Only days after Barack Obama resumed his presidential campaign wearing the label of “presumptive Democratic nominee,” the Illinois senator invited a number of evangelical leaders to a private meeting with him in Chicago. The off-the-record session grew to include mainline Protestants and Roman Catholics.
The discussion June 10 with more than 30 people was the first in a series of closed meetings that Obama aides said he wants with faith leaders in coming months—despite the setbacks and agonizing split the Illinois senator experienced with his former church.
It appeared that Obama wanted to move fast to clarify his views and to listen to different perspectives. “Reaching out to the faith community is a priority for Barack Obama and will be a priority under an Obama administration,” campaign spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters (who were barred from attending).