President Romney?

It’s a rookie mistake to predict early in politics. Too many electoral variables and too many unpredictable missteps, scandals and cheery assassinations counsel modesty in political predictions. It is a prerogative of the blogosphere, however, to be immodest. It’s one of the things that makes us spectacular and stupid and perfectly content to be routinely both, always knowing we can shade the latter into forgotten land with yet more gushing immodesty on safer topics. And so…

I believe Mitt Romney will be our next president. I watched the Republican presidential debate on Bloomberg Tuesday evening and what a rollicking and fascinating insight into the vastly more interesting American political party. I loved the format — strictly limited to economic issues, as befits the Bloomberg network, which produced a little more depth of discussion, even if sexy issues like immigration and evolution were off the table, and a segment where candidates asked each other questions, mostly pointed.

Mitt Romney was manifestly presidential. The man has evidently thought about everything, and he has the gift of signaling that he has thought about everything with short and succinct statements that connect with a range of sensibilities. (Lover of irony? Romney probably had a five-word ironic parenthetical in his 30-second response.)

I was a John McCain fan in 2008. I didn’t like Romney. But he has converted what sounded slick and glib in 2008 to what sounds thoughtful and more sincere in 2011. That’s an accomplishment. Here are the reasons I predict a President Romney inauguration in January 2013.

1. Romney will likely prevail in the Republican primary, despite being suspect among the deeper right wing. First, he keeps winning debates, and Republicans, notwithstanding their rants, like winners. Second, his challengers keep making this or that mistake or faux pas or squandered opportunity — and he doesn’t. Third, he’s gracious toward his challengers (even when they’re pointedly not), which signals the luxury of a front-runner’s diplomacy. In short, he’s not angering any of the Republican base, even as he systematically adds to his own.

2. He’s been running for president for six years and has gotten remarkably good at it. And that’s not just cynicism. Thinking about issues to the obvious extent he has makes him competent at the American political game to a degree that dwarfs the other candidates. As Rick Perry was forced to acknowledge, somewhat pathetically, when he promised a “plan” in due course but not yet, Romney has been doing this for six years while he had been at it only for a few weeks. Yes, and it shows.

3. The Herman Cain surge is fascinating on so many levels, but unlikely to dislodge Romney’s nomination win. Cain is straight-talking and gifted at the sound-bite, but has no political or governance experience — much like the Democratic party’s candidate in 2008. As intriguing and increasingly popular as he is, Republican primary voters will ultimately be loathe to nominate a candidate who has precisely the same defect they’d like to be able to level at the incumbent: inexperience and what that produces.

4. Rick Perry just didn’t think through what being a presidential candidate was all about — maybe because there had never been a President Perry to shepherd his steps as there had been for Dubya. Romney keeps making Perry look like a sticks challenger.

5. Assuming the primary win, onto the general election, where Mitt Romney will get to be even more essentially Mitt Romney than he is currently permitted to be in the primary. That’s because Mitt Romney really is an inclusive candidate and really does thrive at bringing people together — a quality of particular importance to independents. He was the Republican governor of Massachusetts, one of the bluest states in the nation. He understands, in a way that none of the other Republican candidates understands, and that the sitting president didn’t understand coming into the job (and hasn’t demonstrated a gift for learning on the job), how to forge genuine bipartisan connections and make things happen for which credit could be generously spread. Romney has worked successfully with both sides of the aisle in a way that no one else in this election ever has. (Perry and Huntsman governed Republican states, and while they’ve enjoyed some bipartisan success, they don’t hold a candle to Romney.)

6. When an election is as profoundly about the economy as this one, Romney’s claim to understand, from both a businessman’s and a governor’s perspective, how to create jobs, resonates. As to both business experience and governorship, Romney massively trumps Obama.

7. Romney passionately wants the presidency, in a way that is oddly difficult to see in our current president. I happen to like Obama. I think he’s a smart and interesting man. But I think he got swept into national politics prematurely, and I think maybe even he wonders at times why he did this odd thing of becoming president. Being a Texas native, I’m reminded of Ann Richards, Texas governor from 1991 to 1995, and unseated by George W. Bush. I remember her reelection campaign, and how I was struck by the dullness and apathy of her campaign ads, which seemed to say, vote for me or not whatever. These were her campaign ads, not a speech to a chamber of commerce. She lost. President Obama signals something vaguely similar, a going-through-the-motions rah-rah about it all. Romney wins that dynamic.

