Mitt the Mormons

I’ve always thought that Mitt Romney’s religion could be a strength, rather than the weakness it appears to be.

Firstly, Mormonism is the only truly American religion.

Secondly, confronting the issue might give the Romney campaign the narrative strength it currently lacks, presenting Mitt as a real person, rather than someone created by a committee.

Lots of people have mentioned that Kennedy did just this, famously, when the issue of his religion became a political problem. However, as this short piece in The New Republic makes plain, Romney cannot take the Kennedy amendment on this one. He has founded his campaign on the belief that he can remake “the house that Reagan built”, reforming the Republican coalition based on the Christian right. He cannot come out and say that a man’s religion should play no active role in his politics.

Romney, then, has two choices. 1. Carry on trying to pretend his Mormonism isn’t an issue to American voters. 2. Make a virtue of his difference, and tell people something they don’t want to hear.

Like Adam Nagourney in today’s New York Times, I like to believe that voters value candour. They don’t always want to have their prejudices confirmed. Giuliani and McCain have shown in this campaign and the last that giving it to people straight can work actually make them like you. Moreover, it’s a pretty essential quality in a President.

So why not Romney?

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2 Responses to Mitt the Mormons

  1. Jettboy says:

    Why he shouldn’t “Make a virtue of his difference” is because the differences he is asked about have NOTHING to do with the Presidency. The only “differences” that are worth talking about are theological (as the “values” of said religions are nearly identical). To discuss the religious differences that do exist is to put the United States on the path toward theocracy instead of democracy. All I can say is that if it does take Sunday School-fying for Mitt Romney to get the Republican nomination, then with bitter tears I hope Democrats crush them.

    I used to think the Democracts were fearmongers by claiming the Religious Right wanted a Theocracy. What they wanted was a government that took conservative religious values seriously. Although I still hold to hope, right now I am wondering if the Democrats weren’t horrifyingly correct. I don’t vote for someone because of what religious views they have about God, Angels, Heaven and Hell.

  2. […] feeling, as I said a while back, is that it can. This speech could give Romney’s campaign the narrative it has lacked up to […]

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