Presidential Campaign

Presidential Campaign

Why I Chose Romney

I prefer shorter submissions, but I hope everyone will bear with me on this one.

As many of my friends know, I decided last week to support Mitt Romney in his quest for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination.

As the 2008 race got under way way back when, I had no real intention of endorsing any of the candidates. There were (and are) a number of good men running, and at the beginning, at least, it didn’t seem as if any of the so-called “first-tier” candidates had the capacity to reach into the various constituent parts of the conservative base of the Republican Party to come anywhere close to developing consensus support among the conservative voters who make up most of that base.

Would You Vote for a Mormon?

When John F. Kennedy was nominated for president, a lot of Americans started worrying about a Catholic in the White House. Not Harry Truman. With a dig at Kennedy’s old man, Ambassador Joseph Kennedy, Truman said: “I’m more afraid of the Pop than the Pope!”

But most Americans weren’t so open-minded. In fact, the only way Kennedy could save his candidacy was by giving a speech to the Houston Ministerial Conference in which he affirmed that, as a Catholic American, his first loyalty was to the Constitution, and not to the Vatican.

The Religious Double Standard

Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen has very harsh things to say about Mike Huckabee today, likely the harshest things anyone has said yet about the surging underdog now second in Iowa and some national polls. Cohen wants Huckabee, the minister, to come out against religious intolerance. It is religious intolerance, after all, that Mitt Romney fears enough to give a speech Thursday about his Mormon "faith." Romney has watched evangelical Christians in Iowa rally behind Huckabee and has calculated that he must risk further criticism by attempting to assuage them with this address.

Hillary as Muskie

Is Hillary Clinton becoming Ed Muskie?

Her faltering campaign and the resurgence of Barack Obama bring back echoes of Democratic primaries past. There are some interesting similarities between now and 1972.

Mitt Romney and Mormonism and Abortion

OK, I have had enough. Mitt Romney is just too much. At the CNN YouTube debate he answered the question of his so-called “switch” on abortion.

Here is some of what he said: “I was wrong. I was effectively pro-choice when I ran for office … I changed my mind as governor.” He talked about “a mistake.”

This is complete nonsense. This has all been totally and crassly calculated from the first day he announced against Edward Kennedy (D) for the U.S. Senate and when he sought out and received a pro-choice Republicans group’s endorsement in the 2002 governor’s race. The same group that, by the way, is running very tough ads against him in Iowa and New Hampshire.

It's Time for Obama to Explain His Record

Memo to Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.): It's time for you to explain the inconsistencies of your positions and the way you describe your past record. Your complaint that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) is "attacking people" and "throwing mud" because she challenged the accuracy of your characterization of your own healthcare plan as "universal" appears hypocritical. It was you who voluntarily attacked Sen. Clinton for being "untruthful and misleading" several weeks ago in a voluntary sit-down with two New York Times reporters. That is clearly a direct attack on character — the functional equivalent of calling Sen. Clinton a "liar" — and yet, at least according to the Times article, you offered no specific examples in that article to back up such a serious personal attack.

The Base Chase

The problem for a candidate when he moves from quirky curiosity to the top of the pack is that we start paying attention to more than his cute one-liners.

So here we are with Mike Huckabee, who has employed his Baptist-preacher gentle humor, honed over years of pastoring, to propel himself right into the thick of things in Iowa. But what does he stand for?

To his credit, Huckabee has never tried to hide the fact that his political beliefs are the same as his religious beliefs. Why should he, since the Republican campaign in Iowa could be described as "The Race for the Base"?

But for those who might be, uh, baseless, it is probably important to know who is organizing some events for Huckabee.

Divine Rites

Well, he's finally going to do it. Mitt Romney has finally decided he has no choice. He's planning on Thursday to make his "I'm Mormon but Not a Nut Case" speech.

I must say that I sympathize with him. I mean, why should he have to justify his religious beliefs while the others don't?

After all, the candidates, particularly the Republicans, like to wear theirs on their sleeves. If we're going to question how Romney's faith would "inform" his presidency, shouldn't we know how Huckabee's Baptist fundamentalism would, or Giuliani's adherence to his Catholicism, or lack thereof?