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Source: Obama campaign hires faith outreach director
May 14th, 2012
06:21 PM ET

Source: Obama campaign hires faith outreach director

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

Washington (CNN) - Just as it confronts fallout with some religious communities over President Barack Obama’s newly expressed support for same-sex marriage, the Obama re-election campaign is hiring a religious outreach director, an activist close to the campaign said Monday.

Michael Wear, who currently serves as executive assistant to the executive director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, will join the Obama campaign in Chicago as Faith Vote Director, according to James Salt, a Catholic activist who is close to the Obama campaign and White House.

A White House source confirmed Wear’s departure on Monday but could not say whether he is joining the Obama campaign. The campaign did not respond to a request for comment on Monday. Wear’s hiring was first reported Monday by the Religion News Service.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

"Michael has served the president extremely well and he will be a great asset to the campaign," said Salt, the organizing director for Catholics United, a progressive group.

Sources close the White House say the timing was not dictated by the controversy over Obama’s support for same-sex marriage. After Obama announced his support for legalized same-sex marriage, he hosted a conference call with 13 pastors on Wednesday to talk about his views.

Wear, who was raised a Catholic but now attends a nondenominational, evangelical-style church in Washington, has spearheaded White House outreach to evangelicals and has focused on policy issues like adoption throughout Obama’s first term

Joshua DuBois, the executive director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, directed religious outreach for the Obama campaign in 2008. Before that, it was unusual for Democratic presidential campaigns to hire faith outreach staffers.

In the aftermath of the 2004 election, when George W. Bush won re-election with the help of many so-called values voters and when religion-related issues like same-sex marriage figured into race, Democrats began stepping up outreach to religious voters.

Last year, the Democratic National Committee hired a minister, the Rev. Derrick Harkins, to lead its faith outreach efforts.

–CNN’s Jessica Yellin contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Barack Obama • Politics

soundoff (315 Responses)
  1. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    @Scott

    Perhaps in the days, weeks and months ahead, people like you and people who support Mitt Romney and Romney himself will continue to argue that President Obama had recklessly inflated the national deficit! However, if we're going to start the 2012 presidential debate by talking about fiscal responsibility and deficit spending, just keep in mind that 2/3 of the spending under President Obama was done so out of NECESSITY to stabilize the economy and tackle the economic crisis the gop created! You said something to the effect that I shouldn't criticize Bush because Obama has to take responsibility for his deficit spending? Well, no matter how you toss the dice, the economic crisis leads right back to Bush and the republicans who are stepping in the way of progress and now accusing President Obama of wasteful spending and of inflating the national deficit for trying to restore our economy, when these spendings are NECESSARY to stimulate and jumpstart the broken American economy in the first place!

    Two thirds of the spending under the Obama administration, particularly the 787 billion stimulus lbill and the 858 billion tax relief and unemployment extension bill were passed out of NECESSARY to stabilize the economy, to help small as well as large businesses stay afloat or resurface so that they can re-hire Americans or keep them on their payroll! These measures were also essential in helping the millions of unemployed (white, hispanic, asian, black, other, republican, democrats, liberal, conservatives, independents, all Americans) to keep a roof over their families heads and food on the table in these trying economic times while they look for work that the opposition is trying to prevent from resurfacing! So before you start your babbling, please get your facts straight!

    May 15, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Modvoice

      I agree with some of what you say, but the president spent way too much time and energy in the first year focused on healthcare reform...he should have stuck with the single payer like her promised.

      May 15, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
  2. Phredd

    Funny though. The country seemed to be on a much better footing, economically and morally, back when there were more Christians in the US, and not so many people screaming about how religion needs to disappear. Just an observation.

    May 15, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • Modvoice

      What I find disturbing here is that most of the people supporting the President here are viciously anti-Christian. What does
      that say about the President?

      May 15, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • GodPot

      Wow, might you be a new mutant human species with a "Selective Memory" superpower? It seems you are unable to recall the past with any clarity at all. We were so moral and financially stable when women and blacks couldn't vote, we could own slaves, when we banned interracial marriage and stumbled through a great depression...

      Oh, wait, I guess you might not have any superpowers other than one forced upon you by your Christian overlords, the power of "Rhetoric" weilded by those who would benefit most by your lack of memory. That and the classic power of undereducation, for how can you remember something you never learned in school to begin with...

