Would McCain choosing Romney make you more comfortable voting for him?

This is one of those posts where I would use a polling mechanism if I knew how to use it. But being the Luddite I am, no polling available.

The question is simple: would you as a Latter-day Saint feel more comfortable voting for McCain, who has had problems with his Republican base, if he chose Romney as his running mate? Here’s my take:

UPDATE: this New York Times article, which I saw after I posted this, indicates Romney appears to be the front-runner as McCain’s VP.

The issue here is that McCain has to choose SOMEBODY as his running mate. Virtually all of them seem to have huge problems. A running mate has to be loyal, be able to raise money, hopefully bring in votes in swing states, be well-vetted and not embarrassing and not hurt the ticket. By that criteria, Romney is the best choice.

I will admit I have some sentimental choices that are intriguing. Bobby Jindal, the La. governor, would be a great choice. Portman from Ohio looks good. But I don’t think Jindal or Portman help the McCain ticket as much as Romney does. (Readers should know right now that several conservative publications such as the Washington Times and Investor’s Business Daily have already called on McCain to choose Romney).

As a conservative, I really have two criteria in a running mate for McCain: I want somebody more conservative than he is, hopefully a movement conservative, and I want somebody who will help him beat Obama. Romney was my man in the primaries, mostly because I simply identified with him politically and personally.

I have no enthusiasm for McCain. I’ve written elsewhere that I perhaps agree with him 40 to 50 percent of the time. If he chooses another “moderate” Republican (like Charlie Crist or Chuck Hagel) or, heaven forbid, an independent like Bloomberg or Lieberman, my enthusiasm will go from lukewarm to downright cold. So far I haven’t sent him any money or talked him up or campaigned for him in any way. With the wrong running mate, that will continue.

Still, even if he chooses a horrible running mate, I will hold my nose and vote for McCain (Ann Coulter says conservatives should get drunk and vote for McCain, but I need to keep my temple recommend). But if he chooses a true conservative, I can see myself getting more excited about the septuagenarian.

Romney would be a good choice because he understands the economy, can fix things and can inspire optimism during difficult times; he helps McCain in Nevada, Colorado and Michigan, three key states that McCain probably has to win to have a chance; he can raise a lot of money; and he has been completely vetted and is unlikely to embarrass McCain.

Please note that I have not mentioned religion in this at all — if Romney were a Baptist or Catholic I would be just as excited about him.

What do my fellow Latter-day Saints say about this issue?

Updated: Link to BCC poll. (Thanks, Steve.)

This entry was posted in General by Geoff B.. Bookmark the permalink.

About Geoff B.

Geoff B has had three main careers. Some of them have overlapped. After attending Stanford University (class of 1985), he worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. In 1995, he took up his favorite and third career as father. Soon thereafter, Heavenly Father hit him over the head with a two-by-four (wielded by the Holy Ghost) and he woke up from a long sleep. Since then, he's been learning a lot about the Gospel. He still has a lot to learn. Geoff's held several Church callings: young men's president, high priest group leader, member of the bishopric, stake director of public affairs, media specialist for church public affairs, high councilman. He tries his best in his callings but usually falls short. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

72 thoughts on “Would McCain choosing Romney make you more comfortable voting for him?

  1. No.

    I’ll take the Magna Cum Laude grad from Harvard Law over a guy who graduated 894th out of 899 in his class at Annapolis, crashed 3 fighter aircraft due his own incompetence and only remained in the Navy due his father and grandfather being Admirals.

    Beer Baron McCain FTW!

  2. I’ve heard at least one political pundit opine that you shouldn’t pick a VP candidate to appeal to a portion of the electorate with whom you are weak. Rather, you should pick a running mate whose administrative and leadership skills compensate for a weakness in your own.

