I think it is fair to call this thing “a race” now. Last Monday’s “debate” (actually a vain attempt at sound bite generation) was of sufficient substance and breadth to come to the conclusion that “it’s on.” What amazes me is that despite the substance of that debate and the very real issues and choices facing both Republicans and the nation, the Mormon Meme continues to ring throughout the left wing press. Let’s look….
On The Good Side
Rick Santorum says the right things. (Makes me wonder if he is thinking about the VP job?)
I think this is meant to be satirical, but it rings just a bit too true to be certain.
The Return Of “Examination of Belief”
I grow increasingly unhappy with pieces that attempt to examine the beliefs of a religion and use that to draw conclusions about how an individual would govern. The church to which I belong has just voted to allow for the ordination of practicing homosexuals, and certain of our confessional documents can be interpreted (and have been) to say that Christ was not divine. Does that mean I do not believe Christ was (is, actually) divine or that I support homosexual ordination – sure doesn’t. So this is nonsense, just an opportunity to point out that certain candidates are “different.” And so we have:
NPR – “The Nation: The Missionary Position“ Naked attempt to solidify the connection between Romney and Huntsman and the annoyance of door-knocking missionaries.
Even the Desert News got into this act. (Here’s a hint guys – in the internet age, your audience is not nearly as limited as you think it is.)
Which Leads To The Emergence Of A New Meme
Last cycle, after it was all over, I went to a meeting of influential Mormons and Evangelicals where we discussed what went right and wrong about things. If there was a consensus, which there really was not, it came down to the fact that people just view Mormons as “odd.” When you boil it down, it’s not about belief or practice, or really religion in any serious sense. They are just presumed to be “weird.” Well, that is a naked meme of the left now. See:
Last time saw “flip-flop” serve as code for “Mormon.” This time look for “weird” or “awkward.”
And Always Some Outright Attack
And Now The Straight Politics
There were two winners in last week’s debate. Mitt Romney and Michelle Bachmann. Let’s start with Romney since he has the presumptive lead in the polls.
When it comes to Mitt Romney, amidst the great reviews of his debate performance and the polling, there were some that tried to make it sound like it was less than it was. There was one point in the debate, and only one, that made me cringe. Of course, there was the predictable, and sadly, CBN is coming to be among the predictable. I really do not get it with Robertson’s operation – they were neutral to supporters last time. I think they have concluded that a Mormon can’t win, but Robertson is politically smarter than that. It’s not true for one thing, and for another this Mormon can do enough even if he doesn’t win that it is really dumb to burn the bridge. One must wonder if CBN has slipped so much that it has nothing left other than to try and appeal to the bigoted minority?
Romney did make one decision this week past that is very astute from a leadership stance, but quite risky politically. He declined to sign the Susan B. Anthony anti-abortion pledge. In the words of a spokesperson:
Mitt Romney pledged in the last campaign that he would be a pro-life president and of course he pledges it today. However, this well-intentioned effort has some potentially unforeseen consequences and he does not feel he could in good conscience sign it.
That really is smart if you read the thing, but this will be more trouble than it is worth. This is where Romney’s outstanding character can be problematic. Most people in his position would sign the thing, get elected and then break the pledge if it became necessary. Romney simply cannot bring himself to do that, his word is his bond. He is taking his best shot to overcome, but it is a heck of a dilemma, isn’t it?
Michelle Bachmann kinda stole the show at the debate by announcing during it. Cheap trick if you ask me, but it was effective. She then decided to continue to hire Team Huckabee and that seems to be working in Iowa. The Huckabee comparisons are starting to grow. Smart money says Iowa will decide second place this time. It did last time so not much of a stretch there. But that also fuels the Huckabee comparisons, as does analysis of her “outside shot.”
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), who has just launched her campaign for president, is getting ready to roll out a book – and as the New York Times reports, she will have a very interesting co-author from the ranks of conservative media.
Bachmann’s assistant in writing the book will reportedly be none other than John Fund….
So Bachmann has parlayed a bid into a book deal?! Most people do it the other way around, and while the use of ghost writers in politics is common, serious candidates tend to write their candidacy books themselves, or close to it – not to mention Fund is no ghost writer. Now the Huckabee comparison seems very clear. She is not pursuing the presidency so much as she is big media – just like Huckabee. Let’s face it, Team Huckabee is the best at that. Now, that said, Bachmann appears to be a much more classy individual that the ‘ol Huckster. I don’t look for her to play the religion card in the nasty disingenuous way that Huckabee did. But I do think she is marching to the beat of a different drummer than your average candidate.
This sets me to wondering. Romney’s polling lead in NH is extraordinary, even for the pointless polls of this early. Seems like a bad place to make a stand. Of course, as a Mormon, Iowa and South Carolina are out which might mean it was a good cycle to take a pass. But instead he is beating his head on an apparent brick wall. So I wonder if his goal is to to damage the brick wall? There are rumors of personal beefs between the Romney and Huntsman clans. Wouldn’t be the first time personal beefs got in the electoral political mix.