      May 15, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • GodPot

      "What I find disturbing here is that most of the people supporting the President here are viciously anti-Christian."

      Well, What I find disturbing here is that most of the people supporting the Christians here are viciously anti-human.

      May 15, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Modvoice

      Anti-human? How so?

      May 15, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • fred

      GodPot
      Exactly what is anti human about a Christian. Do not give me example of Hitler like Christians but Christians that actually follow the Bible.

      May 15, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • GodPot

      Okay, lets start with the denying other humans who have just as much right as yourselves, their rights to marry, their rights to worship as they please without having you force your God upon them through the school system or the courts. How about the Christian war on abortion, any other religion, atheism, womens rights, immigrants and the attempt to hide their past and erase their history of abuse from our textbooks and schools. You have lost your humanity and empathy for others and can only see life through the lense of discrimination and religion and you make your choices in life based on insubstantial afterlifes no one can prove. That is inhuman.

      May 15, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • not again

      Killing a baby who by the way has a heart beat after three weeks is inhuman. Whether you believe or not it is the christians responsibility to cry aloud and spare not, to go out unto the world and spread the gospel. Most of the hate and name calling on these post come from pro gay individuals, just go back and read.

      May 15, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Modvoice

      Godpot
      "Okay, lets start with the denying other humans who have just as much right as yourselves, their rights to marry, their rights to worship as they please without having you force your God upon them through the school system or the courts."

      Everyone has a right to get married. Not sure how God has been forced upon anyone in school or the courts, actually the courts are the ones who removed school prayer.

      God Pot
      "How about the Christian war on abortion, any other religion, atheism, womens rights, immigrants and the attempt to hide their past and erase their history of abuse from our textbooks and schools."

      Well Abortion is consicerted murder and infanticide would be considered the inhuman act. Not sure what you mean by a war on other religions, atheism, women's rights or immigrants, any such "wars" would not be driven by faith. Although women's rights have suffered, although this is certainly not exclusive to Christianity. Not sure about erasing facts from book and such...please elaborate.

      Godpot
      "You have lost your humanity and empathy for others and can only see life through the lense of discrimination and religion and you make your choices in life based on insubstantial afterlifes no one can prove. That is inhuman.

      Christian humanity is based on anti-materialism believe it or not. That has been lost in this industrialized modern world. The true reason for resisting gay-marriage is that one should resist temptations of the flesh in all its forms. As for an insubstantial afterlife no one can prove, we know this very well...that is why it is called faith..its a choice. There is still nothing inhuman about any of it. But, to your defense, Christians are suppose to resist those things of the world and what humanist might call humane. Also, you must remember that anyone who shows hate in any form are not representing Christianity, they are representing their on fears, emotions, selfishness cloak in Christianity.

      May 15, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      not again,

      I thought that you weren't supposed to lie. You're full of it.

      May 15, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • GodPot

      "Everyone has a right to get married." Really? Then what is the whole gay marriage fight about?

      "Not sure how God has been forced upon anyone in school or the courts, actually the courts are the ones who removed school prayer." Oh, I don't know, how about taking the Texas board of education for example. Intelligent design class anyone? One nation under God? Which God?

      May 15, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Modvoice

      Any man can marry any woman.

      As for Texas, who knows. Big Bang/Intelligent design...are they young earthers. old earthers, incremental evolutionist (Gap theory), theistic evolutionist...there are many variants...all of which are philosophically healthy to discuss and learn about. Probably should be in a philosophy class as opposed to a science class due to the metaphysical nature of the debate...a debate which science cannot approach. I am certain Texas still teaches evolution however.

      May 15, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  3. mm

    Meanwhile...RoMormon checks in at Liberty University. Next stop – Bob Jones young Republicans' club.

    May 15, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  4. No Other Answer

    I can come to no other conclusion than that the Christian Church must have been founded by a very powerful Necromancer. Nothing else explains the millions and millions of mindless zombie followers...that and their hunger for uninfected brains.

    May 15, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • GauisCaesar

      LOL, I can see you are great at deduction.

      May 15, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
  5. toby123

    Funny how liberals advocate for religion to stay out of politics, unless it serves their own view and purpose, then it's OK.
    The Great Panderer at work.