    Picking a running mate to appeal to segments of the electorate, has a very low payoff according to the guy I heard. For whatever that’s worth…

  3. NO.

    McCain and Romney the represent the wing of the Republican Party that I despise — the big government/socialist/nanny-staters. I want a Republican that represents smaller government, individual liberty, and strict adherence to the Constitution. Unfortunately the Republican Party has sold out on those principles.

    Beyond my personal predilections, the simple fact is that Republicans have only managed to win Presidential elections over the last 30 years because evangelical Christians got out the vote for them. Evangelicals were the key to both of Reagan and Bush 2’s wins. When evangelicals are lukewarm about the ticket (Bush 1 in ’92, Dole in ’96) and the Democrats have a charismatic candidate (like Clinton), Republicans don’t win the election. Evangelicals are VERY lukewarm about McCain, and they HATE Romney. McCain will need to pick someone they like in order to have a prayer of winning in November.

    But they person that really energizes the evangelical base — Huckabee — is disliked by a majority of Americans who hate Bush 2 and his open religiosity.

    We’re facing a repeat of 1992. Voters intensely disliked Bush 1’s policies, were angry with the downturn in the economy, and found Clinton’s charisma appealing. Add on top of that votes siphoned away by a third-party candidate (Perot), and Clinton managed to win.

    Now in 2008, voters intensely dislike Bush 2’s policies, are angry with the downturn in the economy, and find Obama’s charisma appealing. Republicans angry with Bush are likely to stay home or vote third party. Obama wins. It’s as simple as that.

  4. By the way, I voted for Perot in ’92 for all the reasons in my penultimate paragraph above. And the happy result was a humbled Republican Party remembered its roots and came back in ’94 to take Congress on a pledge of smaller government, lower spending, and serious reform (the “Contract With America”).

    When the Republicans lose (and they will lose BIG) in November, it will be their opportunity to reacquaint themselves with the soul of the party, and return in 2010 or 2012 with a small government/personal liberty message.

    Only this time, I hope it will stick.

  5. You guys ought to check out NPR’s website and tune in to a recent broadcast of “Fresh Air.” Terry interviews two of the “New Republicans.” One was Ross Douthat, and the other I can’t recall. I thought both young GOP-ers acquitted themselves rather well.

    And this will probably be the only time you’ll hear me actually suggesting listening to Fresh Air only this blog.

  6. No. The only possible inducement to hold my nose and vote Republican regardless of VP is if the Democrat picks that horrible woman as his VP.

    And since I can’t bring myself even to type the names of ANY of them at this point, imagine the wreck I’m going to be by the time we get a chance at a new slate 4 or 8 years from now.

  7. In the 5 presidential elections I’ve voted in I’ve voted for the Republican all 5 times. I’m voting Democrat this time and adding Romney to the ticket isn’t going to change that.

  8. I’m with Geoff and Ardis. I’ve voted for the Republican candidate in eight consecutive Presidential elections. My objection to McCain is based entirely on his character and the addition of Romney to the ticket would not alter that. Obama will have my vote unless he chooses Hillary as his running mate – in which case I’ll sit this one out.

  9. I don’t understand what you mean by “Please note that I have not mentioned religion in this at all…” when you phrased your question as “The question is simple: would you as a Latter-day Saint feel more comfortable voting for McCain…”

    But my answer is: I don’t like how Romney represented himself in the primaries, so I would be less likely to vote for McCain. (Although, I won’t vote for McCain either way.)

  10. Geoff J., I can see voting Republican in 2000, but in 2004? Most of the abuses were already in evidence.

    Geoff B., Romney is not really a movement conservative, and he did himself no favors pretending to be one.

  11. As a moderate liberal, I cannot see any reason at all to vote for McCain simply because he chooses Romney as a VP. Both will be terrible for our nation.

  12. I really like Gov. Romney and would be happy to see him added to the ticket. I think there are a lot of other qualified conservatives that could help McCain. Another question is, if he picks Huckabee are you less likely to vote for Mccain. For me, I would not vote McCain with Huckabee on the ticket and I can’t vote for Obama based on his policies. So in that event I guess I write a name in.

