Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Political Adviser Urges Democrats To Campaign More On Their Religious Beliefs

Today's New York Times says that a rising star among consultants to Democratic political candidates is Mara Vanderslice. Her firm, Common Good Strategies, helps candidates appeal to evangelical and other religious voters. She presses Democrats to speak about the religious foundations of their policy beliefs, not to avoid controversial subjects and to speak even with conservative evangelical pastors. She also advises Democratic candidates not to use the phrase "separation of church and state" in their remarks, saying it suggests to people that there should not be a role for religion in public life. In 2004, Vanderslice was unsuccessful in attempting to persuade Presidential candidate John Kerry to speak more openly about his Catholic religious beliefs.