Religion in the 2008 Presidential Election

Religion is playing a large role in the 2008 presidential election. Recently:

  • Mainstream media has noticed that Mitt Romney is Mormon and is doing its best to alert everyone that Romney’s great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather had more than one wife. (By the way, it’s interesting to note that candidate Romney has had only one wife, while McCain has been married twice and Guiliani has been married three times.) Polygamy in Romney’s family tree is about as relevant as Barack Obama’s ancestors owning slaves. In fact, it’s less relevant because polygamy is just not that big an issue these days. White guilt over slave ownership is. Obama might be able to bring a different view to the issue.
  • Hillary Clinton and Obama preached in Selma. While the faked southern accents of both garnered respective (but not respectful) blogstorms, their presence in a church would not have been overlooked (crickets here) had they been Republicans. Or not, but that’s my perception. Please prove me wrong.
  • Obama’s membership in the Trinity United Church of Christ and his relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. has attracted attention with its “liberation theology.”
  • John Edwards channeled Jesus this week. Okay, that’s a little strong. He attempted to answer for Jesus. His answer was actually pretty good–Jesus would be appalled at the selfishness in America in light of the incredible wealth of some individuals. But who am I to judge? The blogosphere handled that one as well.

My prediction? Expect to see the Democrats continue with more public displays or religion while Republicans distance themselves from the issue. Don’t be fooled either direction — watch to see how their proposals align with their (non)displays, their parties’ platforms, and your values.

Hillary vs. Rudy

Quite a few candidates have filed with the FEC, formed exploratory committees, or expressed serious interest in being the next president of the United States. Early polls show Hillary Rodham Clinton and Rudy Giuliani leading their respective parties.

Of interest, both are commonly known by their first names. Is it a sign of these informal times? Or could Hillary be distancing herself from the Clinton name and the troubling memories of her husband? Is Rudy simply the easier name for those of us who seem to have problems spelling (or even pronouncing) “Giuliani”? Or, like Madonna, Cher, and Britney, have Hillary and Rudy as larger-than-life celebrities transcended the need for more than a single name?

I think all of these are at least partially correct. I also think it bodes well for the election that name recognition is a given and the voters can focus on more substantive issues. That is, assuming that Mike Gravel and Michael Smith don’t win in the primaries.

Rice for President

Bush can’t run again and Cheney won’t. Matthew May wants Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to be the Republican nominee in 2008. He created the Citizens for Condi blog to promote the idea. Hillary vs. Condi — we can dream, can’t we?

He starts his blog with Dream Woman, an article he originally published on The American Thinker, November 9, 2004.

Update (2/15): The American Thinker posted Beware the Condi bandwagon, by Steven M. Warshawsky. Taking a contrary view, Warshawsky summarizes:

Republicans should stop fantasizing about Rice and start thinking seriously about the next Republican President.

Go read the rest.