    I know a lot of LDS people who feel the same way. In fact a very close relative works for the McCain campaign and told me that he would walk away if Huckabee is added to the ticket. I know this is kind of a threadjack, but to get back to the point: Yes, having Romney on the ticket would raise McCain in my eyes.

  13. I’ve never voted for a Republican presidential candidate, and McCain is the only one I’ve seriously considered. Both candidates seem to be going out of their way to give me reasons not to vote for them. So VP choices might turn out to be relevant. Only Portman would be a distinct plus. (Actually, so would Lieberman, but his earlier performance as a VP candidate ensures that it won’t happen.) Romney would be a wash. That he isn’t a movement conservative is a plus, but that he pretended to be one still leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Another plus is that it would signal the evangelicals that they are now completely irrelevant.

  14. More comforatable? No, because I don’t like McCain and feel he is a backstabbing Republican who is one vote shy of a liberal Democrat. He is mean and vindictive. And frankly, he is old and always looking on the verge of hospitalization. Reagan was old, but he was healthy and strong up until his last months in office.

    More willing? Yes, because I like Romney. The argument that his political positions have changed doesn’t faze me. ALL politicians change positions, and that doesn’t change who they are. Personality and biography are the more important factors in deciding what they will be like as leaders. What they say they will do are just talking points.

    Those who think this is going to be an easy win for Obama are fooling themselves. I have heard a lot of Conservatives (Evangelical even) wanting to vote for the Mac out of fear of Obama. As much as he tries, Obama doesn’t come off as moderate like Clinton did. Some have even hinted that they think Obama is the prelude to the Anti-Christ. Now, are these feelings enough to put Mac in the office? Probably not, but it will give Obama a run for his money.

  15. NO

    While I am holding my nose to vote for McCain, Romney can’t change anything. This is the scariest election in my voting lifetime. Our choices are The One and McCain. The One scares me. Jimmy Carter scared me into being a Republican and that was against Gerald Ford. The One can get me to vote for McCain without Romney’s help at all.

  16. Another question is, if he picks Huckabee are you less likely to vote for Mccain. For me, I would not vote McCain with Huckabee on the ticket and I can’t vote for Obama based on his policies. So in that event I guess I write a name in.

    I know a lot of LDS people who feel the same way.

    This goes back to my previous point about the Republican Party being hopelessly fractured right now. The way JillEE describes her dislike of Huckabee and option to write in if Huck is on the ticket is exactly the way evangelicals think about Romney — and evangelicals make up a much larger bloc within the GOP than Mormons do.

    If Romney is on the ticket, watch for evangelicals to stay home or vote third party. If Huckabee is on the ticket, watch for non-evangelical/non-social conservative Republicans to do the same.

    And neither, I might add, are very appealing to the general population.

    Those who think this is going to be an easy win for Obama are fooling themselves. I have heard a lot of Conservatives (Evangelical even) wanting to vote for the Mac out of fear of Obama. As much as he tries, Obama doesn’t come off as moderate like Clinton did. Some have even hinted that they think Obama is the prelude to the Anti-Christ.

    It’s a sad commentary on the state of affairs among Republicans if the primary reason to vote for their own candidate is irrational fear of the opposition. Obama is far from a Biblical-style evil candidate (if anyone represents that, it’s Bush 2!), and yet Republicans believe Faux News when they demonize Obama and fawn over McCain. Disgusting.

    A more healthy approach to politics (and religion, and philosophy, and a lot of other things) is to have a personal conviction while recognizing and admitting the good in those who don’t hold to one’s own views. Obama may have a platform that is largely non-conservative, but “prelude to the anti-Christ”? Puh-lease.

  17. Yes, I would be more comfortable voting for McCain if Romney were his VP. I think Romney’s economic credentials would help a lot.

