Romney’s Out

February 7, 2008 | 68 comments
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Multiple sources report that Romney is getting out of the race today at CPAC.

Pre-released announcement here:

This is not an easy decision for me. I hate to lose. My family, my friends and our supporters… many of you right here in this room… have given a great deal to get me where I have a shot at becoming President. If this were only about me, I would go on. But I entered this race because I love America, and because I love America, I feel I must now stand aside, for our party and for our country.

I listened to the whole speech and this passage did indeed appear nearly at the every end. The first part of the speech began with an appeal to American exceptionalism and moved on to red meat conservatism with a Mormon twist (talking about families and morality as the basis of national prosperity and strength, e.g.). He then announced he was getting out and made another heartfelt appeal to American exceptionalism.

With the exception of his faith speech, nothing in this race became Romney so much as the way he left it.

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=ZThiYTZkMGM3YTMyYTc2NDZhNjY4YTMzZmExZTVhNzg=

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=ZTRlYjIwYjQzYjAyZDExNDFlOTgxZGM1MDU0YzY4NTQ=

http://www.redstate.com/stories/elections/2008/mitt_romney_2008_rip

http://www.evangelicalsformitt.org/front_page/romney_campaign_suspending_tod.php

http://www.redstate.com/stories/elections/2008/mitt_romney_at_cpac#comment

UPDATE: speech here

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68 Responses to Romney’s Out

  1. Jonovitch on February 7, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    “Suspension” is not necessarily “out,” for all the lawyers out there who like to parse words. He still keeps his delegates, for now.

    Jon

  2. Dan on February 7, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    He should have stayed a moderate and stopped pretending to be hardcore conservative. This switch, which stunk of political timing, whether sincere, was his ultimate downfall.

  3. California Condor on February 7, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    @Dan (2)

    You’re dead wrong. Romney would have gone up in flames had he kept his moderate positions. His only chance was to take a conservative stance, he did pretty darned good.

  4. Jonovitch on February 7, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    The two moderates already in it (since 2005) had rockstar name recognition: McCain and Giuliani. I agree that Romney was never as conservative as he made himself out to be, but he hardly had a choice.

    It was never a fair fight to begin with, and although I held out hope that he might be able to pull it off despite all the odds (and there were plenty of them). No person who was the first major candidate from a new religion has ever won the presidency. I read a study on it last year — I’ll have to go digging for it sometime.

    Deep down I knew, based on that alone, that he didn’t have a chance. But he paved the way for the next guy who tries it, and he did wonders for the Church. (It sounds trite, perhaps, but it’s true.)

    He always said this race wasn’t about him, and I always believed him. This was a business decision and a patriotic decision, and I salute him for running an incredible long-shot campaign that really was against all odds.

    Jon

  5. Dan on February 7, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    CC,

    Trouble is that most of his life he was a moderate. Then only starting in 2002 did he begin shifting to the right. Like I said, whether real or not, whether sincere or not, it stunk of political timing.

  6. Christopher on February 7, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    This was a business decision and a patriotic decision, and I salute him for running an incredible long-shot campaign that really was against all odds.

    Seriously? “An incredible long-shot campaign that really was against all odds”? It wasn’t too long ago when politically-conservative Mormons were touting him as the front-runner and best-qualified Republican nominee, by virtue of his combined experience in the private sector and as governor. That, coupled with his enormous bank account and fundraising ability, makes it tough to label his campaign a “long shot … that was really against all odds.”

  7. Adam Greenwood on February 7, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    Stow it, Dan. I’ve removed your last comment and will remove any further comments of yours on this thread.

  8. Kevin Barney on February 7, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    This was absolutely the right call. Good for him. I wish him nothing but the best.

  9. Adam Greenwood on February 7, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    I’m always worried with people in public life that their ambition will completely overcome their sense, so this was good to see.

  10. Adam Greenwood on February 7, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    UPDATE: speech here

  11. Jonovitch on February 7, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    Rats, I missed Dan’s deleted comment.

