Palin talks to Dobson

PALIN TALKS TO DOBSON…. Sarah Palin’s support may be dropping quickly among most Americans, but she remains a favorite of the religious right movement. Palin chatted with Focus on the Family’s James Dobson, and the two were clearly very much on the same page.

In an interview posted online Wednesday, Sarah Palin told Dr. James Dobson of “Focus on the Family” that she is confident God will do “the right thing for America” on Nov. 4.

Dobson asked the vice presidential hopeful if she is concerned about John McCain’s sagging poll numbers, but Palin stressed that she was “not discouraged at all.”

“To me, it motivates us, makes us work that much harder,” she told the influential Christian leader, whose radio show reaches tens of millions of listeners daily. “And it also strengthens my faith because I know at the end of the day putting this in God’s hands, the right thing for America will be done, at the end of the day on Nov. 4.”

Dobson praised Palin’s opposition to abortion rights, to which the governor affirmed that she is “hardcore pro-life.”

If you listen to the interview, note the rhetorical shift for Palin. While she usually likes to emphasize words like “maverick” and “independence,” talking to Dobson, Palin practically boasted of how little the Republican ticket strays from far-right orthodoxy.

According to a rough transcript provided by my friends at Right Wing Watch, Palin bragged about the McCain/Palin platform, which “respects life,” and returns “to the social issues that are what Republicans, at least in the past, had articulated and tied to stand on.” She added, “You would maybe have assumed that we would have gotten further away from those strong planks. But no, they’re there, they’re solid, we stand on them.”

In other words, don’t worry about Republicans moderating an inch on divisive culture-war, social issues. Palin assured Dobson that’s not the case. Indeed, she said she believes from the “bottom of [her] heart” that McCain is “solidly there” on implementing far-right policies.

It’s easy to get the sense that Sarah Palin is not a vice presidential candidate sympathetic to the concerns of a religious right activist, she’s a religious right activist running for the vice presidency.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.