Friday, September 24, 2004

As president, Bush has always been outspoken about his faith, letting evangelicals know he shares their values and vision for America. But he has also been careful. Aware that he must appeal to the center to secure reelection, he employs double-coded signals that veil much of his religious message from outsiders. Biblical references, allusions to hymns, and specialized vocabulary are keys to this communication.

The president learned this art when he served as his father's liaison to the religious right in 1988, just after his born-again conversion. Well-connected staff introduced him to evangelical leaders and taught him to win their trust. "Signal early and signal often" was their motto. Unlike his Episcopalian father, the younger Bush took this advice to heart.
---from How Bush speaks in religious code by Ted Olsen

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