Who are the “Catholics for Romney” co-chairs?
This ia a follow-up to yesterday’s post. Obviously, Catholics for Romney is trying to establish its credentials by having six former ambassadors to the Vatican as its co-chairs. But let’s look behind this curtain. Five out of six were chosen by Republican presidents, and so would be expected to lean Republican. But many are more than casual sympathizers. One is associated with the Heritage Foundation. One is heavily active in the GOP and was a “Bush ranger”. Another, Mary Ann Glendon, has strong ties to the ‘Weigel wing” of the Catholic Church in America, and its alliance with the evangelical Republican right.
Only one – Ray Flynn – was chosen by a Democrat (Bill Clinton). The other two Democratic ambassadors (one from Clinton and one from Obama) did not join the fun. So when you look into it, what you see is no surprise. It is most certainly not an indication that Catholics are swaying toward Romney.
There’s something else I noticed. An unfortunate part of the current partisan divide in the United States is how it falls along racial and age lines. The Republican party is basically the white party – 77 percent of minorities, including 67 percent of Hispanics, are supporting Obama in the latest polls. That Romney can hold his own comes solely from his capture of a significant majority of white voters. The Republican party also skews older – while it is not as stark as in 2008, younger generations lean more Democratic and tend to support Obama more.
Back to the Catholics for Romney: what do we have here? Six white people, including five white men. The only Hispanic ambassador, appointed by Obama, is obviously absent. Two people in their 80s. Three people in their 70s. One baby boomer, a sprightly 59-year-old!
So here we have it. Forget that they are Vatican ambassadors. What stands out more is that the Catholics for Romney co-chairs are old, white, and most likely pretty wealthy, people – and nearly all men. How does this compare to the complexion of the US Catholic Church today? How about in 30 years time?