8. In the general election, Romney’s difficulties with the right wing of the Republican party become plusses. Independents will like the fact that Romney didn’t appeal to the overly-caricatured Republican base. This is not because Romney is not a true conservative. He is. It’s because conservatives are innately suspicious and broadly circulate their suspicions. Good for the political dialogue. And good for the gradual American education in ideology versus actual governance. Conservatives are actually getting to second grade here, where liberals languish in kindergarten. Independents, most of whom are in junior high school or higher, will like Romney’s un-ideological focus.

9. But he’s a Mormon! Precisely. Give him his three wives. Kudos to the Democrats and the American people for electing our first Catholic president, John F. Kennedy, who privileged the Pope over the Constitution. I think we’re ready for a Mormon. And the fact that it’s a first takes a bit of the sting out of not re-electing our other first.

10. And speaking of our other first, on a delicate matter, to paraphrase Tina Turner, what’s race got to do with it, got to do with it? Right after the huge Republican victory in 2010, I counseled sobriety, despite being drunk, and said President Obama was on track to win re-election using a triangulation strategy. I’ve also said Americans would be loathe to fire their first African-American president. As it happens, he hasn’t done triangulation very well, hasn’t even seemed to have his heart in the rudimentary effort. Moreover, he hasn’t been “post-racial,” as promised. Quite the contrary. Meanwhile, Republicans have gotten excited about the Herman Cain candidacy, despite initial skepticism, and proven that Republicans aren’t the incorrigible racists of Democratic party narratives. Indeed, the Tea Party — preposterously reviled as “racist” by Democrats — has gotten especially excited by Herman Cain. And while I don’t believe Herman Cain will be the nominee, he will enthusiastically support the nominee. African-Americans will overwhelmingly vote for Barack Obama, but Herman Cain undermines one persistent ridiculous racial stereotype, and that is good for America — and incidentally good for Mitt Romney’s presidential bid.

I’m getting used to President Romney. I could be massively wrong. But that’s how I’m thinking.


UPDATE (10/13/2011): On #9, it was a ham-fisted joke, intended to invoke the bigotry JFK confronted in his presidential race (e.g., a protest sign that read, “We don’t want the Kremlin or the Vatican“). I’m making fun of the bigotry (of course Mormons don’t do polygamy, but see HBO’s Big Love), but it’s not actually funny. Back in June, according to a Gallup poll, 18% of Republicans and independents said they would not vote for a Mormon — and 27% of Democrats said the same. Got that? I mean really got that?


35 Responses to President Romney?

  1. Terrance H. says:

    I don’t really have an opinion on most of what you said, except to say I would rather it be Romney or Huntsman if not Obama.

    But I think you make a mistake with your opinion of Cain’s success. He has turned his lack of experience into his greatest strength, in my view. And while it’s somewhat similar to the outsider card candidate Obama played, Cain has something Obama didn’t have: strong business credentials.

    As for the rest, I hope you’re wrong.

    • John Barron says:


      While I like Cain, and would like him to be it for 2012, many people who claim to want someone who is not a ‘career politician’ don’t really meant it. This is evidenced by the scores of career politicians currently in the Congress and Senate. People like the idea of someone who hasn’t been corrupted by Washington, but then again, maybe they don’t. People might vote in a non-politician into a Congressional seat, and possibly a Senate seat. But by and large, they want a politician in the White House.

      I’ll vote for whomever runs against Obama. Not simply because I want someone other than him at the helm, but because I can get behind all the potential candidates. They all seem to be solid policy-wise, even if they have bits of imperfection. But the good is not the enemy of the perfect. Unfortunately Republicans and conservatives tend to hold their candidates to a purity test, which no one can pass.

      • Agreed — I was honestly impressed with all of them, just not convinced many of them were viable general election candidates.

      • Terrance H. says:

        The thing of it is: Cain is surging in the polls and since the beginning he has run on the non-politician outsider bit, sorta like Obama in 2008. The difference is that Cain has business credentials thay Obama did not have.

        • Terrance H. says:

          What you say, John, is true. But those who typically vote in primaries are a different breed. I don’t know that Cain’s outsider status will play in the general, but in the primary I think it will. And whie both Cain and Romney have business credentials, only one can play the outsider card.