    Anyway, here are a few of the odds I referred to earlier that Romney was up against:
    - Mormon (did you even see what happened Tuesday in the South?)
    - his grandpa had like a bazillion wives (what an evil pernicious practice!..what?…Giuliani?…huh?…I don’t get it…)
    - zero national name recognition (especially against the love-affair the media has with McCain and Giuliani)
    - “he’s too squeaky clean”
    - “he’s robotic, inhuman, too polished with his sound-bite answers”
    - “not a hair is out of place” — do any of them showed up with messy hair? come on, people!
    - two other wildly popular moderates (with national name recognition) were already signed up, so he had to remake himself as a conservative
    - he remade himself as a conservative from the most liberal state in the country
    - he “paid for” the Iowa straw poll last August (while little ol’ Huckster got second on a shoestring…awww, how cute)
    - everyone else in the race hated him, except maybe Thompson (and a lot of good that did)
    - he “flip-flops”/he’s “calculating/dishonest” (for serious? this is the Mormon guy we’re talking about, right?)
    - “he’s rich” (of all the nerve!) “and spends too much of his own money on the campaign” (rather than favoring special interests? you’re right, of course, he ought to be beholden to them like everyone else)
    - he was virtually ignored by the news media when he had more delegates and more states than the others, because “he was supposed to win them” (the story was, Huckabee wins! — “Underdog!”; McCain wins! — “Comeback Kid!”; Romney wins! — “native son, he was a shoe in”; Romney wins! — “Western states, he’s supposed to win those” (he simply could not catch a break from the media, and don’t tell me I’m making things up, because I watched it — from the perspective of a communications background — from the very beginning; it was astonishing how much coverage and press time McCain and Huckabee got vs. Romney — it sunk Giuliani, too)

    Jon

    P.S. I only very, very recently started supporting Romney, thinking that he, against all odds, might actually pull it out. He almost did. So close.

  12. Mark B. on February 7, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    I think that Romney is a much better man than he was campaigner, and he would likely have been a much better President too. As tough as it is to lose (other than dieters, who likes losing?), this has got to be a relief to him and his family.

    Thanks, Mitt! Take a well-deserved vacation.

  13. Christopher on February 7, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    Jonovitch, so you salute him for almost succeeding against his own self-created odds against himself? Granted, the anti-Mormon sentiment and “sqeaky-clean” image aren’t all his own fault, but just about everything else you name are Mitt’s own creation.

    Your point about Gualiani’s noteriety is invalid, too, since Mitt was doing rather well for the duration of Gualiani’s short-lived run. If you want to lament Mitt’s bowing out, that’s fine. It just seems superficial to cue the violins and praise him as one who succeeded against the odds.

  14. California Condor on February 7, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    Romney might be back in 2012 or 2016. Remember that Reagan had been around before 1980. This might only be the beginning of the story.

    I think I will support McCain this year. I agree with him on immigration and free trade.

  15. BBELL on February 7, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    Romney ran a fine race. Essentially he ended up second. No real scandal in his background.

    We should be proud of him. He paved the way for the next LDS candidate.

  16. tyler on February 7, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    I think he may have paved the way for himself. He ran a great race as a Reaganesque candidate, but no one is interested in Reagan this year (or, some people are, but not enough to overcome the questions about his authenticity and his religion). I think he’ll be back, maybe in four years, especially if the Democrats win this year.

    Funnny note, the NY times, of all people, in their article about his getting out of the race, actually treat him quite nicely, almost describing him as a candidate who could never convey to voters what a truly intelligent and quality nominee he would really be.

  17. Naomi Sloan on February 7, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    Please forgive me for the nepotism, but my husband’s “Farewell to Romney” is my favorite of this genre today (naturally). It’s the second post down, if you’re bored at work and want something else to read:

    http://www.rebirthofrenaisauce.blogspot.com/

  18. Jonovitch on February 7, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    Christopher (14), everything I listed is valid. The items in quotes are negative opinions thrust upon him (not self-made) and repeated ad infinitum. Like I said, he couldn’t catch a break in the media or from the other candidates.

