In the Nick of Time

For those who missed it, here (thanks to Jim Martin at the America blog) is Obama's Catholic Advisory Group:

Obama's Catholic Kitchen Cabinet:

National Co-Chairs: Senator Bob Casey; Representative Patrick Murphy (PA-08); Former Congressman Tim Roemer, President of the Center for National Policy; Governor Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas; Governor Tim Kaine of Virginia; Tom Chabolla, Assistant to the President, Service Employees International Union; Victoria Reggie Kennedy, President, Common Sense About Kids and Guns; Sr. Jamie Phelps, O.P., Professor of Theology, Xavier University; Sr. Catherine Pinkerton, Congregation of St. Joseph

National Steering Committee

Mary Jo Bane, Professor, Harvard Kennedy School; Nicholas P. Cafardi, Catholic Author and Scholar, Pittsburgh, PA; Lisa Cahill, Professor of Theology, Boston College; M. Shawn Copeland, Associate Professor of Theology, Boston College; Ron Cruz, Leadership Development Consultant, Burke, VA; Sharon Daly, Social Justice Advocate, Knoxville, MD; Richard Gaillardetz, Murray/Bacik Professor of Catholic Studies, University of Toledo; Grant Gallicho, Associate Editor, Commonweal Magazine; Sr. Margaret Gannon, IHM, Scranton, PA; Don Guter, Judge Advocate General of the Navy (2000-2002); Rear Admiral, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy (Ret.), Pittsburgh, PA; Cathleen Kaveny, Professor of Law and Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame; Jim Kesteloot, President and Executive Director, Chicago Lighthouse; Vincent Miller, Associate Professor of Theology, Georgetown University; David O'Brien, Loyola Professor of Catholic Studies at the College of the Holy Cross; Peter Quaranto, Senior Researcher and Conflict Analyst, Resolve Uganda (Notre Dame Class of 2006); Dave Robinson, International Peace Advocate, Erie, Pennsylvania; Vincent Rougeau, Associate Professor of Law, University of Notre Dame; Mary Wright, Inter-Faith Liaison, Louisville, KY

And here, courtesy of The Wall Street Journal, is their first assignment -- damage-control:

Mr. Obama's unreflective condescension is reminiscent of the famous 1993 Washington Post article that described evangelical Christians as "poor, undereducated and easy to command." And the fact that he said it so naturally in front of a San Francisco crowd suggests that this is what he may truly believe. This is Mr. Obama's inner Mike Dukakis. The Senator went into damage-control mode on the weekend, initially defending his comments as what "everybody knows is true," then later saying he "deeply" regretted if his words "offended" some. He also tried to suggest that he really meant to say that economic anxiety prods people to focus on cultural and social issues at the polls. " So I said, 'Well, you know, when you're bitter you turn to what you can count on. So people they vote about guns, or they take comfort from their faith and their family and their community," Mr. Obama told a crowd in Indiana. But that still diminishes the convictions of those voters who care more about the right to bear arms, or faith in God, than they do about the AFL-CIO's agenda.

Robert P. Imbelli, a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, is a longtime Commonweal contributor.

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