          • Terrance H. says:

            And, Kendrick, I have not heard of Caincare. But I have heard of Romneycare, something wildly unpopular among the Teas.

            Romney’s scant experience in governance was, by Tea Party standards, disasterous. So unless you are willing to admit that the Teas have little pull in primaries, Romney’s experience will hurt him, in my view. This is proven by how quickly a new man rises in the polls (Perry, Christie, Cain).

            Romney is not desired. He is a settle, like McCain. And perhaps the right won’t make that mistake again.

    • Agreed re Cain’s strong business credentials, and a definite plus. But Romney has strong business credentials as well, and experience in actual governance. And Cain frankly came off Tuesday night sounding a little simplistic and silly, compared to Romney’s gracious explanation that, well, fixing the economy might require seven or more points to pursue because it’s complicated.

  2. toboggan says:

    well, I’m sold, but I sell easily in these matters. Be interesting to see how it all plays out.

    • Love you bro.

  3. Larry Beck says:

    I applaud your hope and enthusiasm and I suppose if we are to be stuck with a GOP president we couldn’t do worse with what’s available there.

    But there’s equal optimism on the left as Michael Lynch shows us in his piece “Here is Why Obama Will Win in 2012”

    “When an election is as profoundly about the economy as this one, Romney’s claim to understand, from both a businessman’s and a governor’s perspective, how to create jobs, resonates. As to both business experience and governorship, Romney massively trumps Obama”

    And yet the Democrats will demonstrate everything that those on the far right have about Romney which is that Obama and Romney are two peas in a pod on most things. Why go with the guy who associates with the Party of NO and that has no real jobs plan other than failed trickle down policies?

    But who knows. Voters are not always that discerning when they cast their vote. 2010 showed us that.

    • Actually Larry, FYI, I think 2010 showed voters at their most discerning. Not for partisan reasons per se, but because Americans typically gravitate to divided government, and that’s because any single party in American history with complete power, as the Democrats had after 2008, tends to corruption, cronyism, and special-interest favoritism. I trust you won’t try to tell me the Democrats didn’t behave that way after 2008.

      • Terrance H. says:

        Frankly, I don’t know. I certainly haven’t heard much about it. Can you give me an example of Democrat corruption after the 2008 elections? I am actually interested to hear about it.

  4. craig78681 says:

    Well written, Kendrick. If I were your editor I would make you either eliminate #9 or develop it more thoroughly. I think maybe 7 people who voted for President Obama would say to themselves “Well, I don’t feel so bad abandoning him because Mitt will be our first Mormon”. Your article would have been every bit as strong, maybe stronger, without #9.

    Kudos for having the wisdom and/or humility (likely born of experience) to recognize the fool’s errand of predicting the future.

    • Thanks Craig. See my UPDATE. You’re right. Should have developed #9 better rather than trying to keep it short (which it was) and clever (which it wasn’t).

      • craig78681 says:

        27% of Democrats won’t vote for *a* Mormon (not *this* Mormon). So much for the party of tolerance.

        • Indeed. The fascinating thing about that poll is that I assume Democrats would register more general religious tolerance than Republicans — i.e., non-Christian religions. But the tolerance for Christians, and especially conservative Christians, plummets. And you’re right — it’s “a Mormon” they wouldn’t consider voting for, any Mormon, not specifically Mitt Romney. 27%. I’m not even sure we saw that magnitude of bigotry back in the so much less enlightened 1960 Kennedy-Nixon election era. Fascinating.

  5. lobotero says:

    I think Romney will be the nominee but he will have to defend Bain Capital for all the job loses…..the election will be on the economy and Obama and the boys will paint Romney as a job killer and a manufacturing destroy and an outsourcing specialist…..just a thought

  6. Steve Ball says:

    I thought it was very well put, Kendrick. I liked it all. Hopefully what you say comes to pass.

  7. You definitely covered why he could win. Maybe it’s likely. Of course, being who I am, I hope your crystal ball is cloudy. That said, Huntsman would be my first choice. Then Romney. I agree that he looked very Presidential last night. Witty, charming, and warm. I almost believed him.

    • Count on it — my crystal ball is cloudy. But maybe I could luck into being right. 🙂

  8. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    You feel comfortable that Romney has flip flopped on major issues? And not just several years ago – from day to day and month to month. Do you really know what he stands for?

