It’s all over but the shouting in the Republican primary, and more and more right-wing figures are falling in line behind the presumptive nominee. Still, there are some hold-outs, unwilling to reject McCain (as James Dobson has) but hoping to squeeze the last few drops of their leverage into yet more concessions.
It seems to be working. Rather than looking towards building a broader coalition for the general election, McCain still seems to be concentrating on the last few corners of the Right. Grover Norquist, who just weeks ago was lambasting McCain for not signing his tax pledge, now gets to hear McCain mouth the promise again and again. And Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council must have been pleased to have been one of the first people McCain called when the senator was trying to manage the New York Times lobbyist story:
“It’s early in the process and he’s made inroads with social conservatives,” said Perkins, who got a call from McCain shortly after his morning press conference. “He’s been very aggressive about handling this and he assured me this is not true.” McCain’s campaign is pointedly attacking the Times, which last month endorsed the senator. And that always plays well in the conservative community, Perkins says.
“When I speak to social conservatives around the country I tell them I read my Bible daily to see what God has to say about matters of importance,” Perkins says, “and then I read the New York Times to see what the other side has to say.”