    BTW, Giuliani hardly had a short run. Last year it was all about him — he had it sewn up. The news-media focus was all on Giuliani (how soon we forget), then Huckabee, then McCain. Romney had to spend millions of dollars just so people would know who he was and even then was hampered by incessant mockery, disdain, and second-guessing.

    There’s no need for you to be snarky, either. I didn’t shed a tear. As I already noted, I only very, very recently decided on Romney. I have no passionate life-dream of getting him elected, and I’m going to sleep just fine tonight. I simply thought he was the most qualified and experienced for the job of chief executive of the nation. And even though he knew from the beginning it would be tough (and that he would be up against great odds), he ran a pretty darn good campaign. Who would have thought, one year ago, that he would have done as well as he did? That is what I salute. Please keep your sarcasm to yourself.

    Jon

  19. Jonovitch on February 7, 2008 at 4:40 pm

    Tyler (17), you bring up a good point. I’ve told many people that we need to think about elections as if we’re the hiring managers, looking at work experience and qualifications. It cannot be about ideology and emotions, yet that’s all we see. In a workplace, focusing on ideology, personal opinions, and emotions is the kind of thing that can get people sued, and yet that’s how we elect our presidents. Popularity contests for our favorite rock stars.

    NB: I think I should clarify my salute to Romney, in case anyone else decides to deliberately misunderstand me. It is for the fact that he dragged himself and his family through an admittedly long-shot race for more than a year, spending a massive amount of his own money, and he did so because he sincerely cares about the future of our country. He wanted to win so he could help fix what’s broken, one more time. He could have easily stayed in the race through August — in a deadlocked three-way split with Huckabee and McCain — and possibly could have forced a brokered win at the convention. He certainly has the money and the organization. Instead, he took one for the team. That is admirable and worthy of mention if not outright praise. He is a patriot and a good man and is worthy of my salute.

    Jon

  20. Jonovitch on February 7, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    P.S. I don’t see Romney running again. He’ll go back to the private sector, save a few more businesses and retire. By then the country will desperately need him (think Medicare and Social Security) and the GOP will come crawling back, begging him to save their party. Even then, I think he’ll politely decline, saying he had his shot and he’s not interested anymore.

    Jon

  21. Christopher on February 7, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    There’s no need for you to be snarky, either. … Please keep your sarcasm to yourself.

    That “communications background” of yours doesn’t seem to be helping you read the proper and intended tone into my comments.

  22. Marc on February 7, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    Jonovitch – He doesn’t get to keep all his delegates. Under GOP primary rules in Michigan, all of his Michigan delegates are now “uncommitted” because of his suspension.

  23. Zat on February 7, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    I believe his number one problem wasn’t issue related. I believe it was lack of name recognition. No one knew who he was before this campaign. I’m LDS, I watched the SLC Olympics, but never knew who Mitt Romney was, and I pay attention to politics. The only Republican name people knew was McCain, because he has run for president 27 times. All people really know about him is his name and that he was a prisoner of war. The other two issues that hurt him were his history on abortion and his religion. One of his senior aids says he plans to run in 2012. I wonder what he’ll be doing for the next four years.

  24. Wilfried on February 7, 2008 at 6:48 pm

    Yes, he is out. But was it necessary to include is his final speech a simplistic and swiping criticism of Europe? It hurts the Church to read now in European headlines that the Mormon candidate attacked Europe.

  25. greenfrog on February 7, 2008 at 7:02 pm

    “If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that Senator Clinton or Obama would win. And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign, be a part of aiding a surrender to terror,”

    – Romney

    This alone is enough reason to celebrate the end of his candidacy.

  26. willf on February 7, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    A friend of mine joked that Romney got out of the race not because he was behind in the polls, but rather because of the recent opening in the Quorum of the Twelve. I used to like David Brooks (NYTimes) until this campaign, but now I could seriously imagine him proposing something that ridiculously with a straight face.

  27. Jonovitch on February 7, 2008 at 7:57 pm

    22 — snark, snark.