    We’re more than ready for a woman President. I’m sad that not one viable female candidate came forth. But I’m ready, also, so very ready, for things to be heading down the right track, for decisions to be made that will get the economy back into solid territory. People are suffering mightily. I pray to God that they don’t continue to suffer if a Republican wins the election. I don’t have confidence at all that Republicans care about the lower economic strata, though. And trickle down is a joke, Kendrick and no one, no credible economist believes it. I hope Romney has better ideas than that stale, useless idea.

    Yeah, leave out #9. The majority of Mormons don’t believe in polygamy.

    • “Flip-flop.” Been dealing with that accusation in every presidential election I ever cared about — and here’s where I am now. I don’t have a problem with flip-flopping, per se. I don’t think presidential candidates are obliged to stick with every notion they embraced at any prior point in their lives. In fact, the opposite. Some of those notions were stupid, misguided, misinformed, or simply trumped by newer and better facts. Jettison the notion. To deny presidential candidates the intellectual flexibility to embrace new positions is to focus on the wrong thing. Now think about this. Have you ever seen a president — and seriously, I mean ever — actually do everything he said he would do, or even, more basically, stay true to what he promised as a candidate? The answer is no. Doesn’t happen. This is the naivete of the American electorate, this persistent insistence that presidential politics is some kind of “contract” with America where they promise, and then deliver precisely accordingly to the promise. Never happens. Ever. The theater of presidential politics is about leadership symbolism, not doing what they say they would do. Exhibit A: President Barack Obama, who has reneged not merely on some, but most, of what he promised. Who buys that nonsense anymore? “Change,” “bipartisian,” Afghanistan, Iraq, Guantanamo, “transparent” presidency (terrible record), “post-racial” presidency (not even close), etc. etc.

      Jean, you’re wanting to hate Republicans, and I get that because you’re focused so sincerely on the suffering, and you believe Republicans don’t care about it. Where there is evidence of not caring, condemn it, with my support. But Republicans generally, and me, want exactly what you want for Americans, but we want it on a sound foundation. We want business confidence so business will hire people and feel comfortable making capital investments. We don’t have that now. And we don’t have that because of this administration and persistent Democratic party threats to pile on yet more regulatory and tax costs that savage the business bottom line, and Democratic party rhetoric cynically encouraging class warfare. What business-person — and particularly small business, the engine of the economy — feels any confidence creating jobs or expanding with capital investments in such an environment?

      Bottom line (as it always has been), for Democrats to get what they profess to want for the poor and working class, they have to ease up on the people who will create the jobs and pay the taxes that take care of the poor and working class. Simply to scream about the plight of the poor and the working class — without acknowledging how the poor and working class are actually accommodated in an actual economy — is the crassest opportunistic cynicism, and one of the reasons I am a Republican — because I do care about how our society manages well-being for everyone, I am hurt when I hear the stories of suffering (including in my own family), and I get sick to death of hearing Republicans demonized for trying sincerely (most of us) to produce the business environment that puts Americans back to work.

      • Snoring Dog Studio says:

        I think there’s a difference between changing one’s position on issues when faced with opposition and the need to compromise, and changing substantive positions during a political campaign. I’d have respected Romney a lot more had he embraced his healthcare decisions while he was governor rather than now jump on the “Obamacare” bandwagon.

        What I see Republicans doing, Kendrick, is putting hundreds of thousands of government workers out of a job because they foolishly believe it will cut the deficit to have more people unemployed. I agree – both parties need to quit piling up on the engines that can fuel the economy. Corporations are people? So are governments.

        Kendrick – I don’t want to hate Republicans. I do want the religious right segments to stay the hell away from governing,however. I don’t even want to hate libertarians, but in their case, I do find that lot despicable in their total “it’s all about me” mentality.

        Please. Do me a favor. Send me or reply with some links to websites that are more balanced on the topic of Romney. Look, I may not want him as the next President, but I’m more than willing to have an enlightened and objective view about his positions.

        • Interesting point about government being an economy engine. I think that’s precisely what Republicans generally fear — that government becomes the engine of the economy, rather than the private sector. Government can be, and always will be, an engine, but God help us if government becomes the engine, Then we really don’t have private enterprise. More dangerously, we have the economy driven by the public sector, and its unions, and a massive distortion of the cost and profit incentives that create wealth and jobs. That’s a ticket to economic disaster.