    May 15, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • GodPot

      It's never okay.

      May 15, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
  6. Daveky

    Seriously, where is the leadership in this administration? Is there no moral compass; no solid set of core values on which decisions are made? From my point of view , it seems to have been just a series of knee jerk reactions for 3 1/2 years.

    May 15, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • P -You

      Well, it's probably hard to see whats going on from the bottom of a portable toilet reservoir. Try getting out and finding a new point of view, your's is obviously distorted.

      May 15, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
  7. gop sucks

    Screw you dudes

    May 15, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
  8. GE

    Good luck on convincing the Church to go along with those views Mr President ain't a gonna happen buddy

    May 15, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
  9. skylarkat73

    Judge not lest ye be judged.
    Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
    The meek shall inherit the earth.
    As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.
    You reap what you sow.
    The love of money is at the root of all evil.
    None of these old sayings came from a Deity.
    They came from my mother and I never forgot.
    I do things because they are the right things to do.

    I like animals better than I like people. They don't lie. They are what they are. What you see is what you get.

    May 15, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Phredd

      And where did your mom get those sayings? Ummm, from the Bible and/or her church.

      May 15, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Bizarre

      skylarkat73,

      For every old saying, adage, maxim and proverb, there is an equally valid contradictory one:

      "A rolling stone gathers no moss" but, on the other
      hand, it is equally true that "A tethered sheep
      soon starves."

      "Birds of a feather flock together" but "Opposites attract".

      And is "Out of sight out of mind"? or does "Absence makes the heart grow fonder"?

      "Strike while the iron is hot" and "Look before you leap".

      May 15, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      Most of those sayings come from the Code of Hamurabi which predates the bible by about 1000 years.

      May 15, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  10. noel

    Faith? Obama? His faith is in Allah... if he has one at all. People of faith don't support SODOMY!!! Thanks Obongo, but no thanks!!!
    OBAMANOS!!!

    May 15, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • what?

      I agree! 250 more days until pres. obozo is out of office! I hope!

      May 15, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • SloppyJoeDirt

      Obama is an atheist.

      May 15, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Point 1 – for better or worse, President Obama is a Christian. No matter how often you ignorant talibangeligal tea baggers post the lie about him being a Mormon, it will not change the fact.

      But in a larger scope – why the hell would it matter? We are not a Christian nation. And the Constîtution says that no religious test can be applied to any office.

      Point 2 – You wrote, " People of faith don't support SODOMY!". If this is true, then you have some explaining to do. Sodomy is simply non-pènile/vàginal sèx. The orientation and gender of the participants is irrelevant. Research shows that 80% of us straights have oral sèx. Yet you folks claim that 90% of us are Christian. So which is it?

      May 15, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • GodPot

      @ A Noel – You do realize how silly and stupid all that makes you sound right? American Christians keep showing themselves as the most ignorant, lazy, bigoted, pompous racists out there, with Iran coming in as the only close second. Your hate and lack of compassion will eventually get you wiped out as nature always finds a way to correct deficiencies and weed out the weak.

      May 15, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • fred

      primewonk
      As to a christian nation in posts is there confusion with what the consti-tution says and what the reality is? As you say there is no test that a president must be christian yet all to date either are or pretend to be chirstian to get elected. When I say America was founded upon Judeo Christian principles I am speaking of the world view that the founders had which impacts what they write. Until about 70 years ago stores were closed on Sundays an old hang over from the sabbath. One nation under God, in God we trust are still embraced by the vast majority. Are we not a christian nation if 63% claim to be christian? Help me get this straight, thanks

      May 15, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • GodPot

      "When I say America was founded upon Judeo Christian principles I am speaking of the world view that the founders had which impacts what they write."

      Which would mean that we are also founded on Brittish principles, and European principles, which of course have their roots in both the celtic/norse principles blended with Roman principles which were based on Greek principles, and so on and so forth...

      Please get over youselves with the whole "We are a Christian Nation" nonsense. "We" are a secular nation founded to intentionally remove religious influence on daily life so that no one church could ever again oppress the masses as it had in Brittain.

      May 15, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • fred

      GodPot
      What how did you go so far as to spin the establishment clause into an atheist baseball bat for bashing Christians? The government was not to promote one religion over another.