    After Romney dropped out, I swore I wasn’t going to vote. However, the more I hear about Obama, the more he scares me. And with the recent Supreme Court decisions we have had, I really don’t want him picking any justices. At least with McCain there’s a slim chance we might get a conservative judge.

    I’m still not happy about McCain, but to me, he’s better than the alternative.

  18. Geoff B: makes sense.

    All: I can’t relate to the sentiment coming from many of the commenters planning to vote for McCain. I keep reading, “I don’t like him but he’s better than the alternative.” Conversely, it seems like those planning to vote for Obama are actually excited to vote for Obama.

  19. Sorry, BrianJ, that’s the way I feel. I wish the Republicans had a candidate I was excited about, but they don’t. I live in Texas, and the GOP nomination was locked up before our Primary. It would be nice if just once my vote counted in the Primary. But because I’m very afraid of what Obama will do to our country, I will vote for McCain.

  20. I think in 2004 most Dems were not excited about Kerry but were voting against Bush. Same thing in 2008 but the other way around.

  21. Also, my sister was a strong Hillary supporter. She’s going to vote for Obama, but she’s not excited about it. I think there are probably more people who feel that way than you would imagine. The MSM just doesn’t go out of their way to find those people.

  22. I used to be a person who would vote for the person, not the platform. Not anymore. The Republicans, as was stated above, have lost their way:

    McCain and Romney the represent the wing of the Republican Party that I despise — the big government/socialist/nanny-staters. I want a Republican that represents smaller government, individual liberty, and strict adherence to the Constitution. Unfortunately the Republican Party has sold out on those principles.

    I’d be happy and content to vote for a Republican who still adhered to the Constitution instead of the pocketbook. Until that happens I’m voting against the abuse of power.

    But of course that’s just my opinion, yours will vary. However, I would like to point out that any quotation of Ann Coulter’s venom will always get my hackles up. That woman embodies all that I hate about the current situation in politics: slander, vindictiveness, lies, anger, ignorance, vapidity, and (most importantly) division.

    It is my opinion that any religious person (LDS or not) who uses Coulter as a sounding board should step back and reassess how her vitriol compares to what your church teaches. Love isn’t in her vocabulary…

  23. Just saw this on CNN: Enthusiasm Gap

    Geoff B: I think you’re right about ’04, but I wonder if that was more about Kerry’s personality than his policy. In ’08, it seems like McCain policy is what is making Republicans hold their noses.

  24. My big problem with the whole voting against not voting for scenario, is what it’s going to do to our country. We are going to end up with a Supreme Court that will always be pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, anti-Boy Scouts, and anti-religion. Maybe that doesn’t concern some of you, but it concerns me quite a bit.

  25. James, I couldn’t agree more. Ann Coulter is the Paris Hilton of the political world. Not a hint of honesty about her, no redeeming value.

    I am terribly discouraged by the utter lack of civility in political discourse, the absence of honesty among all parties, particular the neocons in power at this time. While Romney was appealing to me on his own, he can do nothing to get me to vote for McCain. I’m voting for Obama in the hopes that he will actually shake things up in the political cesspool we call a government.

    I wonder how many church members have read Elder Robert S. Wood’s “Instruments of the Lord’s Peace” from the April 2006 general conference, and if so, why they continue to use the rhetorical duplicity he denounces when discussing politics. Somehow there’s a belief that anything goes, including lying and slandering anyone you don’t agree with. Sad situation.

  26. I’ll be voting for Senator McCain anyway, unless he goes crazy and puts someone like Huckabee on the ticket. In that case I think having the Republicans lose the election and regrouping for 2012 would be better long-term. (America needs a good conservative party).

    Putting Romney on the ticket would increase my enthusiasm level, likely enough for me to contribute money to the campaign. But like I said, I’ll probably be voting for Senator McCain anyway and there is zero chance that I would vote for Senator Obama.

