Romney/Ryan: A First In American Politics

Michael Potemera points out one way in which the Romney/Ryan ticket represents a religious first in American politics:

Four years ago, we Americans did something that not many decades earlier had been considered unthinkable, in electing an African-American to the presidency. That was a milestone, one that even those of us who voted for John McCain could, as I said that very night, take pride in. This year, a ticket with a Mormon and a Catholic on it could make it to the White House. The Mormons and Catholics who were targets of religious bigotry and violence back in the 19th century made a bet on America — that someday America would be truer to its founding principles of tolerance and liberty. They were right: It gets better.

Indeed, of the four people on the tickets of the two major parties, two will be Catholic, one will be a Mormon, and only one will be a Protestant. I’m fairly certain that’s a first as well.

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, Religion, The Presidency, US Politics, , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. melvin polatnick says:

    Sock it to them is the call of Romney and his choice of Paul Ryan, a radical budget cutter might become the new vice president. He will sock it to those that have been bleeding the government with their aches and pains. Expect cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, and Food Stamps. But he will spend more for national security, Arabs, Russians, and Chinese will not be allowed to rob America of it`s wealth.

  2. michael reynolds says:

    That’s a Mormon and an Objectivist.

  3. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @michael reynolds: Vs. a Cafeteria Catholic (to be kind) and an atheist who pretends to be a generic Christian. Quite the lineup…

  4. al-Ameda says:

    It’s also the first time in 8 years that we’ve had 2 middle-aged white guys on the ticket.

  5. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    @michael reynolds: Vs. a Cafeteria Catholic (to be kind) and an atheist who pretends to be a generic Christian. Quite the lineup…

    At least Cafeteria Catholics (unlike the Catholic hierarchy, e.g. real Catholics) did not countenance and cover-up the molestation of children by other real Catholics.

    Who is an atheist? Dick Cheney, perhaps.

  6. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Well, let’s not pretend that a religious first will be greeted with anywhere near the same reverence as a skin color first. The hard left makes up such a disproportionate share of the chattering classes and that demographic would rather gouge out their own eyes with rusty forks than to express religious tolerance much less affinity. Then on the flip side of that coin there are extreme Protestant wingers who literally will view this GOP ticket as the spawn of Satan.

    Ultimately, however, it’s difficult to conceive of religion playing any major role in this election. It’s about the economy, not about churches. Although Team Romney is proving itself to be so numbingly inept Obama might very well be reelected by default.

  7. Liberal Capitalist says:


    My wife just said: “That Romney guy just picked Peewee Herman as his running mate”.


    I’m a loner, Dottie. A rebel.

  8. An Interested Party says:

    …Vs. a Cafeteria Catholic (to be kind)…

    To be even kinder, he has plenty of company in the Cafeteria Catholic category, like all those Catholics who are in favor of the death penalty, war, and not helping the poor, among other things…of course, that probably wasn’t the kind of Cafeteria Catholic you had in mind…

  9. michael reynolds says:

    @An Interested Party:

    They’re only “Cafeteria Catholics” if they choose the wrong entrees.

  10. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    I’ve lost count of how many liberals I’ve heard pronounce that one simply can not be a Democrat and be pro-life. That “pro-life” is “anti-women” and hateful and oppressive, and that is fundamentally incompatible with the basic tenets of the Democratic Party.

    The Catholic Church is committed 100% pro-life.

    Further, the Catholic Church is NOT a democracy. It is a patriarchal hierarchy, and the laity get NO say in doctrine. Nancy Pelosi once announced that she knew Catholicism better than the Bishops and Cardinals, and they should shut up on certain matters.

    One does NOT get to set your own moral and ethical principles and call oneself a Catholic. Biden, Pelosi, and pretty much every other leading Democratic Catholic should be excommunicated.

    And count themselves lucky — in the old days, they’d also be burned.

    And Obama… he’s the liberal ideal of a Christian. His faith is vague, undefined, and like a tuxedo — he keeps it way back in the closet most of the time, only hauling out when it’s convenient. He once talked about how he prayed to himself. He spent 20 years as a loyal follower of a race-baiting hate-monger, then insisted that it was all meaningless when he walked away from Wright’s church. And since then, he’s not bothered finding a new church and religious community to join.

    I’d respect Obama more if he’d just come out and admit that he’s an atheist, that he doesn’t believe in any higher power, that religion just isn’t compatible with his rationalist view of the universe. But like his position on gay marriage (he was for it, then against it, now for it), it’s seen as a polite fiction, a necessary lie that his supporters pretend to accept.