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Is Focus on the Family scold James Dobson's power waning? Doubt it. Plenty of pundits have suggested that religious conservatives won't have as much pull during the 2008 presidential election as they did when it came to the votes that gave us George W. Bush for two four-year terms. Yet potential Republican candidate Newt Gingrich realizes that he can only win his party's nomination with the overwhelming support of the evangelical bloc -- and to see if such folks will back him despite his messy personal life, he ran straight to Jimmy D.

On March 9, papers and websites all over the country ran this Associated Press piece about a radio interview Dobson conducted with Gingrich. In it, the Newtster concedes he was having extramarital sex at the very same time he was excoriating President Bill Clinton for, among other things, having extramarital sex.

However, the Gingrich page on Focus on the Family's website hardly lingers on this factoid. After briefly pointing out that Gingrich says he's "gotten on my knees and sought God's forgiveness" for "his personal moral failings," the text preceding a link to the conversation in question drops this topic in favor of hype about Gingrich's new book, Rediscovering God in America, and his contention that too many of today's leaders don't realize that "the attitudes of today's Muslim radicals" are quite similar to "the actions of the Nazis in the 1930s -- a hatred of Jews and a desire for hegemony and domination."

During the chat itself, Dobson provides Gingrich with the most comfortable setting conceivable to publicly admit something most Washington insiders already knew even as it allows him to outline potential campaign talking points. In doing so, the good doctor is clearly sending a message to candidates like Rudy Giuliani and John McCain. To whit: The road to the White House still leads through Colorado Springs, no matter what those pundits think. -- Michael Roberts

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