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Thursday, December 13, 2007
posted by Rob Watson | 6:00 PM | permalink
One week after Mitt gave his now famous (infamous?) so-called "Mormon speech" regarding religious tests for presidential candidates, the media has come out in full force both for and against Romney.

A Google News search for the keywords "Romney Mormon speech" for the last week shows an astounding 4,000 news and blog stories devoted to the topic.

A quick perusal of the tenor of the stories and blog comments reveals that there are mixed opinions on both sides. There are evangelicals stoutly defending Romney and others defending Huckabee's bigoted retorts. The Boston Globe reports today, though, that not everyone loves Huckabee.
When "Huckleberry," as he's nicknamed, left the governor's office, the furniture he'd been given to spruce up the place left with him.

When he and his wife decided to renew their wedding vows, they set up a registry at department stores so citizens could bestow gifts upon the First Couple. The list included Lenox china, a KitchenAid mixer, and a Jack LaLanne Power Juicer. You try losing 100 pounds without a LaLanne.

Maybe there's a reason?

There are, of course, Mormons who defend Romney, yet others who are lukewarm or who support other candidates. In general, there are many who believe Romney made a smart move by talking openly with Americans about what he believes and how those beliefs would inform his presidency. Just after the speech, the Dallas Morning News reported from Iowa:

In Council Bluffs, the co-chairman of the Pottawattamie County party, David Overholtzer – a Romney supporter and part-time paid campaign worker – called the speech inspirational. He liked the fact it avoided an explication of Mormonism.

"I'm looking for a leader. ... This was an opportunity for him to give a 'vision' speech. A lot of times the venues, the debates and everything, don't allow you to spend 20 minutes talking about vision," said Mr. Overholtzer, a CPA who considers himself an evangelical Christian.

What impressed him was that the speech wasn't just Mr. Romney's lofty prose and high-brow thoughts about the role of religion in public life, but the image he presented, surrounded by a wife of 37 years and four of their children.

"People, and especially evangelicals, they're looking for faith and they're looking for family issues," he said.

The data on Google Trends for the keywords "Romney", "Huckabee", "Mormon", and "Evangelical" will soon show the impact, which is likely to be significant, of those topics on the blogosphere and traditional online news media.

Keep watching. This topic isn't going to go away.
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