A Hoosier columnist thinks the presidential candidates should steer clear of religious endorsements:
While Barack Obama and John McCain are working out the ground rules for the next four months, it would be so great if they would agree to a moratorium on religious pandering.
Before they decide about town hall meetings, running mates, which convicted felon pals to defend or jettison — both men should sign a joint promise to lay off of seeking and trumpeting religion-related endorsements.
Given their experiences so far with religious cheerleaders, McCain and Obama ought to be extra-motivated. The Rev. Jeremiah Wright and the Rev. John Hagee revealed themselves to be such liabilities, it should be cause, not just for renunciation, but for a shared vow to go forth and politically sin no more.
Religious pandering? Do faith-based policy ideas belong only in the pulpit, as she suggests, not on the campaign trail? Seeking endorsments from any group of like-minded people, not just religiously inclined ones, can bring out the eccentrics one would rather do without. Why should only religious-based endorsements be avoided because of that?
I wonder how the candidates are going to handle endorsements in general. Both have presented themselves as different kinds of politicians, not beholden to the usual evil suspects who try to exert undue influence. But an endorsment is evidence of a special-interest group likely to want to exert such influence and sure to arouse suspicion among voters not in that particular group.
I noticed that Gov. Daniels has been endorsed by the Indiana FOP, for example. Sure, it's the police, but it's a union. A union likes the Republican? That raises alarm bells for me.