Christian Right Labors to Find ’08 Candidate

From the New York Times:

WASHINGTON, Feb. 24 — A group of influential Christian conservatives and their allies emerged from a private meeting at a Florida resort this month dissatisfied with the Republican presidential field and uncertain where to turn.

The event was a meeting of the Council for National Policy, a secretive club whose few hundred members include Dr. James C. Dobson of Focus on the Family, the Rev. Jerry Falwell of Liberty University and Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform. Although little known outside the conservative movement, the council has become a pivotal stop for Republican presidential primary hopefuls, including George W. Bush on the eve of his 1999 primary campaign.

But in a stark shift from the group’s influence under President Bush, the group risks relegation to the margins. Many of the conservatives who attended the event, held at the beginning of the month at the Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island, Fla., said they were dismayed at the absence of a champion to carry their banner in the next election.

The problems with the candidates:

Many conservatives have already declared their hostility to Senator John McCain of Arizona, despite his efforts to make amends for having once denounced Christian conservative leaders as “agents of intolerance,” and to former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani of New York, because of his liberal views on abortion and gay rights and his three marriages.

Many were also suspicious of former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts; members have used the council as a conduit to distribute a dossier prepared by a Massachusetts conservative group about liberal elements of his record on abortion, stem cell research and gay rights. (Mr. Romney has worked to convince conservatives that his views have changed.)

Romney, Giuliani, and McCain, those names are not synonymous with conservative records or agendas. Romney has more credibility than McCain and Giuliani but the more we know about the former Massachusetts governor, the less he appeals to the conservative base.

There’s always the “magnificent Duncan Hunter” as Ann Coulter refers to him. Perhaps New “Multiple Marriage” Gingrich can sway some conservative voters.

Even Mike Huckabee faces criticism over tax increases and spending hikes.

Who is left to carry the truly conservative banner? Answer, this man:

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(From Hot Air)