    I’m curious about the political dimension though about adding Romney to the ticket. On the negative side I think it blunts the flip-flopping charges against Senator Obama since Romney had high-profile position changes as well. On the positive side he should safely deliver Nevada and Colorado to McCain and perhaps Michigan as well. Plus it adds to the narrative that the McCain ticket = Experience/Competence while the Obama ticket = Trendiness/Naivette.

    The Mormon aspect could possibly help deflect some of the soft-support that Senator Obama will be getting from the media stories due to his skin color. It’s a given that we’ll be inundated with stories about whether or not people are willing to vote for a black president along with many suggestions that racism is hurting Obama. (If Obama loses than America is still racist!) If they are also doing stories delving into the effect of religious prejudice against the McCain/Romney ticket then that might help cancel out such silliness since accusations of bigotry could be leveled whichever way you voted.

  27. In Romney news, BTW, he is going to eat $45 million in loans he made to his presidential campaign rather than ask for donations to pay them off.

    Remember, his big claim to the presidency was that he was an experienced businessman. Guess he didn’t recognize what a bad investment his candidacy was. ;-)

  28. MP: I’d say we’ll have to wait and see what kind of investment Romney made. If he makes it into the white house, then it was worth it.

  29. Mike, as Brian said the final result would determine if it was worth the price or not. Even if Romney is not part of the ticket this year 2012 is still a possibility, especially if Senator Obama wins this election.

    Either way, I like that he is paying his own tab. Begging for donations to pay off debt for an unsuccessful campaign, like the Clintons, seems lame in my opinion.

    Romney already has the name recognition and he’d have four years to champion conservative causes. (Hopefully starting with the Marriage Amendment in California this year).

  30. BrianJ: See my comments above. You need to see Mormons the way the rest of America sees us. If you’re an evangelical Christian (key Republican base voter), then you’re a non-Christian cultist. If you’re a secular American (general election voter), then you’re part of a kooky religion that actually believes treasure-hunting, child-bride-bedding con man Joseph Smith was a prophet.

    Make no mistake: I believe in the restored gospel and in Joseph Smith. But I harbor no illusions that a Mormon VP candidate will be beneficial to McCain. McCain has close to zero chance of winning in November; adding McCain to his ticket puts the final nail in the coffin.

  31. Aluwid: Somewhat off-topic, but in response to your comment, the first polling on Prop 8 is out today, and it doesn’t look good for anti-gay marriage advocates.

    http://www.ktvu.com/news/16917191/detail.html

    51% oppose, 42% support. And as the linked article notes, “Historically in California, when ballot initiatives start out trailing, they almost always lose.”

  32. Mike Parker: Hey, I’m with you on much of this. I think and hope that Obama will win now and in ’12, but it’s not “locked in.” So my “if” was meant as just that—a possibility for Romney in the white house.

  33. McCain has close to zero chance of winning in November; adding McCain to his ticket puts the final nail in the coffin.

    Erm, that should read, “…adding Romney to his ticket….”

  34. As a Democratic voter I see this as a win-win if McCain picks Romney. It will drive moderates to Obama, and it will drive Evangelicals to stay home.

  35. jjohnsen, I’ve heard that logic before. Who else could McCain pick that would help him in the crucial swing states he needs to win? Remember, those states are CO, NV, MI, MO, VA, OH, Penn, FL, NH, WI, Iowa, maybe Minnesota. I don’t see any other VP candidate helping McCain win a single of those states, while Romney really does help in CO, NV and Michigan. It’s possible he could offend some evangelicals and moderates in OH, PA, VA — but who else helps the ticket as much as Romney does?

    I’m willing to be convinced.

  36. GeoffB: I see Romney helping NV, MI, and possibly CO, but hurting in MO, VA, FL, and washing in the rest. In other words, McCain + Romney takes two steps forward and two steps back.

