Call it the Palin effect -- John McCain's choice of Alaska's governor Sarah Palin has motivated many conservatives previously reluctant to support his candidacy to surrender their enthusiastic support.
Notably among them is Dr. James Dobson, the very influential conservative leader, who heads the nationwide Focus on the Family organization. Dr. Dobson, who has flatly declared that he would not vote for McCain now says he will, and attributes his change of mind to the senator's choice of solidly conservative pro-life Gov. Palin to be his running mate.
Earlier this year, Dr. Dobson had announced on the nationally syndicated “The Dennis Prager Show” that he “cannot and will not vote for Senator John McCain.” Friday on Prager's Show, he changed course and announced his enthusiastic support of McCain on the heels of the announcement by McCain of Palin as his vice presidential running mate.
Speaking with Prager, Dr. Dobson said he now feels the same excitement he felt when Ronald Reagan was inaugurated.
"That was one of the most exciting days of my life, because everything that we had hoped for and been working for had come to pass," he told Prager. "I feel very much that way today. Maybe that’s an overstatement. Maybe time won’t validate it, but this is a very exciting and encouraging day for conservatives and pro-family activists. I am just very, very pleased."
Noting that he has become very concerned about the prospects of the very liberal Barack Obama winning the presidency, he told Prager, "So I’ve been moving in John McCain’s direction."
After hearing of the Palin nomination, he said, "But I can tell you that if I had to go into the studio, I mean the voting booth today, I would pull that [McCain] lever.
Said Prager, "Well, if you’re very excited given your previous reservations then I have to believe, and certainly based on the handful of calls I’ve been able to take the first hour before my 'Happiness Hour,' people were so excited, palpably excited. Jim Dobson, I got to tell you… if your base is energized then that is the biggest nightmare that the left has."
Dobson replied: "I was just with about 300, maybe 400 people in a large auditorium, and they put Sarah Palin’s speech on the screen and we sat there and watched. I’m telling you it was electric. These were conservatives, you know. They were mostly Christian, but not all of them were. I mean to tell you, it set that crowd on fire. If that’s any indication, I think we are going to see some things."
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