No Endorsement

That, and other news, in today’s Political Panorama.

Fred Thompson has run into the cold reality that comes with trying to appeal to some leaders on the religious right: It’s tough to please them. James Dobson of Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family, considered an influential leader because his radio audience numbers in the millions, says that he will not support the former senator and “Law & Order” star.

“Isn’t Thompson the candidate who is opposed to a Constitutional
amendment to protect marriage, believes there should be 50 different
definitions of marriage in the U.S., favors McCain-Feingold, won’t talk
at all about what he believes, and can’t speak his way out of a paper
bag on the campaign trail?” Dobson wrote in an e-mail obtained by the Associated Press.

“He has no passion, no zeal, and no apparent ‘want to.’ And yet he
is apparently the Great Hope that burns in the breasts of many
conservative Christians? Well, not for me, my brothers. Not for me!”

Ouch. I thought it was only a matter of time before Thompson’s conservative religious credentials have been challenged, and he would suffer the same fate as John McCain. Perhaps wisely, though, Thompson has been emphasizing conservative positions on spending and national security as opposed to family values.

Meanwhile, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzengger, who was very praiseworthy of Thompson as recently as the week before last, has not yet given an endorsement, but he did tell the Los Angeles Times that he believes that Rudy Giuliani will be the nominee. (Remember: Arnold likes a winner). He said that the former New York mayor is “the most consistent, stable person who is out there who makes the most
sense to the people. That’s why his poll numbers are high.”

Patriot Act: Up the freeway from Dobson’s domain, in Denver, organizers of the Colorado State Parade of Honor are still smarting over country singer Lee Greenwood’s decision to back out of a concert last weekend honoring vets, police and firefighters. It left the group without anyone to sing the patriotic anthem “God Bless the USA.” Greenwood’s camp says he backed out because the organizers couldn’t come up with the singer’s $20,000 fee.

Damon’s Diatribe: Promoting “Bourne Ultimatum” in France, Matt Damon says that “After Iraq, the Bush administration disgusts me.” He also indicated that he was going the route of other politically minded actors Robert Redford and Paul Newman: He’s living away from Hollywood. “I refuse to live there because the only subject of conversation is movies, and it’s sad to only have that to talk about that.”

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