Christian conservatives represented by attendees of this year's Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., are determined to ensure that President Barack Obama has only one term in office, Jamelle Bouie blogs at the American Prospect. But they are still searching for a perfect "true conservative" candidate, he writes.
Christian conservatives — at least, as represented by the 3,000 or so attendees of this year's Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. — are determined to make Barack Obama a one-term president. "My motto for next year is 'anyone but Obama,' " says Ellen Elmore, an attendee from Missouri. Who that anyone is, however, still matters, she says. "We want a real conservative — we don't want another John McCain."
Which gets to the core dilemma facing social conservatives and the Republican Party: They are enthusiastic about next year's election but divided on what it means to be an authentic standard-bearer for the movement. To a large degree, this is a product of dashed hopes. Representative Michele Bachmann thwarted former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty's attempt to appeal to the broad Republican base with her devout adherence to social conservative dogma. In turn, her hold on the conservative imagination was smashed by Texas Governor Rick Perry, who gained rapid appeal with his Southern swagger and brash radicalism. But that wouldn't last, either. With his poor debate performances, weak grasp on the issues, and willingness to buck party orthodoxy on immigration, Perry alienated some conservatives and lost his status as front-runner.
Read Jamelle Bouie's entire blog entry at the American Prospect.