Elections 2008

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jackit:
I found the following very nice, academic survey of Romney's Mormonism as a campaign issue throughout his career.

http://www.acjournal.org/holdings/vol9/fall/articles/political.html

Here is the relevant excerpt:

"
Romney’s Religion and the Kennedys

Initially Romney received support for keeping his religion and politics separate from an unlikely source - his Democratic opponent, Senator Edward “Ted" Kennedy. Kennedy, months before Romney won the Republican nomination, weighed in on the issue: “It is not an issue and it shouldn’t be. President Kennedy and the American people settled that question in the 1960 campaign. It was a proud moment for the country, and this issue should never be raised again" (Farrell 1994).

But several months later Senator Kennedy faced a different political circumstance and felt differently about bringing up Romney’s religious beliefs. By September Romney not only looked like he would handily win the Republican primary but poll numbers revealed a very close race in a head-to-head match-up between Kennedy and Romney. With Kennedy confronting the toughest election battle of his career, the Kennedy campaign changed strategy and began drawing attention to Romney’s religious beliefs and questioning the role of women and blacks in the church.

Just a few days before the Republican primary, Joseph P. Kennedy, Senator Kennedy’s nephew and at the time a member of Congress, said in a Boston Herald article that Romney was “part of the white boys club" and that the LDS church treats blacks and women as “second-class citizens."

Romney responded, “Joe Kennedy has a very inaccurate perception of my faith" (Editorial 1994b). The Romney campaign called on Senator Kennedy to repudiate his nephew’s comments, but the Kennedy campaign wanted the story to continue. Senator Kennedy’s spokesman said “Joe Kennedy was speaking out against prejudice against women and minorities. He has every right to speak his mind." A Romney spokesman responded, “This means, very obviously, that Senator Kennedy is breaking his word and is going to try to raise the religious issue in this campaign and I think that’s disgusting" (Battenfeld 1994b).

Joe Kennedy continued to attack the LDS church for its treatment of blacks and women during the next few days, and he joked that his brother, who was Senator Kennedy’s campaign manager, had “let me out of my cage." He said, “I’m finding the life of a pit bull is a very difficult one."

Joe Kennedy was forced to back off some of his claims, though, and he admitted he made a mistake when he claimed that blacks could not hold the priesthood. He said he was unaware the policy had been changed in 1978 (Mohl 1994). Just five days after Joe Kennedy’s initial attack on Romney’s religion, he called Romney to apologize for the remarks he had made about the church and wrote a letter to the Boston Globe in which he said, “I deeply regret my remarks" that misrepresented the church’s positions on blacks and their ability to hold the priesthood. However, the Romney campaign remained upset because in the apology he wrote to the paper he again reiterated the falsehoods and brought up the story that Romney had counseled a single mother to give her new baby up for adoption. (Phillips 1994b).

Senator Kennedy entered the fray a few days later. At a Northeastern University groundbreaking ceremony, Kennedy, in response to a reporter’s question, said he thought Romney should be asked about his religion. “Where is Mr. Romney on those issues in terms of equality of race prior to 1978 and other kinds of issues in question?" (Lehigh 1994).

The next day Romney held a press conference in which he charged Senator Kennedy of violating his brother’s stand on the separation of church and state in public life. “In my view the victory that John Kennedy won was not for just 40 million Americans who were born Catholic, it was for all Americans of all faiths. And I am sad to say that Ted Kennedy is trying to take away his brother’s victory." “He will intentionally try to reverse his brother’s victory…either with self-proclaimed attack-dog Joe Kennedy or by himself, continuing to raise my faith from now until the election to make sure I am constantly …categorized in the minds of the voters on the basis of my faith."

Like his nephew, Senator Kennedy said he thought questions about Romney’s religion were fair game but then reversed himself a few days later after editorials, public opinion polls, and his brother’s own words condemned his criticism of Romney’s religion. Although some polls indicated Senator Kennedy had been hurt by making religion a political issue (Phillips and Lehigh 1994b), it likely worked to his advantage. By continuing to bring up Romney’s religion, stories continued to circulate about his comments about homosexuality, encouraging the single woman to give her baby up for adoption, the church’s policy of keeping blacks from holding the priesthood prior to 1978, and the misperception that the role of women is limited in the church (Lehigh and Phillips 1994b; Battenfeld and Miga 1994). It was a calculated effort by the Kennedy campaign to focus attention on Romney’s religion, something of which most people in Massachusetts did not know much about, and it effectively knocked Romney off-message and forced him to talk about religion rather than the issues he would have liked to discuss. (Nolan 1994).

