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Saturday, October 21, 2006


Democrats Closing "The God Gap"

Faith as Political Weapon * An Evening with Amanpour

Political expediency, taking a page out of the Republicans' work book or the Democrats have seen the light and taking their faith public ? Daniel Burke in the Post: "Gone are the days when "faith outreach" meant visiting African-American churches two weeks before an election, party leaders say. Instead, Democrats are seeking -- and getting -- regular meetings with megachurch pastors T.D. Jakes, Joel Osteen and Rick Warren."


Some at Democratic Party headquarters are taking an under-the-radar approach to religious outreach and are reluctant to divulge all the party's plans and advisers.

"Our focus is not in putting someone behind a pulpit," said Leslie Brown, the DNC's "faith in action" coordinator. But after conducting polls, meeting with state party chairs and undertaking an "internal education," Democrats are building a "message-driven machine," Brown said.

"We want to talk about things in ways we can relate to the faith community," said Rep. Clyburn, who heads the Faith Working Group. "I don't talk about the environment just as keeping things green, I talk about it in terms of stewardship."

But while recent polls suggest evangelicals may be growing disillusioned with Republicans, many are still reluctant to pull the lever for Democratic candidates, said the Rev. Richard Cizik, vice president of the National Association of Evangelicals.

"Simply using 'faith language' won't redound to the benefit of any candidate, Republican or Democrat, without some authenticity there," Cizik said.

"When evangelicals think about the reputation of the Republican Party, which isn't too good right now, at least it does have a record of reaching out to those voters and it does have a record on Capitol Hill of at least trying to carry water for their issues," Cizik said.

Christiane Amanpour

Viewers of CNN are familiar with its star international correspondent. Last evening she spoke at Flint Center, DeAnza College, Cupertino.

She stayed out of taking sides in the current conflict in Iraq but mentioned the out of control situation; talked about the grand mothers of Africa who are taking care of millions of babies whose parents have died of AIDS; and expressed her concern about the dwindling role of international reporting as media organizations reduce their coverage of world events. She feels that today, more than ever, it is important for people to be aware of what is happening in different corners of the globe.

Over the years Amanpour had one-on-one interviews with leaders in many countries. When asked who she would like to meet most, Amanpour said "Osama bin Laden and Kim Jong II". If a reporter succeeds in meeting them it could very well be Christiane Amanpour. She is bright, dedicated, passionate.....and she has moxie.

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