I write these words immediately following Mitt Romney’s gracious concession speech. I dearly wish that he had been able to deliver a victory speech instead, but the election gods clearly weren’t smiling on Boston tonight. While I was disappointed with the result, I remain enormously proud of this country’s progress. Ten years ago few people would have thought it possible for either a black or a Mormon candidate to have a serious shot at the White House. This year a black and a Mormon ran against each other, and the issues of race and religion were largely absent from the campaign.
I hope that Mormons of all political stripes would take pride in having one of their own make a serious run for the most powerful office in the world, winning tens of millions of votes from other Americans who believed in him. Mormons have come a long way in this country, and I believe that our best days are ahead of us. I know many Jews who strongly supported Mitt’s candidacy, and he appears to have convinced 30% of Jews to vote for him. In addition, his strong support for Israel and the Jewish people highlights the philo-Semitic nature of his faith. Although I admire Paul Ryan, Mitt probably would have received more Jewish votes if he had had someone perceived to be more centrist as his running mate.