Thursday, December 6, 2007

Mitt Romney's Speech

Quoted from Charles Mitchell, blogger on concerning Mitt Romney's speech to be given today.

"Honestly, I'd like to see the speech reflect a distinction I think we've talked about, but not necessarily called out, and that's the difference between a spiritual leader and a moral leader. As we say all the time, the 2008 election is for president, not pastor. And it's a mistake to think the president is a spiritual leader -- indeed, some of our greatest presidents, such as Thomas Jefferson, had distinctly un-Christian theologies, and some of our worst, namely Jimmy Carter, were undoubtedly evangelicals.

But I think you can accept all that and still say that the president should be a moral leader. Meaning, you shouldn't be looking to him for theological discourses and advice, but he should have good values that are worthy of emulating and he should be living them out. And so I think Governor Romney's speech should be about the values his faith -- however wrong its doctrine may be -- gives him. I think they are the same values conservative evangelicals espouse -- and, candidly, I think he also does a better job living them out than most of us. I also think he deserves great credit for seeking -- as he said in his FRC speech -- to use the presidency as a "bully pulpit" for messages like the sanctity of life and the need for parents to stay together.

Honestly, it's been a long time since we've had someone like that in the Oval Office. President Bush's values are wonderful, but he doesn't really do the whole bully pulpit thing -- and we all know the eight years of debauchery that preceded him. If Governor Romney can send a message to conservative evangelicals tomorrow, though, that as president he would be a moral leader based on the values that most American share -- not "the Mormon president," based narrowly on some doctrine few people share -- I think the day will be a huge win, politically speaking. And, more importantly, it will be a day in which he sets out a way to unify people around shared values -- not divide them through an overtly sectarian campaign, as at least one other candidate is apparently seeking to do."

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