Were the Presidential Preference Primary held today, I’d be voting for MItt Romney. I’m not very enthusiastic about Mitt Romney, but I won’t be voting for Mr. Instability a/k/a John McCain. My preference is Rudy, but his positions on social matters prevent me from voting for him. I hope he’ll have a come to Jesus moment.
Now that I’ve said I intend to vote for Romney, all things being equal, I want to also admit that I am one of those southern evangelicals who has deep qualms with Mitt Romney being a Mormon. I know I shouldn’t, but I do. And while everyone is talking about whether it will matter or not, I think I should chime in and say that yes it will, but no it shouldn’t (by the way, this is *not* the appropriate venue to debate Mormonism).
I was talking with a writer in D.C. some months back who viewed Mormonism as just another Christian denomination. I expressed to him that to me, voting for a Mormon would be, to me, no different that voting for a Muslim — it is not a Christian denomination in my book. Nonetheless, Romney has my vote.
Growing up in the South, I remember opening my grandmother’s closet one day to find several dozen Books of Mormom. “Nanny,” I exclaimed (yes, my Southern grandmother was “Nanny”), “what are these doing here?” “Well,” she responded with a look of grave concern, “as long as they’re giving them to me, they aren’t giving them to anybody else.” That upbringing is tempered with the fact that my best friend growing up was Mormon. But I say this all to say that while it shouldn’t — rationally and otherwise it should not — Mr. Romney’s religion weighs on me. I’m just glad it does not weigh on the constitution, which prohibits required fidelity to a religion in order to serve our country.
So if the Presidential Preference Primary in Georgia were tomorrow, I’d vote for Mitt. Sure, he has waffled on social issues — but I think that highlights his pragmatic approach to politics. He was never going to get elected as a pro-life candidate in Massachusetts and he knew it. I won’t fault him. I think, if he gets elected based on conservative support, he won’t betray that support in office.
At the same time, Mitt Romney does not excite me like he does some. He’s very polished and very smooth. His RedState Radio interview was great. But, again, I think it is my upbringing; I prefer candidates with a little less polish. Mitt still has work to do. I’m not in his camp permanently. I’m there now, but watching for someone I think is a better candidate. So far that person has not emerged. Well, okay, Brownback has my heart, but I don’t see him really going anywhere right now. If he can convince me otherwise, I just may have to jump ship.
And this, ladies and gentlemen, highlights my frustration with the Republican lineup for 2008. My candidate, Jeb, is not running. I’m left, at the moment, with several choices. The one I’d prefer (Rudy) won’t get me with his presently held views on social issues. The one I’d love to go with (Brownback) just isn’t viable right now. That leaves Mitt Romney and Insane McCain — and that, as it is, is a no brainer for me.
Posted originally at the day job.