Romney seemed so Mormon, so squeaky clean, so Pollyanna-ish, even. (Remember when he went to Michigan and said he could bring those lost jobs back?) Romney's seeming normalcy isn't the norm anymore. Maybe we understand better those who've strayed or failed and recovered -- or, for that matter, those who aren't fabulously successful and can't put tens of millions into their own campaigns. Maybe we relate to the family lives of other candidates, candidates who have been divorced, who have blended families, whose children don't all campaign with them (and may not even like them). Sure, they're messier, but messy is authentic.That is, we saw 2 kinds of prejudice — one for each end of the American cultural spectrum.
There was more to it than that, of course. Some evangelical voters -- who don't want messy -- see Mormonism as something other than Christianity. Mike Huckabee, an evangelical and former pastor, was speaking to them when he said, "Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and the Devil are brothers?"
February 8, 2008
Libby Copeland asks: