Mitt Romney’s clumsy Mormon shtick
Mitt Romney’s Mormonism is his biggest political hurdle. The Massachusetts governor, who will almost certainly seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, has become a dark-horse favorite thanks to his achievements (health-care reform) and personal qualities (he’s charismatic, smart, and absurdly wholesome). But in a 1999 Gallup poll, 17 percent of respondents said they wouldn’t vote for a presidential candidate who’s a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. And since the conservative evangelicals prominent in today’s GOP are deeply suspicious of the LDS Church, Romney’s religion could cripple him in the Republican primaries. Romney knows he needs to dispel these heebie-jeebies to win the presidency, so he’s spent the past few months figuring out how to play the Mormon card.