Yesterday, Sarah credited me (on Instapundit) credited me for alerting her to the Reverend Billy Graham’s decision to back Mitt Romney. I thought it was a big deal and a ‘good thing,” as Sarah noted.
And it is a good thing — for a great variety of reasons, primarily that Graham is an evangelical Christian respected by individuals in all walks of life. Jews have long respected him for supporting Israel and for never asking us to convert. Some fundamentalist Christians even faulted him for the often ecumenical nature of his appeal.
Grahama has long been considered a pastor to the presidents, “met with every sitting American president from Harry Truman to President Obama.” Many, including Bill Clinton, have sought Graham’s counsel, but, as Bruce Webster reminds us, “Graham has had a policy in place of not endorsing presidential candidates (cf. this 1980 article)”:
What is truly telling is the language: “I’ll do all I can to help you.” That’s not a tepid endorsement or a ‘lesser of two evils’ resignation; that’s about as full-throated as Graham can get at his age. I will be interested to see if it helps some of those Evangelicals who are concerned about putting a Mormon in the White House to vote for Romney anyway.
Given the respect this man enjoys, methinks it will help Romney with wavering evangelicals. And it is indeed telling that the respected pastor, who had heretofore been so reluctant to endorse (though he did come close in 2000), has made clear his support for Mitt Romney.