Rudy Making Nice

When did Rudy Giuliani think would be a good time to make nice with Dr. James Dobson? In the beginning, or at the eleventh hour, when he had already run out of patience?

Though he spoke at Regent University and was warmly received — big time — by Pat Robertson over the summer, and has also met with Jonathan Falwell (son of the late Rev. Jerry), Giuliani has circumvented the social conservative circuit for the most part, hoping ultimately the primary concern of primary voters would be terror and not abortion.

Now Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, is taking to The New York Times editorial page, where today he writes in to clarify just what went on last weekend in Utah when Christian conservative leaders, led by Dobson and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, voted to back a third-party candidate in the event a pro-choice Republican (read: Rudy) wins his party's nomination. And Alexander Bolton reported in our paper this week that Giuliani is the only major GOP candidate who has yet to respond to an invitation to a briefing later this month that the Family Research Council has scheduled.

If the early reaction to a Giuliani candidacy was indeed denial — as an anonymous GOP Christian activist is quoted as saying in the Times today — then last winter was the time to meet and greet with everyone and benefit from their open minds. If Dobson had thought Rudy was a joke with little chance of winning, he would have likely welcomed him and even listened. If Dobson were to tolerate a meeting now, what could Giuliani convince him of?

Note to Giuliani: Tony and Jim are not amused, and they are not Pat and Jerry. As the Rev. Al Sharpton likes to say, getting to the Rose Garden is a prickly process, and you have to be ready to go through the thorns. All of them.

Rudy, Dobson and all the social conservative leaders who voted last weekend have decided to damn-the-torpedoes since Giuliani cannot win a primary without them and their third-party candidate cannot win a general election. Finally, something Rudy and the conservative Christians have in common.


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Does Obama have any chance? I say no in my new online column we launched this week. Check it out here.


and ... Is Rudy doomed? What's your question for A.B. this week? Please e-mail askab@thehill.com with your submission.