Yesterday, I commented that I found it odd that Mitt Romney, asked about his Mormonism before a Jewish audience, focused his answer on his good relationship with evangelical leaders. Charles Mitchell of Evangelicals for Mitt disagrees, and I thought I should clarify my point.
The reason I found Romney's answer odd was that I thought it was a missed opportunity for him to connect with a Jewish audience by emphasizing a kinship he may have with them as a member of another minority religion. Though I've been critical of Romney's candidacy, I have defended him against attacks aimed at his religion. I think part of this may be attributed to the fact that as a Jew, I'm sensitive to religious bigotry. Yesterday, he gave a standard answer on Mormonism and evangelicals supporting his campaign rather than tailor his response to a Jewish audience that would have been very sympathetic to a message of a shared commitment to religious tolerance.
The larger point here is that Romney has often displayed a certain tone-deafness, or emotional obtuseness, due to the scripted nature of his campaign. I recall the
This may be one reason why Romney's unfavorable ratings remain so high nationally. For all his talents and marketing savvy, he doesn't seem to be connecting to people on an emotional level.
He comes accross as Ivan Drago, but the audience will always root for Rocky.