Jodi Kantor of The New York Times points out that a little history is about to happen in American politics. With President Barack Obama running for reelection as a Democratic and Mitt Romney of the Mormon faith running as a
Republican ”extremely Conservative” Republican, this would be the first time neither party’s candidate is a white Protestant.
“ Both sides face the specter of longstanding prejudices that no ad, slogan or speech may be able to dispel. In a Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey conducted last week, 27 percent of those polled said that having a Mormon president raised concerns for them or someone they know, and 12 percent said the same for a black president. Some voters say outright that they will not vote for Mr. Obama because he is black; others make jokes about Mr. Romney belonging to a cult.”
“…After one successful campaign and three plus years in the White House, Mr. Obama and his team’s painful early internal debates on how to handle race have given way to more settled patterns. But Mr. Romney’s camp is divided on the question of how much he should speak about his personal faith. Some in his circles, including many Mormons, argue that his religion is nothing to hide and helps mitigate the caricature of him as a cruel capitalist. Mr. Romney’s political advisers, few of whom are Mormon, are more cautious, arguing that religion should be off the table.
“We as a society have decided to judge people on their actions and not based on where they go to church or the color of their skin,” said Stuart Stevens, Mr. Romney’s top strategist. “It’s true when you apply for a job, it’s true when you apply for a driver’s license and it should be true when you run for president.”