conclusion, the political race this year is longer than ever. If you run not to lose, you often lose.
Many people who appreciate Condi Rice and all she has done in North Korea - a real diplomatic coup - the question may well be why isn't she considered for the ticket? Well, she has taken herself out of it, just as Colin Powell did, and people seem to believe she is sincere about it and not simply posturing. She has proven herself on the world stage, knows a lot of people, and the electorate would most likely prefer having a woman as Vice President rather than president, particularly a single woman. Condi's social views have been more liberal than President Bush's, and though despite her accomplishments she has not been a darling in the African American Community, her negatives are not high and I believe she would attract votes to make her a "first". For the moment, though, I believe we have to take her statements at face value.
FIRST, THE DREAM PART
Fred Thompson says he is anti-abortion, pro-business, and for balanced government. He seems to have a sane view of the world stage. He is not perceived as a part of the "Christian Right" which makes him more palatable to labor, Catholics, and other constituencies who often support "traditional values" but who are leary of evangelicals. Actually, openly evangelical Christian Presidents are fairly rare. Half have been Episcopal or Presbyterian. Baptists are rare, and there has never been a Pentecostal president to my knowledge. Evangelicals make up a minority of our country, and true born-again practising Christians make up under 10% according to Barna's detailed poll. This jives with my own experience. A lot of hearers, few doers. The fact is, we need to win souls to gain more political clout. In the meantime, we have to look hard at all who are out there, and not limit our choice to someone who is openly "born again". I think if the take is true that he is not born again, he is winnable to Christ, though probably not by a James Dobson or someone at TBN. More likely by a Billy or Franklin Graham or someone from Promise Keepers. He seems the kind of guy God could work with, and if he were to retain some independence, probably more effective in actually getting things done. Remember, Reagan and GW had impeccable credentials, but neither could stop abortion or slow the spread of homosexuality. We have to stop being satisfied with "positions" and want "results". To team him up with someone who has dealt with terror first hand and who in my opinion is the most qualified to deal with our long battle of survival against Islamo-fascists, and who could possibly deliver New Jersey and who has even (gasp!) a long shot at delivering New York, you have two strong men who would have the bearing and sobreity to make Hillary look like a novice. I would not be comfortable with Guiliani making moral decisions, but I would feel more comfortable with him than with anyone else going around the world with the goal of protecting our precious freedom.
SECOND, THE NIGHTMARE PART
No, I am not talking about Hillary's nighttime jogs to the land of Nod. I am talking about Christians being outmaneuvered and the most salient issue of the day eluding their grasp. Fred Thompson's people say he is a Christian because he was baptized into the Church of Christ. One thing is clear - Fred Thompson's people don't know what a Christian is. It all people who were baptized were Christians, our nation would be in much better shape. Barack Obama also belongs to that church. It was the first to support homosexuality and is known as ultra-liberal in its theology. The good news is that there is a blog offering money to anyone who can place him there for a regular worship service in the last twenty years. While James Dobson has been pushing Newt Gingrich, who himself had an affair contemporaneous with Bill Clinton, he has been really cool to Fred Thompson. Hugh Hewitt notes that Fred is not ready for a constitutional amendment to deal with homosexual marriage once and for all. Many Christians believe we are at a pivital moment and that our nation's survival depends on its passage. Some Christians know that even if a candidate is pro-life and seems to understand the stakes of our battle, someone who will not go vigorously to bat on this issue could end up being a nightmare. The pressure is to be satisfied with half a loaf, and to stop being so intransigent. So Christians could find themselves with a candidate who is pro-life and a whole lot of other things, but on the central issue to our survival as a nation, someone who is not convinced. There we are again on the outside looking in and the snowball keeps growing.
I believe the critical issue is whether God has chosen Fred Thompson or not. We each have to go by the Spirit and NOT the flesh. We cannot let Christian power brokers or second-hand information make our decision for us. Christians have been bamboozled time after time after time. Now is the time for those who love God and who love their country to hear whom God has chosen. Samuel went through a lot of candidates before he chose David - and that choice was because God said so. Don't leave God out of your decision making process. Be open to all parties, all candidates, and rely on him to be Lord over the election. He cares, and he will tell you how to vote IF you commit this to him. We walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.