    The point, again, is that NO ONE helps the McCain. The GOP is too fragmented and depressed, the Democrats are too excited about Obama, and the general electorate are soured on Bush/McCain-style Republican governance.

  37. Mike:

    I’m not sure the entire GOP is segmented and depressed. While it may be true that the right-wing conservatives are depressed by McCain, I don’t see that with moderate and liberal Republicans.

    …and the general electorate are soured on Bush/McCain-style Republican governance.

    I think it is comical to watch how the Democrats keep trying to say that McCain will govern the same way Bush did. McCain is a maverick politician who, prior to running against Obama, was the darling of the media. They went out of their way to paint McCain as a maverick who was not afraid to buck the system and stand-up to Bush.

  38. I think it is comical to watch how the Democrats keep trying to say that McCain will govern the same way Bush did. McCain is a maverick politician who, prior to running against Obama, was the darling of the media.

    That’s who he used to be. He has significantly changed his tune recently and appears to be in lock-step with the far right more often than not.

    I actually liked who McCain was, but not so much this version I’m seeing now.

  39. The comments above sum up McCain’s problem: He has too much of a maverick history for conservatives to trust him, and he has done too much recent swinging towards Bush-style policies for liberals and independents to trust him.

    For all the attention paid to Obama’s flip-flopping lately, McCain has had relatively little paid to his enormous flipping over illegal immigrants and flopping over torture. Who knows how he would actually govern as president?

  40. More or less likely than what other alternative running against what other ticket? I would have to hold my nose and vote for him if Clinton is the other VP candidate (or simply abstain this time), but otherwise – and in theory only:

    More likely by FAR than with Huckabee; more likely than with Paul; about as likely as with most other options.

    Did I say McCain creeps me out?

  41. YES – It would make all the difference in the world to me. At this point I am about to put out a McCain ’08 sign in front of my house that includes the following subheading: “…if we must…”

  42. Mike,

    “Who knows how he would actually govern as president?”

    You’re talking about Obama right? I agree we have little idea given his paucity of experience, but I have been relieved to see his recent flip-flopping to rid himself of liberal baggage. I’d rather have an opportunist than a leftist idealogue and Obama is looking more and more like the former than the latter.

    Regarding McCain, I expect he will annoy me at times even more than Bush has. But even without a perfect record I’m happy Bush won in 2000 and 2004 and will be happy if McCain wins in 2008 (with an acceptable running mate). Still, I fully expect to be annoyed from time to time, but I’m one in three hundred million, I can’t get everything I want.

  43. Interestingly enough, more voters trust McCain on Iraq than they do Obama. I forget the exact percentages, but McCain is the clear choice when polling for a commander in chief.

  44. BTW, people interested in following polls to their ultimate conclusion will enjoy this site:

    http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/

    (The reference being 538 total electoral votes.)

    Based on today’s (7/18) polling, if the election were held today, Obama would win with a margin of 292 to 245 electoral votes, and the Democrats would take a 10-seat lead in the Senate.

  45. Is anyone not scared by this?

    “Generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal. — Barack Obama, June 2, 2008″

    Or this?

    “We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.” Barack Obama (Colorado Springs) July 2, 2008

    Be afraid, be afraid.

  46. Roger Kimball referring to first quote in my previous post:

    “economist Irwin Stelzer noted in his London Daily Telegraph column, ‘Moses made the waters recede, but he had help.’ Obama apparently works alone.”

  47. MR is ‘even’ more Plastic than JM is.
    McCain will probably carry Utah, (+ID, AZ) but that’s about all.
    Funny… how when you’re ‘Everything’ to ‘Everyone’ you lose a lot that you might not have planned on.

    It’s time people in the LDS community realized the down side of being Yes Men.

  48. Bobby Jindal, the La. governor, would be a great choice.

    After the evolution and education decision down there I think that would be a horrible choice.

    I was very disappointed by Romney in the primaries. But I think he’d at least give McCain some chops on economic matters.

