Can Hillary Clinton reach the religious right?

In today’s Washington Post, Michael Gerson has a look at the improbable question – Can She (Hillary Clinton) Reach Religious Voters?

Citing Paul Kengor’s new book, God and Hillary Clinton, Gerson notes that Hillary is a complicated figure for various religious groups. Roman Catholics are among the most pro-choice voters but also have a proven track record in caring for the poor. Hillary divides these values and may make the Republican nominee’s views on abortion a crucial factor in the 2008 election. Gerson ends his column with this analysis:

And it is hard to imagine that these voters will be successfully courted by the most comprehensively pro-choice presidential candidate in American history.

That might change under one circumstance: if Rudy Giuliani were the Republican nominee. Whatever Giuliani promised concerning the appointment of conservative judges, a pro-choice Republican nominee would blur the contrast between the parties on abortion. And between two pro-choice options, a larger number of religious voters might support the one with a stronger emphasis on poverty — because, after all, Jesus did have a lot to say about how we treat the poor.