GOP convention prayer choices debated: Who will Mitt Romney choose to pray?
Doug Wead, architect of evangelical outreach for George H.W. Bush in 1988, had staff dedicated solely to deciding which religious figures should participate. Gallup polls were consulted and memos drafted analyzing who should speak, who should be in camera view and who should be out of the limelight.
"When the camera gets Barbara Bush, who would they see over her shoulder? We would rotate people in and out of there based on when we expected the TV camera would flash on the box where the family was sitting," said Wead, who is now an adviser to Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul.
Along with widely known clergy such as the Rev. Billy Graham, Wead invited professional athletes and others whose born-again backgrounds would generally only be known to other evangelicals.
"You're seeing a basketball player, not a born-again Christian. You're seeing someone in a mid-level Cabinet position, not a Nazarene," Wead said. "That's what I'm sure they'll do with Mormons. They'll have a Mormon in a position that the Mormons watching TV will say, 'Oh, there's Brother Jake.' Ninety-nine percent of viewers don't even see the person as Mormon."
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