It’s hard for me to judge the speech as somebody who is bored by all the talk of Romney’s Mormonism and who could care less what his religion is. I have no interest in seeing a political candidate have to field questions about all of the aspects of his faith that people find outlandish. Therefore, I have no way of telling whether the speech would change the minds of any voters who view his religion as a cult and say they would not vote for a Mormon candidate. As far as delivery, it was a typical Mitt Romney performance–smooth, and almost never veering from the prepared text. I wonder if getting this off of his chest might have the same effect on Romney that Rudy Giuliani’s speech in Houston in May on his differing views with conservatives had on him. In the weeks leading up to that speech, Giuliani, if you might recall, was starting to stumble on the abortion issue, especially when in a debate he said if Roe were overturned it would be “okay.” While the speech Giuliani gave didn’t win over his biggest critics or even say anything substantively different on the individual issues than he had earlier in the campaign, the act of delivering the speech and being more direct about his differences with conservatives helped him hit his stride as a candidate. Perhaps the same will be true for Romney.
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