    Jon

  28. Adam Greenwood on February 7, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    But was it necessary to include is his final speech a simplistic and swiping criticism of Europe? It hurts the Church to read now in European headlines that the Mormon candidate attacked Europe.

    I think its objectively true, Wilfried D., that in the last century the torch passed from Europe to America. I wouldn’t exactly call that a swipe, but if it is then (gallic moue) the truth hurts.

  29. Wilfried on February 7, 2008 at 8:14 pm

    I did not mean that sentence, Adam. I meant what the European media are now stressing in what Romney said this morning: “Europe is facing a demographic disaster. That is the inevitable product of weakened faith in the Creator, failed families, disrespect for the sanctity of human life and eroded morality.” To what extent this is true or not I leave in the middle here – that would lead to a complex discussion and should entail many nuances. My concern is the effect of such utterance as perceived in combination with Mormonism, which the media tie to each other. The “demographic disaster”, for one, will not only be understood as “fewer children”, but as allowing a multicultural society to emerge.

  30. Jim Cobabe on February 7, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    This alone is enough reason to celebrate the end of his candidacy.

    Yes, I am sure Romney realizes now that he is well out of it. We don’t deserve such a worthy candidate.

  31. Jack on February 7, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    Romney got a little over 4 million votes and McCain about 4.7 million–to date.

    Romney seems to have lost because 1) McCain won more winner-take-all states, and 2) because Huckabee divided the vote among the anti-McCain crowd. If it weren’t for those two factors working against Romney you could sure as heck bet that McCain would sweating it big-time.

  32. Jack on February 7, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    Wilfried,

    You (and Kevin Barney) get my vote for the nicest guy on the blogs–so I hate to be tough with you. At some point you’ve got to let your fellow Europeans grow up and stand on their own religious feet. No doubt many of them hate the U.S., but that isn’t going to stop us from welcoming them into our chapels.

  33. James on February 7, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    “I meant what the European media are now stressing in what Romney said this morning: ‘Europe is facing a demographic disaster. That is the inevitable product of weakened faith in the Creator, failed families, disrespect for the sanctity of human life and eroded morality.’ ”

    Wilfried, is there anything there that is not objectively true? Consider what happened to Rome when that society abandoned it’s core morals? In any case, the first sentence about a demographic disaster is inescapable. Cultures that do not have birthrates above replacement die off at a predicable rate. The failure of European cultures to reproduce themselves and assimilate immigrants dooms them to extinction. They will be replaced by other cultures. Those cultures may not be as enlightened with respect to civil and religious liberty as their predecessors are now, or they may be better. Only time will tell.

  34. alice munro on February 7, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    Have to respectfully disagree that he went out on a high note. Not only did he paint a picture of a country in which everyone who didn\’t believe the same thing as the people from the narrow point of view in the room with him (CPAC, who probably don\’t represent 20% of Americans) was evil or dangerous but he pointedly insulted allies that we have to try to form new and once again productive relationships with if we don\’t want to continue to be badly isolated on the globe.

    Underneath the smiling demeanor there was an unattractive bitterness that, actually, makes me rather glad he didn\’t continue on. He hadn\’t faced the *real* opposition that would have come from the Democrats. If he was showing that kind of negativity after only facing other Republicans it\’s worth considering how damaged he would have been in the general election.

    He made a nice showing until that unfortunate speech.

  35. Wilfried on February 7, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    James (34), as I said, I only wanted to point out that Romney’s statement about Europe is sensed in European media as unworthy of a candidate for the US presidency — who would have, in case of election, to collaborate with his most obvious allies. Now he is sensed not only as speaking with contempt and cheap generalizations about a vast array of nations, but also as a Mormon, as if his religious judgment over Europe is the Church’s judgment. I think it was unwise to use that kind of rhetoric to bolster American greatness by disparaging others.