Even though public opinion polls indicated the race was tight for a time, near the end Kennedy pulled away and won the election with 58 percent of the vote to Romney’s 41 percent – the smallest margin of any of Kennedy’s elections. Although religion played an important role in the campaign, few people believe that religion cost Romney the election. Rather it was the dormant Kennedy team kicking it into gear when they could see that Kennedy was in trouble and could lose the election. Moreover, rather than religion being the source of criticism, Kennedy was most successful attacking Romney’s much-ballyhooed business career and portraying him as a cold-hearted capitalist who had little regard for the working man.
"

Although this hardly paints Ted as St. Kennedy, it is miles from the claim that ' Ted said Romney would take orders from Salt Lake City.'



tenured_feminist:
I interrupt the Romney/LDS wars to bring you this special update:

With the elan, grace, and commitment to democracy that we all have come to expect from the state, Florida has apparently decided not to redo its botched primary.

qrypt:
Quote from: daniel_von_flanagan on March 17, 2008, 10:48:58 PM

On the contrary, I think that all who are credibly accused of serious crimes, be they Edward Kennedy, Scooter Libby, Richard Nixon, Oliver North, Ellott Abrams, or any other public servant, should face a trial to uncover the truth of the allegations, and serve the sentence as meted out by the judge and/or jury.  In the list above, exactly one of the people both faced his trial and served out his sentence. - DvF


K16 is probably still sore that North lost to Charles Robb in the 1994 election for the Virginia senate seat.  I bet North still spouts off about the Boland Amendment on FNC and probably feels prouder than ever about what he did.  He'd make a fine public servant, wouldn't he, K16?

aandsdean:
Quote from: qrypt on March 18, 2008,  7:41:11 AM

Quote from: daniel_von_flanagan on March 17, 2008, 10:48:58 PM

On the contrary, I think that all who are credibly accused of serious crimes, be they Edward Kennedy, Scooter Libby, Richard Nixon, Oliver North, Ellott Abrams, or any other public servant, should face a trial to uncover the truth of the allegations, and serve the sentence as meted out by the judge and/or jury.  In the list above, exactly one of the people both faced his trial and served out his sentence. - DvF


K16 is probably still sore that North lost to Charles Robb in the 1994 election for the Virginia senate seat.  I bet North still spouts off about the Boland Amendment on FNC and probably feels prouder than ever about what he did.  He'd make a fine public servant, wouldn't he, K16?


Of course:  He's a good Christian Man and a National Hero!

(We interrupt this bout of [I hope] temporary insanity to resume our regular programming.)

daurousseau:
Quote from: aandsdean on March 18, 2008,  9:17:29 AM

Quote from: qrypt on March 18, 2008,  7:41:11 AM

Quote from: daniel_von_flanagan on March 17, 2008, 10:48:58 PM

On the contrary, I think that all who are credibly accused of serious crimes, be they Edward Kennedy, Scooter Libby, Richard Nixon, Oliver North, Ellott Abrams, or any other public servant, should face a trial to uncover the truth of the allegations, and serve the sentence as meted out by the judge and/or jury.  In the list above, exactly one of the people both faced his trial and served out his sentence. - DvF


K16 is probably still sore that North lost to Charles Robb in the 1994 election for the Virginia senate seat.  I bet North still spouts off about the Boland Amendment on FNC and probably feels prouder than ever about what he did.  He'd make a fine public servant, wouldn't he, K16?


Of course:  He's a good Christian Man and a National Hero!

(We interrupt this bout of [I hope] temporary insanity to resume our regular programming.)

Let us not laugh too soon. Another relic of Iran-contra, Robert McFarlane, who has been twiddling his thumbs prospecting for oil to China, is short-listed by the pundits for a McCain cabinet or policy post.

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