Who’s on the list of people mentioned for VP that would most excite Southern Baptists and other members of the conservative faith community?
According to Richard Land, that honor goes to Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska.
Land’s endorsement is significant. He serves as the Southern Baptist Convention public policy chief. He speaks official Baptist thought (if there’s any commonality of Baptist beliefs). And he’s a student of public policy and how it affects religious life.
According to Land, Palin is the best choice, “because she’s a person of strong faith. She just had her fifth child, a Downs Syndrome child. And there’s a wonderful quote that she gave about her baby, and the fact that she would never, ever consider having an abortion just because her child had Downs Syndrome. She’s strongly pro-life.”
He goes on to mention that she’s a virtual lifetime member of the National Rifle Association. She would ring so many bells. And I just think it would help with independents because she’s a woman. She’s a reform Governor. I think that, from what I hear, that would be the choice that would probably ring the most bells.
(Governor Mike Huckabee from Arkansas is the second best option, in part because he’s a Southern Baptist, with more governing experience than Palin.)
(Land’s third choice is Mitt Romney. “There are people in the evangelical community who would have a problem with his Mormonism. I am not one of them. I mean, I’m very clear that I do not believe Mormonism is a Christian faith. But that does not disqualify someone from being President or Vice President. And my guess would be that, probably, about 15 to 20 percent of the evangelical community would have a problem with his Mormonism.”)
In the final analysis Palin is the best choice, according to Land. She will be able to deliver independent women voters and excite both cultural conservatives and swing voters.