    I am not a sociologist of nations, but comparisons with Rome, core morals, reproduction of cultures, and the like, may be true (though I think history has a tendency to greatly simplify past developments), but in today’s globalizing world and with the slow emergence of perhaps succesful multicultural societies things may be different than in the past. One thing seems certain: America and Europe face comparable challenges of moral changes, family failures, ethical questions, (il)legal immigration, integration and assimilation, etc.

  36. Rob on February 7, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    Romney’s campaign was like BYU football–flashes of brilliance, but without the where-with-all to go all the way.

  37. Jeremiah J. on February 7, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    “Huckabee divided the vote among the anti-McCain crowd.”

    I don’t see any indication that Huckabee and Romney voters were part of a recognizable anti-McCain crowd. Pew has numbers which show that McCain is clearly more well-liked than either Huckabee or Romney among GOP voters. So Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter are not a representative sample. McCain is about as well-liked as Bush, whereas the other two give up about 18 points to Bush. Had Huckabee dropped out, it would probably have helped McCain more. Romney’s problem since Iowa was that he’s been weak as a second choice.

    http://people-press.org/reports/display.php3?ReportID=392

    “Europe is facing a demographic disaster.”

    About a year ago Romney was given a powerpoint presentation whch listed the suggested prime targets for his campaign. Hillary, illegal immigrants, Massachusetts, and France. It is a bit of a dirtbag thing to attack your home state and the country where you served your mission for political gain. Good thing he doesn’t have a liberal brother in politics–his slimy advisors might have demanded he charge his relation with giving aid and comfort to Al Qaida. So as a returned missionary I’m pleased, relatively speaking, that Romney in checking every box chose his lightest attacks for France itself (choosing to slam Europe in general). And given the overall red-meat tenor of his campaign, his attacks on Europe were relatively light.

    #26: I second that sentiment very strongly. McCain is a very flawed candidate, but war or no war I’m glad to see what is likely an end to the McCarthyite style of politics on terrorism, at least from presidents and presidential candidates.

  38. Bob on February 7, 2008 at 10:46 pm

    #34: “Is there anything there that is not objectively true? ” None of it is objectively true. Here in California we are undergoing what you call a “demographic disaster” We are doing fine. Although it might be nice to have a Governor who’s English was a little more understandable. I think the “fall(s)” of Greece and Rome are way overstated. And when did Rome ever have a “core morals”?

  39. Clark on February 8, 2008 at 2:36 am

    One can also dispute how much Rome fell and how much it just moved to Constantanople and declined…

  40. Clark on February 8, 2008 at 2:40 am

    Wilfred: The “demographic disaster”, for one, will not only be understood as “fewer children”, but as allowing a multicultural society to emerge.

    That’s a very interesting way of thinking of it. I hadn’t thought of it in quite those terms (and I suspect Romney didn’t either) Sometimes I think Europeans just don’t get Americans sometimes. (And the opposite is probably more frequently true)

    At the same time though there is a huge divide between the US’ “melting pot” model and the multicultural model that Europe has to deal with. Places like Canada end up being an interesting middle ground that is perhaps a bit more useful to gauge the problem. My view is that things are much more complex than the simple judgments of either side portray.

    I should also add that I think some right wing fears that Mexicans aren’t assimilating seem dubious. But then I’m Canadian and grew up on the east coast there. So take that for what it’s worth. At least there are no “Spanish only” laws in California the way there are “French only” laws in Quebec.

  41. Jeremy on February 8, 2008 at 3:32 am

    Sorry, but Romney lecturing Europe about the sanctity of life and eroded morality the day after it comes out that we do, in fact, waterboard, etc. etc., has got to come across as hubristic and hollow. Just sayin’…

  42. DW on February 8, 2008 at 4:03 am

    With Romney out, Mormons should rally behind Barack Obama.

    Take a look at my blog entry, \”Why Mormons Should Rally Behind Obama\” at http://denniswendt.blogspot.com

  43. Mark D. on February 8, 2008 at 4:56 am

    #42: I have a hard time getting exercised over the waterboarding of a handful of terrorists in a country where the Supreme Court concocts the right to abort millions of the unborn free of any reasonable restriction whatsoever. And then the “Democratic” party fights to the death to defend perhaps the most undemocratic exercise of power in the U.S. in the past century. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. Is it any wonder Republicans dominate the presidency?

