For most of the election season, the Right has been anything but energized about supporting John McCain. That had started to change in recent weeks, as their fear of a Barack Obama presidency began to overpower their principles and they initiated efforts to mobilize on his behalf. At least until McCain suggested that he was open to the idea of naming a pro-choice running mate, at which point the Right began to freak out and, as World Magazine reports, the massive mobilization efforts they had planned came to a screeching halt:
[Phil Burress, president of Citizens for Community Values] said McCain appeared sincere and serious about his pro-life and pro-marriage views. After the June meeting, Burress was poised to deliver for McCain in Ohio: With nearly 1 million contacts in the CCV database, Burress began planning mailings that would tout McCain’s pro-life position.
Burress told WORLD he was also in talks with other Christian groups to send material to their state mailing lists: 100,000 contacts from Focus on the Family, 100,000 from the American Family Association, and some 50,000 from the Family Research Council, according to Burress.
Then came August 13: When Burress heard McCain’s comments about the possibility of a pro-abortion running mate, the grassroots gears screeched to a halt. “The train has stopped in its tracks,” Burress told WORLD.
Until McCain announces his running mate, Burress says all plans for grassroots activities are on hold. Political observers say McCain will likely announce his running mate next Friday— the day after Obama delivers his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention.
Burress and other social conservatives remain hopeful that McCain will pick a pro-life candidate, and Burress says he’s confident that evangelicals in Ohio would enthusiastically support him if he does. If he doesn’t? “It will feel like a kick in the stomach,” said Burress. “And you don’t feel like working very hard when you’ve been kicked in the stomach.”