Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Political podcast and more

I'm on anther podcast with my friend Art in New Zealand. Follow the link to listen.

When we were growing up we would talk for hours about politics. As you can tell from the podcast, not a great deal has changes except we don't talk as long.

It's interesting that part of our discussion centered on Mike Huckabee. Well now it seems in at least one poll (from the Des Moines Register) he is in the lead (see this story in the Post about it). It will be interesting to see if he is able to maintain that position. The smart thing for his campaign to do would be to play down expectations and say that a top three finish would be great.

The problem is that a caucus state requires a great deal more organization then the Huckabee campaign not has in Iowa. But if he can motivate his people enough he just might be able to pull off the upset. (he's launched a new ad which talks about how he is a Christian Leader whatever that means) and hold of the attacks that are now coming especially from Romney, he just might have a chance of winning in Iowa.

And the reason for the sudden rise of Huckabee? The reason Romney may not come in first in Iowa? That can be summed up in one word Mormonism. This seems to be developing into a problem for Romney with he one group he seems to be courting the most: Christian Conservatives. Here's an interesting take on that from the Post. In part the article says:

In a memo summing up their findings, the three scholars wrote: "Voters across the board respond most favorably to a message that dispels the negative stereotypes about Mormons (such as learning that the church banned polygamy about 100 years ago, the LDS Church stresses traditional family values, and that the LDS Church's policy is to be politically neutral). But what does NOT work is a simple appeal to religious tolerance."

Demystifying the Mormon religion will be one of Romney's key challenges, if not in the speech on Thursday then possibly as the campaign progresses. Romney may be the best salesman for this, in part because the scholars found that among those who know he is a Mormon, the issue of his religion becomes less of a political problem.

Romney is supposed to have a major speech on this issue on Thursday. It will be interesting to see what he has to say. It will be even more interesting to see how what he says is received.

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