The AP obtained a private e-mail from el Doctore, James Dobson, within which the good family psychologist makes it crystal clear that he won't be supporting Fred Thompson's presidential bid.

''Isn't Thompson the candidate who is opposed to a Constitutional amendment to protect marriage, believes there should be 50 different definitions of marriage in the U.S., favors McCain-Feingold, won't talk at all about what he believes, and can't speak his way out of a paper bag on the campaign trail?'' Dobson wrote.

''He has no passion, no zeal, and no apparent 'want to.' And yet he is apparently the Great Hope that burns in the breasts of many conservative Christians? Well, not for me, my brothers. Not for me!''



Consider Dobson's dilemma. He's not going to support who he can't sell as a Christian crusader. But he wants -- he needs a seat at the table of power. (Can you imagine Giuliani campaign manager / future White House senior strategist Michael "Power Play" DuHaime giving Dobson a heads-up call about a Guiliani supreme court nominee?)

So Dobson would be wise to find the best pick of the potential vice presidential lot. There's a lot of evidence right now that those "values voters" inclined to choose a candidate based on moral and cultural issues are leaning towards Mike Huckabee.

There's a danger with Huckabee: he's very independent, and while he would certainly consult Dobson and would acknowledge Dobson's role in the evangelical firmament, Huckabee does not help defining what it means to be an evangelical. Remember, the media erroniously calls Dobson a "Rev."; Huckabee's the real thing.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.