I was recently reading an excellent article quoted from a Series Deseret Book is doing on famous Mormons, which is a testimony by Senator Harry Reid about his conversion to Mormonism entitled “Why I believe”. The article can be found here:’
I have also been following all the hoopla surrounding Mitt Romney running for President and his “being Mormon” hurting his bid. He keeps quoting the Kennedy factor and how Kennedy being Catholic was a similar challenge as to what he is facing today. I can’t help but wonder though, what would happen if the tides were turned and it were instead a Democrat, with very liberal-leaning focus, but with still a firm devotion to the Mormon Church running for President? I personally think it would be a very different story. Here is why:
* He is a Democrat – the majority of Romney’s opposition comes from the Conservative evangelical right, who tend to be anti-Mormon in view. Reid would have a greater chance of surviving his primary.
* The media bias is in his favor – the media is more likely to ignore the issue of Reid’s religion, making it more of a non-issue. They have done so thus far in his political career.
* I don’t recall Reid having issues with his religion in his run for Senator. Romney, being conservative, in his run for Governor it was one of the top issues in his race. I think the same would reflect in a run for President.
* Reid hasn’t worn his religion on his sleeve as Romney has. I’m not saying that’s a good thing, but it has allowed him to avoid the Mormon question.
* Reid is a Mormon convert – he was not Mormon his entire life, and I’m willing to bet he does not have the Mormon history of polygamy, etc. that Romney has been so criticized for. Does that matter? Only when trying to convince the Evangelical right that your religion will not take charge of your politics.
* He, too would probably get the majority of the Mormon vote, a strong conservative base especially in the West
Having thought of this, it’s a scary thought – I’m not a big fan of Senator Reid’s politics. I sincerely hope he does not run – he has a good chance of winning!