Barack Obama has spent significant time that could have been spent dealing with the economy, shoring up his base over the last few years. After the mandate election of 2010, he pushed through repeal of DADT for gays, he half heartedly looked toward the DREAM Act for Hispanics, this year he mandated that Church organizations pay for contraceptives and chemical abortions and is currently pushing his Buffet tax on the rich. He is doing what any presidential candidate must do to shore up his base. He realizes that any strong candidate must build his base on rock in order to truly be strong going into November.
Last night, Mitt Romney used his five state sweep to officially kick-off his general election fight with Obama, which arguably occurred a few weeks ago following his win in Wisconsin.
While Romney is looking towards picking up independents in November, he has still failed to shore up his base, and that is a major problem.
In two weeks, Mr. Romney will speak at Liberty University’s commencement (my alma mater) in an effort to kiss the evangelical ring. That is a nice gesture. The problem is that you convince people you are with them through policy suggestions, not vague promises. While there are many people in my hometown that are happy to have Romney come, there are many that are not and that is a problem for him. It is not just the division between Christian and Mormon doctrine that leave evangelicals feeling weary, it is his policies from Massachusetts and past stands against religious values in the past that leave evangelicals feeling luke warm.
The point is, if Romney wants to make his upcoming speech in my hometown mean anything, he needs to tell the evangelical community what fig leaf he plans to offer us. If he wants the trust of the Church, which is a large part of his base, despite what you may have heard, vague promises won’t be enough. He will win no friends by failing to promise policy changes on life, marriage, adoption and religious liberties. He needs a bold plan for moving the social conservative ball down the field rather than a routine for managing moral decay. If he has a prayer of winning in November, he is going to need to shore up his base by the time of the convention, otherwise, his foundation will be built on sand. And, as every Christian knows, a house built on sand will wash away.