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Prominent abortion foe extols Barack Obama

June 16, 2008 | 12:17 pm

Douglas Kmiec, a Justice Department honcho under two previous Republican administrations and an abortion foe who once headed Catholic University's law school, raised eyebrows within some conservative circles earlier this year when, in a Slate.com posting, he endorsed Barack Obama for president.

Today, Kmiec delivers another valentine Obama's way, writing glowingly in the Chicago Tribune about a "private conversation" the candidate had recently with him, the Rev. Franklin Graham (the son of the Rev. Billy Graham) "and a diverse group of 30 or so religious leaders from Protestant, Catholic, Evangelical and other traditions."

Kmiec, who for several years has taught law at Pepperdine University in Malibu, terms the gathering as "an unprecedented sit-down for any political figure, let alone a much-in-demand presidential candidate."

He continues: "Why would the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party devote so much time talking faith rather than politics? Quite simply, because it is the senator's deep personal faith that explains his audaciously positive hope for his country."

The meeting, Kmiec relates, "dwelt at some length on abortion." It remains a subject on which he and his favored candidate disagree. But Kmiec prefers to stress what he views as Obama's "appreciation for both the significance of faith and faith differences and an open mind sensitive to the need to protect religious freedom."

It's hard not to imagine that if he hasn't gotten it already, Kmiec will be receiving a standing invitation for a prominent speaking slot at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

-- Don Frederick

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