- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 6, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Sad to say, there is and probably always will be a very small amount of bias in this country (“Campaign is no place for religious bigotry,” Editorial, Sunday). Some are biased against former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee because he was a minister almost 20 years ago; some don’t want a woman president or a black president; some say Sen. John McCain is too old to be president; and, yes, some don’t like that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is a Mormon. Every one of the major candidates has something that causes a small group to say, “No, thanks.”

What Mr. Romney and his supporters - and even the press - just will not own up to is that the real reason Mr. Romney did not warm up the voters for his candidacy had nothing to do with religion. Until they seek to work on what went wrong, Mr. Romney is doomed to political failure. The biggest issue against him is that he has no trust because of his floundering on almost every issue and because of the times he had to recant statements that were not true. He also has no authenticity. He comes off as pompous, wooden, plastic and elitist.

The other thing Republicans couldn’t accept is the very negative campaign Mr. Romney ran, attacking all the other major candidates to the point that they all detested him. Then, as soon as Mr. Huckabee swept the South on Super Tuesday and Mr. Romney knew his campaign was doomed, he immediately gave his delegates to Mr. McCain. All during the primaries, Mr. Romney kept saying how he and Mr. Huckabee were taking votes from each other. Why would he give his delegates to Mr. McCain? It’s the “what’s in it for me” syndrome that is so common in politicians who don’t stand for anything.

These evangelical leaders are only stating the obvious. Mr. Huckabee has gotten no press for the past two months, while Mr. Romney has all but been coronated as Mr. McCain’s running mate by the media. Yet Mr. Huckabee topped the Rasmussen polls taken on July 25 through 27, which show he adds +8 to Mr. McCain’s ticket, compared to Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty with +1 and Mr. Romney with -6. Though Washington insiders and media may not like Mr. Huckabee, the American people do. It reminds me of another politician who didn’t win his first time out: a great communicator who was hated by the press and yet came back to win in a landslide in four years.

LINDA RAYBORN

Myrtle Beach, S.C.

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