Sam Brownback is unpinning his hope on the White House for ’08 – which for those who are paying attention to such things leaves James Dobson with five candidates down – and six more to go until the Focus on the Family founder potentially switches over into Third Party mode.The conservative Kansas senator is backing out just a day before he was poised to join country entertainer Lee Greenwood and a phalanx of Republican presidential candidates to fete Dobson at a right-listing star-studded Values Voter blowout in Washington.
In Colorado, neighbor to his home state, Brownback has raised less than $3,000. Indeed, his fundraising has been anemic nationwide, and he’s stayed low in the polls.
Yet Brownback was sometimes described, along with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, as standing one of the better chances to get the blessing of Dobson — whose influence on the religious right has inspired high-office seekers to seek his blessing for more than 12 years.
For those who are keeping track, so far Dobson has so far eliminated Rudy Giuliani (“an unapologetic supporter of abortion on demand”), John McCain (“under no circumstances”) and Fred Thompson (“Not for me, my brothers. Not for me!”). Newt Gingrich, who appeared to be a strong Dobson possibility, is out of the race.
As Focus spokesman Gary Schneeberger has noted, Dobson appears this year to have taken the tact of selection through the process of elimination. With Brownback out, Dobson has six Republicans left to pick from: Huckabee, Tom Tancredo, Mitt Romney, Alan Keyes, Duncan Hunter and Ron Paul.
Earlier this month, a subgroup attending a secret Council for National Policy meeting in Salt Lake City groused that they would seek a Third Party candidate if none of the Republicans proved up to snuff.
Cara DeGette is a senior fellow at Colorado Confidential and a columnist and contributing editor at the Colorado Springs Independent. E-mail her at email@example.com