      May 15, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • momoya

      Atheism is not a religion.. It's obvious if you're honest.

      May 15, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  11. Operator40

    It's all about money, Obama has now received over 21 million in campaign donations from gay/lesbian group fundraisers. Perfect timing on his part. Sad though, he is using them just like he does everybody else and thinks we're all too dumb to notice.

    May 15, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
  12. edsr of Dallas

    Obama is definitely the "Elmer Gantry" of politics!

    May 15, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
  13. edsr of Dallas

    Obama is asking those with faith to serve the devil! That is a novelty. Wonder if they will do it?

    May 15, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • momoya

      He is?!?!? I must have missed it when he said that.

      May 15, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • GodPot

      But don't you ignorant fundiots think Obama IS the devil so anything he asks you to do is serving him anyway right? So much for him appearing as an angel of light...which would make one think he might not be so dark skinned since he is supposed to mislead many of the faithful, who are all white right?

      May 15, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
  14. lisa

    Unbelievable.. the man goes against every moral this country was built on.....comes out against God and the Bible by supporting gay marriage....and then has the audacity to hire a 'faith vote builder'.....seriously????

    May 15, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Apparently Lisa would prefer that President Obama come out and say he hates the constîtution. All these fundiots would love him then.

      May 15, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • quack

      hmmmm...he's against slavery and that's supported in the bible isn't it? hmmmm....hmmmmm....pick and choose your bible verses and what you want the bible to say as usual bible thumper.

      May 15, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • Madtown

      God and the Bible by supporting gay marriage
      -----
      Neither is on recored condemning gay marriage. Only bigoted fools are on record as doing so.

      May 15, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
  15. Duck Dodgers

    Its all good.
    The original owners of the planet are on thier way back.
    They are going to clean it up and rent to someone else as we have screwed it up.
    Prepare to be evicted voluntary or not.

    May 15, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • Scott

      You're flippant, but you may be more right than you know.

      May 15, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
  16. SAS6907

    I am sick to my stomach with what is going on in our country.
    Before it was spread about the country but never from the top.
    Now sin is becoming a banner for our country, with no remorse, and done with pride.

    May 15, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • J.W

      You sound a little nutty.

      May 15, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • Scott

      No, he sounds like a person with morals. His point, he has them, but the ones without them (like you) are becoming the rule.

      May 15, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • GE

      Agreed I would say J.W fits the "nutty" category

      May 15, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • ralph

      I know right. It all started when we stopped stoning adulterers to death, then the slaves were freed, and now the gays want to marry. Where is this country going!

      May 15, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • momo

      I blame the witches. Ever since we stopped burning them at the stake, the country has gone to hell in a handcart.

      May 15, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  17. SAS6907

    The only thing that matters to him is getting re-elected
    "White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, will join the Obama campaign in Chicago as Faith Vote Director"

    May 15, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Leopold

      Yes. It is like with Syria. He has appointed a commission on human rights violations. And a commission for this and for that. And all he cares about is being re-elected. Mr. Obama loves the glory, the fame, the power, and everything else, but unfortunately on the domestic economy he has not performed. He absolutely has to go this November.

      May 15, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Madtown

      The only thing that matters to him is getting re-elected
      ----
      This is true. Why? Because he's a politician. They are all alike when it comes to this.

      May 15, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
  18. SAS6907

    Now if that isn't putting the fox in charge of the hen house, I don't know what is.
    How can a person with no faith in GOD, start a new department on faith....kinda like the ANTI-CHRIST!

    May 15, 2012 at 11:59 am |
  19. McShannon

    Gluttony is an abomination to God. Republicans, we must pass a law to prevent overeating maybe armed guards at McDonalds or a fat jeering committee.

    May 15, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Wally624

      Too late – Michelle's already on it.

      May 15, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • CdrDave

      Actually, it's only listed as a sin. The most prominent sin labeled an 'abomination' by G od (given its own verse) is hmsxulty. Of course, sin is sin, but I thought I'd chime in on your condescending sarcasm in light of the article and the ridiculous ignorance displayed yet again by this president.

      May 15, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Dave, I hope you don't wear polyester. That is an abomination according to God.

      May 15, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  20. Wayne

    Wonder what nasty little secret Nancy holds over the President.

    May 15, 2012 at 11:32 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.