Skip to comments.Hillary Hires Evangelical Consultant
Posted on 12/26/2006 9:39:30 AM PST by jdm
Hillary Clinton has hired an "evangelical consultant to help woo Christian conservatives in her likely 2008 presidential campaign.
The move comes after a similar political operative successfully aided Democratic candidates in several states in the midterm elections.
More than one-quarter of the nations voters identify themselves as evangelical a voter bloc that has long been courted by Republicans.
Clintons new hire is Burns Strider, an evangelical Christian who directs religious outreach for House Democrats and is the lead staffer for the Democrats Faith Working Group, headed by incoming Majority Whip James Clyburn of South Carolina.
Incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi created the group last year when Democratic strategists observed that the party lost ground in the previous election in part because candidates failed to reach centrist and conservative voters in rural areas, who tend to be churchgoers concerned with moral issues, according to the Washington, D.C.-based publication The Hill.
Strider was an aide to Pelosi when the group was formed and joined Clyburns staff as policy director of the Democratic Caucus earlier this year, the paper reported.
"Observers of Clintons expressions of faith say religion has always been important to her, that she attended prayer group meetings while first lady, and that she joined a Senate prayer group shortly after winning election in 2000, The Hill reports.
"Reporters anticipating Clintons 08 presidential run wrongly discount her expressions of faith as cynical political maneuvering," the observers add.
Clinton is not the only potential Democratic candidate for the White House to launch efforts to appeal to religious voters.
Josh Dubois, an aide in Barack Obamas Senate office, is heading his religious outreach. Sen. John Kerry gave a speech on "service and faith in September at conservative Pepperdine University, and has brought in Shaun Casey, an associate professor of Christian Ethics at Wesley Theological Seminary, as a consultant on religious outreach.
Kerry also traveled recently to California for a meeting with Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church and author of the best-seller "The Purpose-Driven Life.
Clintons evangelical point man, Strider, will take his cue from Mara Vanderslice, whose consulting firm Common Good Strategies helped Democratic candidates make inroads among evangelical and churchgoing Roman Catholic voters in Kansas, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
Exit polls showed that Vanderslices candidates did about 10 percentage points better than Democrats nationally among those voters, The New York Times reports.
In Michigan, Democrat Gov. Jennifer Granholm cut significantly into the white evangelical vote that normally goes Republican. Similarly, in Ohio, Democrat Gov.-elect Ted Strickland took nearly half of the white evangelical vote. And in Pennsylvania, Sen.-elect Bob Casey won nearly a third of white evangelicals.
In all three states, Democrats began conducting well-organized outreach efforts to appeal to religious voters long before election day, according to The Hill.
Vanderslice and her business partner, Eric Sapp, urged Democrats to speak in detail about the religious basis of their policies and to buy commercials on Christian radio. In Ohio and Michigan, they even enlisted nuns to staff phone banks and call Catholic and pro-life voters to urge support for Democratic candidates.
Vanderslice has criticized Democrats usual reluctance to involve religion in their campaigns. She disclosed in an interview that she told candidates not to use the phrase "separation of church and state, which does not appear in the Constitutions language barring the establishment of religion.
Vanderslice herself didnt become an evangelical Christian until she attended Earlham College, a Quaker school in Indiana known for its adherence to pacifism. She acknowledges that she still struggles with common evangelical ideas about abortion, homosexuality, and the literal reading of Scripture, according to the Times.
After college, Vanderslice spoke at rallies held by the AIDS activist group Act Up, which disrupted Mass at St. Patricks Cathedral in 1989 by spitting the Eucharist on the floor. In 2000, she practiced civil disobedience when she took to the streets of Seattle in a protest against the World Trade Organization.
During the 2004 presidential campaign, when Vanderslice directed religious outreach for John Kerrys campaign, Catholic League President William Donahue denounced her as an "ultra-leftist who consorts with anti-Catholic bigots.
