The NY Times (“It comes only a week after Mike Huckabee, a former Baptist pastor who a new Des Moines Register poll shows has now passed Mr. Romney for the lead among likely caucus-goers in Iowa, began airing a television ad that highlighted his identity as a ‘Christian leader.’ Mr. Huckabee’s rise in the polls has been fueled by evangelical Christians.”) and Campaign Spot both discuss the Romney Iowa polling/Huckabee success with Christian conservatives as the backdrop to The Speech. So is The Speech going to deflect from the polling or heighten attention, suggesting Romney’s need to, in Campaign Spot’s words, “swing for the fences” to secure Iowa? I tend to share Powerline’s take on it (“I still think it’s a mistake. For one thing, if it’s really true that Huckabee has gained ground because of concerns over Romney’s religion, stimulating more discussion of Mormonism will make that situation worse, not better.”) Telling voters not to think about pink elephants usually doesn’t work. UPDATE: At NRO and elsewhere some are questioning whether this brings back the Muslim in the cabinet question. I think that depends on what the precise message is and if this is about religious nondiscrimination or about convincing evangelical voters that Romney’s value system is similar to theirs.
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