Mississippi native Burns Strider was, until just a few weeks ago, Senior Adviser and Director of Faith Based Outreach for Senator Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign. As readers of The God Vote might recall, I thought the team he led performed quite skillfully.
Having completed his duties for the Clinton campaign, Mr. Strider has recently announced the formation of The Eleison Group (of which he is a Founding Partner). He describes it as “a full service firm focusing on faith and values in terms of communications, message development, targeting, strategic planning, clergy and faith group relations, developing relationships and advancing policy that speaks to the common good.”
I would describe it as a “Faith and Values Shop” and it’s one that is poised to further advance the Democratic Party’s surprising resurgence in the domain of religious politicking.
Whether or not you think that this resurgence is in the best interests of the Party (or the country), it’s a resurgence that Mr. Strider is uniquely equipped to bring to fruition. He has served as an adviser to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, directed, the U.S. House Democratic Faith Working Group and Rural Working Group, worked on 15 campaigns (directing 5 of them), and spent two years in Hong Kong as a missionary with the Southern Baptist Convention where he served as a youth minister. In 2007, Religion News Service named him one of the “12 most influential Democrats in the nation on faith and values politics and issues.”
We at “On Faith” thought it would be interesting for our readers to hear from an expert in a form of political outreach that is growing increasingly significant in modern American campaigning, albeit one that is perhaps not widely understood by the public at large. We hope you enjoy this interview, as well as a video of a discussion that Sally Quinn and I had with Mr. Strider...