          On Romney, honestly Jean, I’m very new to liking him. You probably know as much about him as I do. But you’re very gracious to seek a better understanding of him. I will too, and share as I discover.

          • Snoring Dog Studio says:

            Oh, definitely, I don’t want the government to become the engine of the economy – not at all. Heck, we’ve got to make and sell things – government doesn’t, by and large, do that. But laid off and fired gov’t employees won’t buy those things the private sector is creating.

            I know next to nothing about Romney – and, honestly, I haven’t really got any negative feelings about him at all. I think I’m desperate for real change that benefits the majority of the middle and lower classes.

            Do let me know if you find some independent-minded links that can give me more info about Romney. Thanks, Kendrick!

  9. Terrance H. says:


    Obama can only do what the Right will allow. Even during the infamous Democratic control and “corruption” following the 2008 election, the Left didn’t control enough to push through everything promised. Healthcare pretty much hijacked the time, discussion, and pretty well spent Obama’s political capital (thanks in large part to right wing lies and scare tactics).

    Very recent history provides the proof for my point: Senate Republicans blocking Obama’s jobs plan. 63% of Americans are in favor of it, yet still the Right stands in the way…And why? Politics. They will stand in the way of any plan while Obama is in office that has even a miniscule chance of improving the dreary situation we find ourselves in now.

    Sickening. So, you’ll have to forgive me and Snoring for not seeing the good intentions of the Right…

    And this “business lacks confidence” bit is as old as it is dubious, ridiculous, and absurd ( repetition is a virtue, we both concede). Two-thirds of corporations pay no federal income tax, so what burden are you speaking of? And what regulatory demands is this divided government pushing that are so costly?

    Please explain. Show your work. I’m interested.

    • Terrance, my friend, I feel so bizarrely whip-sawed by you, experiencing the same caustic talking-points rhetoric you used to level at the left. Okay, you’ve decided to be a liberal and hate Republicans and conservatives instead of hating Democrats and liberals. But you have no credibility charging your former comrades with being “dubious, ridiculous, and absurd” — especially when you’re doing that caustic nonsense with talking points you got from some screaming liberal source that you should have fact-checked. “Yes, it is true that nearly two-thirds of US corporations do not pay the federal corporate income tax. This is because nearly two-thirds of US corporations end up paying the personal income tax on profits, not the corporate one.” Forbes calls what you claimed not merely misleading, but outright lying by people who should know better. I call it spinning (the bad kind), and I know you didn’t intend to mislead. You just picked up bullsh*t from your new liberal sources and used it a bit recklessly.

      Can you meet me half-way? You’re a very good person. You don’t have to be this dragon against the left or dragon against the right. You can be the person who brings to bear his considerable intelligence on the issue at hand, and freely acknowledges what he knows and doesn’t know. Much affection my friend — and go Rangers, go Cowboys.

      • Terrance H. says:


        This isn’t a discussion about me or my former political predilections. You have in fact admitted you have gone Left to Right to Left to Right again. So why are you afforded credibility and I’m not? That doesn’t very fair at all.

        I would also mention that outside of your rather hawkish foriegn policy views – and I understand your reasons – as well as this argument from corporate neurosis, I have no solid evidence of your current fancy. But it’s not important. I’m concerned with your current argument, not your credibility or former views. I will address the merits of this, your argument. I will take you as I find you. Do the same for me.

        I will give your source my full attention when I get home to a computer instead of this phone. I will respond then.

        • Terrance H. says:

          Speaking of bizarre, it’s ironically so you would caution me for my use of “talking-point rhetoric” when, excuse me, that’s precisely what I just read from you; the right-wing brand, peppered with all sorts of obfuscation. (Attacking my credibility? Please. And my tone is a reflection of the hopelessness I feel when faced with the very real possibility of a Republican president; something I think we can agree IS a real possibility.)


          I still don’t understand in what conceivable way your source validates your – and I maintain – argument from corporate neurosis.

          From your source:

          So S corporations aren’t subject to the corporate income tax at all: the profits are taxed as income when in the hands of the shareholders instead.

          It’s a single-taxation concept. Instead of the business paying taxes, the profits are divided up among stockholders and they declare their individual profits on their income tax returns. O.K. But still two-thirds of U.S. corporations pay no federal income taxes. That is not a misleading statement by any reasonable measure. The people, not the business, pay income taxes on profits regardless if they make $10 million or $10 thousand a year.