Her advice was largely ignored by the Kerry campaign. But in the recent elections, the Times reports, she and partner Sapp were heeded when they "told Democratic candidates not to try to fake it, advising those of non-Christian faiths or no faith at all to talk about the origins of their sense of ethics.
Good luck with that Hildabeast.
Hillary Clinton has hired an "evangelical consultant to help woo Christian conservatives in her likely 2008 presidential campaign.
The Anti-Christ has arisen.
Why am I not surprised that she would have to hire a consultant on Christianity!!??
It is to laugh!!
Whassa matter, Pope turn you down?
This is to fool us into voting for her.
I've always heard the most regular attendor of any church is the devil...
wow few seconds less
I wonder how many silver pieces he was paid.
Dam*, that's scary. LOL!!
What they now think were winning strategies are more likely evidence of voter dissatisfaction with the Bush administration's failure to recognize the level of estrangement that his hard-line WOT stance and soft approach to illegal immigration had stripped his core support.
"For what, an excorism?"
Cute, excorism really ought to be a word given the current context.
Calling yourself an evangelical Christian and being one are obviously two different things.
So that is why JFKerry went to visit the King of Syria. Wonder if Mama Clinton will follow the same route?
She doesn't have to do that. All she has to do is fool you into voting 3rd party or to stay at home and then it's "in the bag".
The ultimate hypocrisy!
That must have been a quick speech, or a two hour long laugh fest. And if the Pepperdine University referred to in this article is the one in Malibu, then to call it "conservative" is about as much a laugh as calling x42 "ethical".
Kerry also traveled recently to California for a meeting with Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church and author of the best-seller "The Purpose-Driven Life"
If Kerry emerged from that meeting without either acknowledging Jesus as his Lord and Savior or shaking with rage at being called out as a sinner doomed to eternal hellfire unless he repents, than it is obvious that Warren continues his slide into outright apostasy...
The fact that she needs a consultant says she doesn't feel Christian, doesn't know how to connect with us. She really shouldn't make it this easy to reject her as ever having a hope of being my choice for, well, anything...
Hillary, listen to this woman. Become even more pro-abortion, pacifist, and pro mariage. This will really get the religious right to vote for you in droves.
Hillary, I meant more pro-GAY marriage.
DON'T BELIEVE THE LIAR HILLARY CLINTON!!! And any 'faith' adviser who is willing to join Hillary isn't much about faith in the first place, IMO.
according to a memo from Burns Strider, an aide to Pelosi. "'More than 30 faith organizations are working with House Democrats on educating people about the negative impact of the Republican proposal to privatize Social Security," said Strider.
December 12, 2006
A New Candle In The Clinton Universe
Burns Strider, a senior policy adviser to incoming House majority whip James Clyburn, has agreed to join Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, should the Senator decide to run. Burns has more than a decade of political and policy experience, and he has a Southern pedigree. The son of Sheriff , Burns was chief of staff to ex-Rep. Ronnie Shows, and worked with Clinton advisor Howard Wolfson at the DCCC. A native of Grenada, MS, Strider has headed up the House Democratic Caucus's outreach to faith groups. His exact place in the Clinton hierarchy is unknown, but he'll likely serve as a senior political and policy aide to Clinton.
I believe strongly in the power of faith in the public arena, said Strider. Strider met his wife Karen while performing mission services in Hong Kong and China. Karen was a missionary in Japan at the time, he said. Strider said that while growing up he attened the Nazarene Church in Tallahatchie County. After searching several congregations in Washington, D.C., he decided to attend the United Methodist Church with his family, he said. Strider said working 16-hour days makes it difficult for him to spend time with his family. He and Karen have two boys Will, 5, and Pete, 3, who are the center of his life.
Burns Striders business card says hes the policy director for the Democratic Party Caucus. But that title masks another role he plays for the
party: matchmaker between politicians and religious leaders.
Strider, 40, is a former senior aide to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who chose the amiable adviser to shepherd the House Democratic Faith Working Group. There, Burns, who considers himself both a Methodist and a Southern Baptist, has cultivated a broad and devoted network of clergy and others in the faith community.