    Overall it’s kind of pointless though. McCain doesn’t have a hope come November. Bush and the Republican leadership have messed up too much the past years.

  49. By the way Geoff, since I never really answered,

    Yes, Romney as VP would make me “more likely” to vote for McCain. I think he shores McCain up in areas where McCain is rather weak.

    Like actually having a plan for our nation’s economy, for instance. So far, McCain has given no indication whatsoever that he has any clue what to do with the economy.

    I’ll be voting Obama though.

    Face it, the GOP just pissed me off too badly these past eight years for a token Mormon candidate to make any difference to me. I’d like to see the GOP once again the loyal minority opposition party it was always designed to be.

  50. I think Romney would give McCain some economic chops, but I’d rather see him choose somebody like Sarah Palin.

    1) She’s a real conservative,
    2) She’d steal some of Obama’s “young and good-looking” hype,
    3) She appeals to both Mormons and evangelicals,
    4) She’d shatter the stereotype of Republicans being old, uptight white men,
    5) She’d likely be running for president in 4 years after McCain decides 1 term is enough.

    Then she could pick Mitt.

  51. After going to a Town Hall Meeting and listening to Gov. Romney, I was able to see how well he has honed his stumping style. I also spoke with Sen. McCain in a conference call and he seemed like a pitchman from the used car dealership. Romney is criticized for being too slick and McCain as being a “smooth on over on ‘ya” kind of guy. But, given the issue seems to be would I be more likely to vote for McCain with Romney on the ticket suggests that being a Mormon would appeal to a voter (or not). I seem to remember Romney just giving a speech about that. I think what he said was: “I’m a Mormon! So what!” It follows that if McCain picks him, my response is “So what!” My gut tells me Romney cannot save the election for McCain. This is going to another one of those catalyst elections as with Reagan. America is going to change, that’s for sure. It would be far better for the world for Romney to start working in LDS. If he lives to be 100, we could see 60 million LDS members and 100 million “Mormons” worldwide by 2050.

  52. Aluwid @ 9:42:

    The Mormon aspect could possibly help deflect some of the soft-support that Senator Obama will be getting from the media stories due to his skin color. It’s a given that we’ll be inundated with stories about whether or not people are willing to vote for a black president along with many suggestions that racism is hurting Obama. (If Obama loses than America is still racist!) If they are also doing stories delving into the effect of religious prejudice against the McCain/Romney ticket then that might help cancel out such silliness since accusations of bigotry could be leveled whichever way you voted.

    I don’t think this is a likely scenario. The media know how to use Google. Unfortunately, if McCain chooses Romney this will inadvertently become useful for the race issue in favor of Obama because, even though all of us (Mormons) know that Romney is not now and never was a racist, the media have Alvin R. Dyer and Mark E. Petersen just a mouse click away.

  53. Personally, yes — but only because it’s a daily struggle to remember why I’d rather vote for McCain than a write-in candidate. I’ve only voted in two presidential elections, and I don’t think I picked the right one either time (I voted for two different people.) I at least had some enthusiasm for Mitt.

    But I will be truly surprised if McCain wins, so I’m not sure whether it matters.

  54. Call me cynical but I am leaning to Bobby Jindal, He is smart and personable and he will draw out the incipient racism of the left and neutralize the moral high ground that the bleeding hearts have claimed for themselves.

  55. John F,

    I don’t think this is a likely scenario. The media know how to use Google. Unfortunately, if McCain chooses Romney this will inadvertently become useful for the race issue in favor of Obama because, even though all of us (Mormons) know that Romney is not now and never was a racist, the media have Alvin R. Dyer and Mark E. Petersen just a mouse click away.

    The line connecting Obama to racism is much more recent and personal than the line connecting Romney to racism, and it’s all on YouTube. If the “Mormons are racist” attack were played against Romney then expect to see this argument being made loudly and often. Comparisons of Romney’s father, and his work with civil rights, to Obama’s “surrogate father” will not work in Obama’s favor.

