While Mike Huckabee is busy copying the irresponsibility of an earlier Arkansas governor, Mitt Romney is trying to follow in the rhetorical footsteps of another Massachusetts politician.
Unfortunately for Gov. Romney, Gov. Huckabee is doing a better job.
Gov. Romney delivered his “Mormon” speech this morning, and for all the build-up it had received, it was pretty uninspiring.
Just as the most readable parts of the Book of Mormon are the passages lifted from the Bible, the most salient part of the Romney speech was the paragraph that echoed Sen. Kennedy’s:
“When I place my hand on the Bible and take the oath of office, that oath becomes my highest promise to God. If I am fortunate to become your President, I will serve no one religion, no one group, no one cause, and no one interest. A President must serve only the common cause of the people of the United States.”
The entire “Mormon question” was dismissed with this artless dodge:
“There are some who would have a presidential candidate describe and explain his church’s distinctive doctrines. To do so would enable the very religious test the founders prohibited in the Constitution. No candidate should become the spokesman for his faith. For if he becomes President he will need the prayers of the people of all faiths.”
And the rest was pretty much argument by non sequitur:
“I was taught in my home to honor God and love my neighbor. I saw my father march with Martin Luther King. I saw my parents provide compassionate care to others, in personal ways to people nearby, and in just as consequential ways in leading national volunteer movements. I am moved by the Lord’s words: ‘For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me…’
“My faith is grounded on these truths.”
What “truths”? That your father marched with MLK? That your parents provided compassionate care? That you’re moved by the words of the One Whom your church believes to be the spirit brother of Lucifer?
I don’t question the personal meaning that these things hold for Gov. Romney. But as grounding for faith, they’re pretty shallow–hardly the Rock that is the true Jesus Christ.
And that just about sums up the speech–a 30-minute shallow non sequitur.