  44. john f. on February 8, 2008 at 6:05 am

    re # 19, I didn’t sleep just fine last night. There was something very unsettling about what happened to Romney in his presidential campaign. But then I always felt sick in elementary school when I watched a group of kids picking on and beating up on the smart kid.

  45. Jeremy on February 8, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    #44: This is of course a topic (that has already proven to be) worthy of many threads elsewhere. I’m not trying to cause a torture/abortion morality threadjack, I’m simply saying that from the perspective of the rest of the world right now, particularly Europe, our applications of Christian morality likely seems rather inconsistent (whether or not you or I think it actually is or isn’t) . I would suggest, in that vein, that when Romney engages in facile Europe-bashing just to score a view points with the right wing at CPAC (and with no immediate benefit to his presidential aspirations, since he’s dropping out), he perhaps does so at the expense of our country’s and our Church’s image abroad.

  46. cyril on February 8, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    Email from Sekulow to EFM

    Nancy–You have every reason to hold your head high. As I told Mitt and Ann today, we have no regret. All of us did the right thing by endorsing Mitt and you and David got involved at the outset. All of us owe you and the EFM team a huge thank you. My wife Pam reflected that this was one of the most important journeys we have been on. For the last two months we have been with the Romney’s in the various primary states. We would not trade the experience for anything. I do think that as a movement we need to do some soul searching. Maybe even a get together with the EFM team and some others to figure out the way out of the forest.
    We all picked the right guy. In that I have no doubt. God had other plans. We need to seek his will in this matter. There is much at stake. Just about every conservative, as well as Christian lawyers came aboard the Romney team. That was no accident. I was in DC today with Mitt and Ann and they so appreciated your tireless efforts.

    We take a break for a few days and then figure this out. we continue to pray for David and your family.

    GREAT JOB

    Jay Sekulow

  47. cyril on February 8, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    From David French of EFM —-

    I had just returned from late dinner at our dining facility here at FOB Caldwell when I saw the email: Mitt was dropping out of the race, and he was announcing it at CPAC. I’ll be completely honest with you: I choked up a bit. I immediately thought back to the first real meetings of “Evangelicals for Mitt,” when a few dear friends put pen to paper planning how political amateurs could actually reach out to our fellow evangelicals in a way that could make a difference. I thought back to the frantic two months before the Memphis Southern Republican Leadership Conference, when Nancy and I moved from Philadelphia to Columbia, I started a new job, and began an intensive effort to impact the Memphis straw poll — without an ounce of help from political professionals. I thought back to the idea for this blog, born during our “victory dinner” after the Governor’s surprise second place showing.
    When we started this blog, it grew in exactly the way we hoped. We hoped and prayed for readers, and we got them—first hundreds, then thousands, then tens of thousands. We hoped and prayed that Christian and conservative opinion leaders would read EFM and consider our arguments, and that happened. Not only did we solidify relationships with Christians and conservatives we already knew, we formed new friendships and — on more than one occasion — had a chance to impact the debate at the national level.

    Over the last two years, we have gotten to know two wonderful people better than we ever thought we would. I have said this before, and I’ll say it again: all too often, as we get closer to people—even to friends—their flaws become more apparent, and there is more to forgive, more to overlook. With Mitt and Ann, the opposite is the case. The closer we have come to that wonderful family, the more we have seen their virtues—how a husband and wife raised five wonderful boys even as Mitt’s career grew ever more demanding and Ann was rocked by a horrible illness; how they respond to adversity—personal or professional—not by throwing their hands in the air in despair but by working optimistically to solve problems and restore hope; and how they just do things the right way, with dignity, grace, and good cheer.

