His eleventh-hour cavalry charge for Huckabee went nowhere so it’s time for the next headline-grabbing ploy, a “will he or won’t he” flirtation with McCain on Hannity & Colmes. Give him the attention he craves, media; I’m still haunted by the thought of a spiteful, kamikaze third-party run.

Stressing that he was speaking as an individual [But of course. — ed.], Dobson did not actually endorse McCain — yet. But he did tell Sean Hannity on the Fox News Channel that though he has “problems” with all three remaining presidential candidates, especially the two Democrats, he fully intended to vote on Nov. 4.

That was a signal to his followers that they might have to settle for the least-worst candidate, namely McCain.

“Let me just say,” Dobson said, “that I will certainly vote. I think we have a God-given responsibility to vote, and there are all of the candidates and the issues down the ballot that we have an obligation to weigh in on and let our voices be heard.”

Told that McCain had assured Hannity he would keep the pro-life and pro-marriage plans in the Republican platform, Dobson asked, “Did he give you a commitment about embryonic stem-cell research?” Hannity said, No.

“That’s an important one for me,” Dobson replied.

Heavy-handed attempt to squeeze a concession out of the nominee or early groundwork-laying for his dramatic announcement in, oh, say, late October for why he’s compelled to vote Democratic this year? Don’t laugh; he’s argued before on H&C that voting blue might very well serve the interests of social conservatives. Take a listen to this communique, issued eight short weeks ago, laying out reason after reason why Maverick doesn’t make the grade before sonorously concluding, “I cannot, and I will not, vote for Sen. John McCain as a matter of conscience.” Granted, we’re all having to come to terms with the idea of supporting Captain Amnesty, but eight weeks later and he’s already whittled his objections down to stem-cell research — which isn’t even much of an issue anymore? Good lord. Talk about forgiveness.