          So how big of a burden do you think it can be, Kendrick? Certainly not big enough to warrant the contention our tax code is the reason for our lackluster employment numbers. That’s not reasonable; that’s a right-wing talking point.

          You just picked up bullsh*t from your new liberal sources and used it a bit recklessly.

          Yep. Like the Uber-Liberal Fox News.

          I read the bit about S corporations in that article and I didn’t find it to be a credible response, so I dismissed it. But I’m the first to admit that economics is not my strong suit. So, I did a little searching and I can’t find more than one or two economists who believe taxes and regulatory demands are the problem. But if so, why was there no sustained growth under President Bush? He cut taxes, started two wars (only one warranted), and if anything, he deregulated many industries, somewhat dangerously in some cases.

          I like you Kendrick, but I don’t buy your argument.

          Go Lions! Go Tigers!

        • Perhaps I spoke too harshly. It is certainly not a credibility issue for you to be liberal, or even to have switched from conservative to liberal — that’s perfectly legitimate. The credibility issue arises in your peculiarly hostile rhetoric, which you appear to have flipped, quite suddenly, from harsh assaults on liberals to harsh assaults on conservatives. You are correct concerning my meandering political path (though it was conservative to liberal to moderate to conservative). But the changes were gradual, and, lacking the internet in my formative years (my first computer was a Tandy 1000 with no hard drive in 1985 at age 26), I had none of the 21st century outlets to vent my spleen the way you do. So there was nothing visibly jarring about my political sensibility shifts — as there is with you. Just a little while ago, liberals were “dubious, ridiculous and absurd,” and now conservatives are “dubious, ridiculous and absurd.” It’s that kind of rhetorical excess that compromises your credibility, when you have flipped it as suddenly as you have. Go forth and be liberal honorably — but do so with a measure of modesty in your rhetoric.

          Congratulations on the Tigers win.

          • Terrance H. says:


          • Terrance H. says:

            Ignore my meaningless text comment. This phone goes fuzzy at times…. (Ahem…user error)

            Yes. I am a bit provocative at times, but you shouldn’t take my rhetoric as an insult to you, though I realize there may at times be nothing other than insults to be inferred. I apologize for that. I’m just fed up with the whole situation this country is in, and I have been for a long time. We all probably are and some handle it better than others….

            Thanks! You won’t appreciate this, but I hope they win 6 more….

          • You’ll partly appreciate this: I hope they don’t win anymore — but if they win two more, I hope they win six more.

  10. Jeff says:

    Don’t you just love someone who comments without reading all of the comments, much less the entire original article? Craig, Ken, don’t make too much of mine and my bretheren Democrats intolerance of Mormons. I know you are not lying, just spinning, in a devilish sort of way. One of you is a mathematician and the other is an inside the beltway, former-inside the seat of power lawyer, so don’t tell me you don’t understand that, as Ken once quothe to me, “Polls are tricky.”

    Let’s see if if we can break this down. Even a last-in-his-law-school-class kind of lawyer like me can figure this out. Mormons are the most conservative religious people (not I did not say cult as so many on the right seem to be saying) in the U.S.

    Democrats tend not to be Mormon, though my best friend in high school was, and has been President of the Utah teachers union. Democrats tend not to support groups that support subservience of women to men. Democrats tend not to vote for Conservatives. Democrats, being really smart!, tend to know that Mormon’s tend to be Conservatives, if not Republicans. Democrats tend not to vote for Republicans. Therefore, Democrats will not vote for Republicans or Conservatives, I am guessing, by a number greater than, the number who won’t for a Mormon. A certain percentage of Democrats and Republicans are intolerant of the opposite side. The percentage used has nothing to do with religious intolerance, afterall, it was us who voted for JFK, Joe Lieberman, Shirley Chisholm, President Obama, Geraldine Ferraro, Hillary Clinton, etc. The percentage of Democrats who would not vote for a Mormon, indicates that a liberal progressive Mormon could garner as much as 74% of Democatic vote.

    • Brilliantly dissected Jeff. And by the way, if I have a legal problem, I want your “last-in-his-law-school-class kind of lawyer” watching my back. You’re right, there is a rational basis for Democratic party mistrust of Mormons, given their fairly reliable conservatism. But I would also suggest that the poll still counsels modesty from liberals and Democrats concerning what is much too easy condescension toward Republicans and conservatives about religious bigotry.

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