    It’s a discussion that needs to be had anyway, any excuse for black racism needs to be rejected just as we reject excuses for white racism.

  56. Sure, I would love to see Mitt Romney as McCain’s running mate because of his track record, but don’t think our country is ready for a Mormon president or vice president yet. Gov. Romney’s run for the presidency demonstrated how much anti-Mormon bigotry we still have in this country. On the other hand, although John McCain was blessed with a strong constitution, his years of captivity in North Vietnam took a toll on his health, and I’m not certain if he can survive even one term on the hot seat (i.e., the White House), so his vice president will need to be someone who can take over on short notice.

  57. Anti-Mormon bigotry, you say? I was stunned to dizziness when Mitt Romney announced he would deliver a speech concerning his Mormonism. All my adult life I had believed Mormonism to be a mainstream religion. But what knocked me to the floor was the reporting on CNN throughout those two days leading to the speech. Mainly, the religious bigotry was dripping off Wolf Blitzer who ridiculed LDS doctrine with disrespect and disdain. He ridiculed the beliefs and Mormons who believe them. Blitzer did this every twenty minutes for the two days he aired and no one NO ONE ever said a thing about it. NO ONE!!! Where was Rev Al Sharpton, Jesse J., and this all on the heels of Imus! Oh yes, religious bigotry. It seems you just have to run for office and be a Mormon and the religious bigotry leaks out of everything.
    Our society (MWOS) or you may know it as Mormon Widows and Orphans Society ( yeah DOT ORG of course) is one of the most inclusive Mormon organizations around. We don’t ask if you are a member of any church or if you regularly attend.
    So, the other side of my rant is that we go over backward to be tolerant even among Mormons, so when we experience the bigotry of this past year, it really really hurts.

  58. I am so weary of hearing evangelical Christians characterized as anti-Mormon. That is not true! As an evangelical, conservative Christian, I have absolutely no problem with Romney. I admire him, and he’s been my first choice all along! My husband, sons and our friends largely agree. We are looking for a Vice President, not a Vice Pastor! The people who were so attached to Huckabee are not likely to allow Obama into office just because a perfectly qualified, competent and experienced person like Mitt Romney isn’t exactly their brand of Christian. Give us a little more credit! I’m much more likely, in fact, to vote for McCain with some enthusiasm IF and only IF Romney is on the ticket. I never liked Huckabee, he’s too much of a populist and I got really sick of his pontificating and class warfare rhetoric…calling us Walmart Republicans??? Geez…spare me. Anyway, I say Romney is the best choice out there and it’s time for anyone anti-Mormon to grow up and look at character and qualifications, not something that is between a man and God–his worship.

  59. Mary, thanks for your input, and it’s great to have such a thoughtful, positive comment. Unfortunately, I think the evidence is pretty strong that anti-Mormonism played some role in Romney’s loss in several states, specifically Iowa. Huckabee appealed directly to that anti-Mormonism in a crass, populist way. Hopefully it will not become an issue if Romney is chosen as the VP candidate for McCain.

  60. Geoff,

    Hopefully it will not become an issue if Romney is chosen as the VP candidate for McCain.

    It will. You think evangelicals’ views would change in a matter of months?

  61. Dan, you’re probably right. We link a story today in which Tim LaHaye and other evangelicals call on McCain not to choose Romney. Shame on them.

  62. “You think evangelicals’ views would change in a matter of months?”

    Their views might not change, but their options have. In the primaries, a vote against Romney was a vote for McCain (or Huck); now, it is a vote for Obama. However, I think it will still be an issue.

  63. Brian,

    It would be very interesting, indeed, to see where evangelicals’ real priorities are. Do they vote for the non-Christian (in their eyes) Mormon, or do they let a commie-librul run America? It will be interesting indeed to see which they hate more.

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