For those interested, check it out.

Former Massachusetts governor, Republican Mitt Romney formally throws his hat in the ring for the presidency today.

Romney comes to the contest as successful businessman, state leader, increasingly conservative politician who saved the 2002 Winter Olympics – and as a Mormon.

He’s hardly the first Mormon political leader – or presidential candidate. Orin Hatch ran. So did Mitt Romney’s own father. But Mitt Romney is running hard to be the favored candidate of the religious right.

  • Howard Berkes, Salt Lake City-based correspondent for NPR
  • Richard Bushman, Emeritus Professor of History at Columbia University and author of the just-published “Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling –A Cultural Biography in Mormonism’s Founder”
  • Rev. Robert Schenck, President of Faith and Action, President of the National Clergy Council and Minister in the Evangelical Church Alliance
  • Jack Beatty, On Point News Analyst and Senior Editor at the Atlantic Monthly.


  1. Just for Quix February 13, 2007 at 6:44 pm

    Very interesting. Good discussion.

    It does make me a bit embarrassed as a heterodox Mormon member to hear Bushman doing his very best to present a nutshell-friendly summary of the faith, since I know the culturally loaded way we say one thing and mean another. Some of it just seems so silly when you listen with “outsider ears”. Still I’m inclined to take Bushman at face value as I think he’s an intelligent man and I was impressed with his podcasts. Not that I see the historical evidence and agree with his conclusions, but I certainly don’t think he’s a deliberate misleader. Still, I think there are reasons to be suspicious of Romney if one thinks religious belief is a predictor of political actions, esp. given the perceived control the Church exercises on its members. Yet as Berkes stated, there certainly is historical precedent–though not a very vibrant tradition–of Mormon freethinking when it butts against the “party line”.

    Schenck was also well considered and I agree with him. As a person who’s had experience in religiously-oriented business I’ve seen that Mormons and Evangelicals can get along fine when socio-political and business interests align. Romney’s actions and experience record will be more valuable to him earning endorsements from the Right than will his personal beliefs. (And frankly the way I see it he’s been too moderate for their tastes. Unfortunate, ’cause I’d be more inclined to vote for a moderate Republican than one kow-towing to the Right.)

    But come what may Romney’s candidacy will, among other things, be visible and revealing market research into just how much trust vs. suspicion, acceptance vs. rejection, and mainstream vs. “cult-like” perception the current church garners nation-wide.

  2. Aussieguy55 February 15, 2007 at 4:40 am

    I wonder if he will be affected by the scandel that has involved the GOP (foley etc). I can just imagine the fun Jon Stewart is going to have over Romney. Maybe people will say oh no not another religious nut who lies about WOMD etc, who picks people off the street in countries and sends them to countries where torture goes on (redetion). By invading Irag America has created millions of enemies.It was Martin Luther who said “It is better to be ruled by a wise infidel than a Christian fool”

  3. Drew February 15, 2007 at 11:59 pm

    I was impressed with everyone’s comments during the interview. However, in my opinion, the two men that called in who were members but have since left could not express well-thought and coherent points.

    Their criticisms seemed to be directed toward the Mormon Church, as opposed to how Romney being a Mormon will affect his decisions as a President.

    There are many avenues for one to explore when asking if Romney’s religion will affect his political decisions. But I don’t really believe the Church’s recent purchase and construction of the mall is one of them. I also don’t believe the Church’s seminary program in Utah would be a beneficial topic to explore.

    I would concentrate on Romney, and his positions he has held in the Church, as well as his communication with Church leadership. This is one thing that really seperates him from Kennedy in my opinion.

  4. Mike Thomas February 19, 2007 at 12:26 pm

    Romney will be the man to save the constitution hanging on a thread of string!

  5. Daniel February 19, 2007 at 1:45 pm

    I won’t go so far as to say he’s going to save the constitution. I will say I believe he is my favorite among the GOP candidates so far. Now I can’t say I’m unbiased so you can take that as you wish. His son Matt is in my ward, was my home teacher and I’ve heard him speak about his dad on occasion. I look at McCain, Giulianni, Gingrich, Huckabee, Hunter, Pataki and I’ve even heard Michael Savage mention his interest in running. I look at their history, their experience, their recent statements and votes (for those currently active as congressmen) and I just can’t see anyone who fits the mold of what I believe America needs more than Mitt Romney.

    Now again I need to mention that while I believe Mitt to be the best choice among the GOP, I’m still leaning towards Obama on the other side. I think a campaign between the two would be quite interesting and I would be very comfortable with either man as President…at least until they prove otherwise and I have to go vote for someone else in 2012. Candidates have a tendency to do that. In fact, I can’t think of a president in my lifetime that has impressed me after his first term.

    So, we’ll just have to see. At the moment, Mitt’s not even gaining numbers enough to beat Duncan Hunter. We’ll see where that goes as he begins to campaign and draws media attention.

  6. Mike Thomas February 19, 2007 at 4:17 pm

    Is anyone going to pick up on what my last comment was referring? Hint: He ran for President about 150 years ago.

  7. Mold Remover March 26, 2007 at 4:22 pm

    Is this a wordpress blog? or some other software?

  8. Dalton Wickes August 30, 2007 at 3:37 pm

    Once Mitt Romney decided to choose Cofer Black to head his campaign staff, I have completely soured towards him. Cofer Black was one of the chief officers for the worlds strongest mercenary army ‘Blackwater.’ This just strikes me as too corrupt. We know what happens when a Halliburton exec. hits the Whitehouse. I call it conflict of interest and war profiteering. Black is now positioning himself for more benefits from a possible Romney administration. If Romney cant keep such people out of his inner circle now, what are we to expect if he’s elected. (Romney has already publicly supported torture, and Guantanamo as effective….both projects along with extraordinary rendition which have already been consigned in part to Blackwater by the Bush admin.)

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