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Meanwhile, Back In Gop Land

Mitt Romney offers some interesting meta-talk on whether he needs to give a JFK-esque speech about his Mormonism:

"I'm happy to answer any questions people have about my faith and do so pretty regularly," the former Massachusetts governor said. "Is there going to be a special speech? Perhaps, at some point. I sort of like the idea myself. The political advisers tell me no, no, no—it's not a good idea. It draws too much attention to that issue alone."

I'm surprised that Mitt would be in favor of such a speech. My hunch, based on interviews I've read, is that he'd rather sidestep the religion issue as much as possible. But I suppose if I were advising him, I would argue in favor of a speech. There's clearly still an enormous amount of mythology, ridicule, and even prejudice surrounding Mormonism. (I was struck recently when a smart non-political friend of mine repeated a truly outlandish canard about what happens in Mormon wedding ceremonies.) My hunch is that Romney needs to confront this, not run from it.

But why a speech necessarily? Couldn't he have an ask-Mitt-anything town meeting on the subject of Mormonism? Show that he has nothing to hide or be embarassed about. Let people ask about "magic underwear" and whether Jesus is the Devil's brother and so on. He won't convince everyone but it would take a lot of the steam out of the pent up rumor-mongering and mythology out there. 

Update: More meta: Jonathan Martin has a great item on why Drudge may be hyping the crack John McCain's 95-year-old mother made yesterday about Mormons.  

--Michael Crowley