Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Well, of course Mitt's speech didn't make any difference

Gee, Mitt's "faith" speech didn't assuage the Mormon-suspicious contingency of the Republican party? Well, duh. If anything, it probably raised more questions, because it came across as defensive. "Hey, don't vote against me because you think my religion is weird," he said, when -- if he really believes it -- perhaps he should have said, "My religion isn't weird."

People wanted Romney to educate them -- to comfort them -- about basic Mormon beliefs. It's an unfamiliar religion in many parts of the country, so people genuinely want to know what it's all about. And before someone says he shouldn't have to do that, I agree. But Republicans can't argue that a person's religious beliefs should be irrelevant, not with how our current president has played the religion card (and not when Mitt himself says that you have to go to church to be a real American). You can thank George Bush for your current predicament, Mitt.

If a presidential candidate were a Jehovah's Witness or a Scientologist, would LDS voters wonder about his beliefs? Yes. Well, to many outside of Utah, Mormonism is thought of along those lines. Instead, Mitt came across in that speech as if he's embarrassed to be Mormon. How was that supposed to reassure potential voters?


rmwarnick said...

Ironically, President Eisenhower was a Jehovah's Witness. Who knew? I just found out the other day. He was only baptized a Presbyterian after his inauguration.

oussan said...

Interesting, rmwarnick, I had no idea. Still, isn't military service against the Jehovah's Witnesses' religion? So was he a practicing JW while he was serving as Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe?

Totally agree, however, that Mitt probably didn't do enough to persuade people that his religion "isn't weird." Then again, this really was a no-win situation, IMO.

I also think it's strange that people object to so much "negative" attention on Mitt's religion, and yet he seems to have gotten quite a bit of mileage out of the same here in the Beehive State. Are Utahns - specifically those in Provo who have contributed to his campaign in such great numbers - as enamored with his politics as they are his religion?