    And Mitt Romney did things the right way yesterday. The Governor was correct. A time of war is simply not the time to pursue a campaign that cannot be won. There was enough bitterness in the Republican coalition already, and a race all the way to the convention would only exacerbate that bitterness and create wounds that would not heal. As much as I disagree with John McCain politically, he is an American hero, and it says something good about my party and my country that his courage in the worst possible circumstances (courage I can scarcely comprehend) would earn him his chance to lead. There are worse things than being led by a hero.

    But there is something else that happened as we blogged—something that was unexpected and wonderful. I truly believe that this little blog generated one of our nation’s few truly amicable, truly respectful ongoing Mormon-evangelical dialogues in the country. To our LDS readers, your letters, your patience with some of our misconceptions about your faith, and—ultimately—your friendship mean more than you can know. Just yesterday, I was down in the mail room of FOB Caldwell looking at packages arriving from across the country, many of which I knew came from my Mormon friends, and I was just overcome with feelings of gratitude. I think God has had a purpose in our conversations and our emerging friendships that go beyond this presidential campaign. I don’t know where this will all lead, but I’m thankful we started down this path.

    As for EFM . . . I don’t know what’s next. I want Mitt to run again, and I do not yet know if I can support John McCain this November. I have grave differences with him on issues of real substance. But I have other, quite pressing things to attend to in my own life. Right now, God has called me to serve my country here in Iraq to the best of my ability. And when I return, I do know that the work of conservative Christians attorneys in defending the constitution will be more vital than ever, but beyond that . . . Who knows what the future holds?

    But for now, I’m content to say thank you to Mitt and Ann Romney. Thank you for your love of our country. Thank you for standing for the principles that will cause our country to endure and prosper. Thank you for living lives of grace, integrity, and dignity.

    Thank you for doing things the right way.

    David A. French
    CPT, JA
    Forward Operating Base Caldwell
    Diyala Province, Iraq

  48. Eugene V. Debs on February 8, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    The problem with being a member of a minority religion–lets say you live in a state where Mormons make up 1/300th of the population–is that public figures who belong to your church can influence people’s opinons of your church and, by extension, their opinons of you. If there’s a Mormon President who is hard right, people I deal with every day could understandably be expected to engage in “you-people” think and assume that I was also a man of the hard right. While I don’t want to be mean-spirited, I have to say that I am greatly relieved that there is now no chance that I will have the baggage of trying to explain why I don’t have the same political worldview as my co-religionist President Mitt Romeny.

  49. Adam Greenwood on February 8, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    One thing seems certain: America and Europe face comparable challenges of moral changes, family failures, ethical questions, (il)legal immigration, integration and assimilation, etc.

    That was Romney’s point, Wilfried D. He said that the things that Americans deplore about Europe are actually happening here too and will eventuate unless we change course.

  50. Adam Greenwood on February 8, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    With Romney out, Mormons should rally behind Barack Obama.

    Just off the top of my head, I remember that Obama favors partial-birth abortion being legal and opposes the Born Alive Infant Protection Act.

  51. Russell Arben Fox on February 8, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    DW (#43),

    Some of us having been talking about Obama for a while…mostly for reasons of stopping a continuation of the undemocratic Bush-Clinton-Bush cycle America’s been stuck in for twenty years, but still, we’re talking about him. See here, here and here, for starters.

  52. Brad Kramer on February 8, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    Adam,
    Partial abortion is legal in some circumstances (exemption when the mother’s life is in danger). Obama wants it to be legal in others (exemption when the mother’s health is in danger). And as far as I can tell, the only reason he gave for favoring the exemption was that without it, at that point at least, it looked like the law would be struck down as unconstitutional.

    I have no idea what the BAIPA is…

  53. Bob on February 8, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    I quit commenting on this blog for about two years when I was hammered for not agreeing that the war in Iraq was part of God’s “Plan of Salvation”. That within 6 mo. of it’s starting, there would be missionaries in the streets of Baghdad.
    Now Romney quits because the “war” has go on, but he’s not the man to do it. I did not hear that he sat down with his family and prayed about it(?)

  54. Jeremiah J. on February 8, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    “Just off the top of my head, I remember that Obama favors partial-birth abortion being legal and opposes the Born Alive Infant Protection Act.”

