February 6, 2012

Romney's Second Cousin Has Doubts About His Allegiance

Park RomneyThe fact that Willard "Mittens" Romney's second cousin, Park Romney, recently surfaced is not exactly newsworthy. The fact that he's an ex-Mormon who questions whether Mittens could effectively represent the U.S. without his allegiance to church leaders clouding his judgment certainly should be. Even if Park had never stepped forward, this question, once deemed viable by nearly everyone, still has not been satisfactorily answered. It seems to me that it is a viable question.

According to Dana Milbank's recent article in The Washington Post,
Mitt Romney, he claims, would be conflicted in office because “obedience to the leadership of the Mormon Church is part of the covenant of the temple ordinances to which Mitt Romney is absolutely a party.”
Milbank dismisses this and everything else Park says. I suspect he's worried about being accused of being intolerant of Mittens' religion. But should it be dismissed so hastily?

In the run up to the 2008 election, Romney initially tried to play down his Mormon faith. When this did not work, he gave a speech during which he pandered to Christian extremists and presented himself as something of a theocrat. As more details about Romney's religion emerged, including the secret oath Mormons swear when they enter the church, American voters turned to John McCain.

The issue of Romney's Mormon faith remains relevant for many voters. Remember, Huntsman was advised as recently as last year to tone down mentions of his Mormon beliefs. Perhaps it is a good thing that Park Romney has emerged to bring the question of whether Mittens can effectively serve two masters back into the public consciousness.