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Thursday, May 11, 2006

David Yepsen: Out front about his faith, Romney scoring points

My Ethanol/Mormon comment also made the Des Moines Register article by David Yepsen yesterday:

In the end of the article it states:

"Unlike Hatch, Romney's off to an early start, knocking down any problems his faith causes. He even uses a little self-deprecating humor. When asked about a report that he once wavered in his support for ethanol because of the anti-alcohol tenets of his faith, Romney said no, he was all for it."I don't drink the ethanol," he quipped. "I put it where it belongs - in the gas tank."

Some other interesting points:

"Steve Scheffler, head of the alliance, said following the meeting that Romney "did well and is hitting all the right notes. He was pretty candid. To most people in our movement, (his faith) is not a problem. There shouldn't be a religious test, like Jack Kennedy said. I don't think it will be a big issue" for Romney."

"But privately others in the group said it might be a deal-breaker for some. "It depends on who else is in the race," said one."

Later on it states:

". . . there could be an upside to Romney's faith. He could use it to attract fellow church members in Iowa to participate in the caucuses on his behalf. Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch tried to do that in the 2000 GOP race. In 1999 there were an estimated 16,000 Latter-day Saints members in Iowa, and Hatch thought they could be helpful. But he was a late entrant, and he just didn't have time to make the strategy work.

"But he had the right idea. There will be only about 125,000 likely GOP caucus-goers in 2008, divided among a half-dozen candidates. Anyone who can turn out even a few thousand newcomers will add to his slice of a closely cut pie. Throughout the history of the caucuses, candidates who do well are often those who can inspire new people to show up."

***So, let's go fellow Iowans for Romney . . . prepare to be a caucus goer and prepare to get your friends and family to do the same.

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