My new piece takes you inside the fairly subdued 2012 Values Voter Summit in D.C. No squabbling about Mormonism this year. Just some panic about Barack Obama's chances of thwarting conservatives -- when for two years, there's been complete confidence that he'll go down.
The controversial radio host Bryan Fischer got the lede, but after Mitt Romney calmed the conference with a video message, Fischer emailed me to revise his comments.
It's worth noting when we talked yesterday, I was not aware Romney would deliver a video address to the VVS. I thought his statements on both sanctity of life and marriage were quite strong, and I was pleased with them. At the time, I thought Ryan's speech was going to be the final word from the campaign. I believe Ryan thought the video address would air first, which would explain why he gave only a passing mention to the issue of marriage, knowing that Gov. Romney would address the issue directly and firmly. Also, if Romney will declare his unequivocal support for life and marriage everywhere he goes, it may win the election for him this is the message the base wants to hear. The response he gets on the trail when he affirms life and marriage is so strong that I'm a bit surprised he doesn't do it more, just from a pragmatic point of view. It energizes the base, something he needs to do.