He probably does more than anyone on the staff level to move this thing forward, said Eric Sapp, a partner at Common Good Strategies, a Democratic consulting firm. Hes got the ear of a lot of people.
Strider sets up sessions with Democratic lawmakers, clergy and leaders of faith-based groups the type of its-about-time meetings that Democrats need to do more often, Strider said. The two biggest mistakes either party can make are to ignore and to manipulate faith communities, he claims.
Both of these result in the same thing, he said. Either way you are going to suffer in the long run.
Plenty of religious groups share similar agendas on the environment, poverty and foreign aid with Democrats, but they had not met until Strider brought them together.
Too many times, we tend to say people of faith are here, and Democrats are (over) here, he said, gesturing toward opposite ends of a long table.
Keying off her recent hiring of evangelical outreach expert Burns Strider, Hotline has an interesting mini-analysis of Hillary Clinton's faith, calling it "the only part of her life that hasn't undergone rigorous scrutiny."
"Though Strider, as a onetime staff member for Nancy Pelosi, is squarely in the liberal camp, Clinton is part of not one, but two, prayers groups with distinctly conservative bents: an exclusive Senate prayer group that meets on Wednesday mornings, and a women's prayer group that she's been a part of since her early White House days. The women's group is run by Holly Leachman, a layperson at the McLean Bible Church in Virginia, itself magnet for prominent conservatives, including former independent counsel Kenneth Starr, Republican senators John Thune and James Inhofe, as well as several Bush staffers and their families.
"Leach's prayer group includes many prominent Republican wives, among them Susan Baker, wife of Iraq Study Group co-chairman James Baker, who along with Leachman ministered to Hillary Clinton in the wake of the Monica Lewinsky scandal. (Leachman, mentioned briefly in Clinton's memoir, Living History, is the wife of Washington Redskins chaplain Jerry Leachman)."
I can't see how it would be anything but good for Hillary's presidential hopes if this storyline were to become more prominent. Just look at the centrality of Barack Obama's public embrace of faith-based themes in the media's glowing assessment of his presidential chances.
The science of evangelical outreach, such as it is, may be a mystery to lots of Democratic voters, particularly those who live in New York. But if the early fence-sitters can be convinced that Hillary is the candidate who can do it -- and that's a fairly big if -- the whole "can't win" thing starts to make a lot less sense.
-- Azi Paybarah
You are not a Christian if you believe it's ok to suck the brains out of babies,or for that matter just kill them because it's inconvenient.
I did a report on this on my site- Yup- Hillary- the baby murdering, land grabbing, Christian right stealing candidate has hired a 'religious guru' to get hte votes- pathetic- http://sacredscoop.com/?p=561
All she has to do is fool Republicans into nominating Rudy Giuliani or John McCain.
Instead of who?
Instead of anyone who is a real conservative. She and her consultants know that by creating a division in the GOP will assure her of winning in 2008.
The monkey is on the backs of the RINOs, not the Conservatives, to hold the GOP together.
LOL! I just the saw the movie (original 1976 version) over the weekend.
Snicker. Blame whoever you want, the result is the same.
I would advise her to wear more plaid shirts and let her beard grow out.
Oh, wait, that's Gore I'm thinking of. Nevermind.
Anti Christ hires False Prophet to fool the Blind Sheeple !!!
Why? I've repeatedly read here that "liberaltarians" are insignificant. Are you saying that social conservatives can't win alone?
"Woo, hoo! That chick on the balcony sure got hot undies!"
It's obvious that the Hil wants to run for president. In her quest to create a new image, she is willing to spend money to try to convince a few stupid people that she is really a nice believer, that she goes to church, and other lies.
We know the truth.
why? Democrats routinely campaign in Churches with no repercussion. They could just go around the country holding rallies in churches and have Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson stand behind them
Look for her to start sprinkling a bible passage or two & the word "God" in her speeches.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.