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Romney and Dodd, a Mormon connection

July 16, 2007 |  4:30 pm

The potential impact of Mitt Romney's Mormon religion already looms as a key political question surrounding both his bid for the Republican presidential nomination and, were he to win the nod, his prospects in the general election. But the matter would take an intriguing twist should he end up next year facing Democrat Chris Dodd (that part of the equation looks doubtful, we admit).

Although Dodd himself is Catholic, his wife, Utah native Jackie Clegg Dodd, is Mormon. With the senator from Connecticut addressing the Utah Democratic Party convention this weekend  --- and with his wife accompanying him --- the Norwich Bulletin in his homestate took the occasion to write about their inter-faith marriage. The story notes that they are raising their two daughters, ages 5 and 2, in both religions.

Across the country, the Salt Lake City-based Deseret Morning News used the same hook of the candidate's convention appearance to write a short feature on Jackie (the couple met 20 years ago when she helped him down a ski run in Utah, according to the article).

Romney's faith, meanwhile, continues to generate coverage; the Denver Post today published a piece spurred by his scheduled Wednesday speech to Republicans in the Colorado Springs area. The story asserts that the former Massachusetts governor "has a problem in the conservative Christian capital that is Colorado Springs. He is a Mormon, and many conservative Christians view the Mormon faith as a polytheistic cult --- and Mormons as heretics."

The article attempted to catch up with James Dobson, head of the Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family evangelical ministry, who back in October expressed skepticism about Romney's appeal to conservative Christians --- a quote that gained wide currency. A Focus on the Family official told the Post reporter that Dobson was unavailable (he's "sequestered," working on a new book), but that the comment from the autumn remains valid.

-- Don Frederick