    This is quite sad, I agree. But it doesn’t seem that he’ll be proposing legislation to undo the partial birth abortion ban, and I’m not aware of a movement to pass a federal BAIPA. Is there one?

  55. Adam Greenwood on February 8, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    And as far as I can tell, the only reason he gave for favoring the exemption was that without it, at that point at least, it looked like the law would be struck down as unconstitutional.

    Obama denounced the Supreme Court for upholding the constitutionality of the ban on partial-birth abortion.

  56. Adam Greenwood on February 8, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    But it doesn’t seem that he’ll be proposing legislation to undo the partial birth abortion ban

    He would be appointing judges. In any case it should raise serious questions for Mormons about his views.

    and I’m not aware of a movement to pass a federal BAIPA

    The federal Born Alive Infant Protection Act passed in 2002.

  57. Jeremiah J. on February 8, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    Thanks Adam. I’m embarrased at my ignorance at some of these items.

  58. Adam Greenwood on February 8, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    Specialization is fact of life, Jeremiah J. No need for embarassment at all.

  59. Jack on February 8, 2008 at 4:48 pm

    Jeremiah J.,

    Re: #38–bullunkum. Romney would have swept West Virginia (for example) had there been no Huck. My sense is that there are a lot of evangelicals who would have voted for Romney over McCain (albeit, cringing all the way to the polls) had Huckabee dropped out of the race.

    And what’s this Michael Moorish thing about power-point presentations? Is it wrong to talk about what your opponents are up to–using the most standardized means available?

  60. queuno on February 8, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    I just can’t do it. I just can’t support Obama. He reminds me of the undergrad intern who wants to tell the senior manager why the entire department is screwed up and how’s he the guy to change it. I think he needs seasoning (let alone different social policies).

  61. James Smith on February 8, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    Now that Romney is out, see what prominent mormons are saying about the presidential race.

    http://3DW.net/letter

  62. Ray on February 8, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    #64 – Well, at least I got one good laugh today.

  63. Jeremiah J. on February 8, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    “And what’s this Michael Moorish thing about power-point presentations? Is it wrong to talk about what your opponents are up to–using the most standardized means available?”

    I’m not familiar enough with Michael Moore to get your reference, but I didn’t mean anything conspriatorial about the advice Romney was supposedly given. If you’re in doubt, I have nothing against .ppt. I just happened to notice that Romney didn’t attack France as hard as he was reportedly counseled to. That helps me preserve a good bit of the original like that I had for the guy personally, that’s all. I think Wilfried is right that European saints are going to be very sensitive to American Mormon political comments on Europe, but the jibes were relatively light, all things considered.

  64. jeremy on February 8, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    queno,

    Your comparison is rendered someone less damning by the extent to which the senior manager and his entire department for the last 7 years have, in fact, been screwing up.

    Also, I must point out that if he wins Obama will be older when he takes office than both JFK and Bill Clinton.

  65. jeremy on February 8, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    That is, older than they were when they took office, of course.

  66. queuno on February 9, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    Jeremy – It doesn’t matter. You don’t promote the intern. Maybe we should hire from outside.

    Comparing Obama favorably to JFK or Bill is no salve. At this point, I think this election is about doing all we can to avoid an Obama presidency. Let’s just pray Hillary wins the nomination.

  67. Jeremy on February 10, 2008 at 1:39 am

    Queno — okay then, but you haven’t done anything to justify the derogatory “intern” comparison. Usually “experience” questions are code for foreign policy ignorance. He’s on three of four foreign policy committees in the senate (Hillary’s on one). Only Biden beats him among the dems there, and he’s out (but I’m crossing my fingers, in vain, I’m quite sure, for an Obama/Biden ticket… heh heh).

    And of course, Bush benefited from two of the most experienced foreign policy experts in Washington–Cheney and Rumsfeld, and we see where that got us (and he fired the only good one–Powell. Wait, now THERE’s a Blockbuster ticket: Obama/Powell!! I can dream, can’t I?).

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