Consider the following scenario: four candidates are running for president in 2008. One is a pro-choice Protestant who believes in balanced budgets and would cut spending and lower taxes, but is divorced and remarried to someone who has also been divorced. The second candidate is a Catholic, who is pro-life, but who believes in tax increases and more government spending to help the poor. This candidate is married, but during the '60s he smoked dope and lived in an ashram with two women. The third is Jewish and supports the Iraq war and Israel against those who wish to destroy it, is married to a gentile and thinks same-sex marriage is OK. The fourth candidate is a Mormon, who is married to the same woman he started out with, is pro-life, opposes same-sex marriage, wants taxes and government spending cut, would put more conservatives on the Supreme Court and appears consistent in his private and public behavior.
Thomas' description of the candidates leaves little doubt that Romney is his favorite. In his column today, Thomas is beginning the process of softening up Christian conservatives on Romney. As Thomas explains: "If an ambulance hits me, I care less where or how the driver worships than I do about his sense of direction to the nearest hospital. It troubles me not that a Mormon might be president. It does trouble me a great deal that so many people would think a person's faith - whether one shares it or not - should be the only reason to deny someone the presidency."
Contrast Thomas' column with the efforts of a conservative site to portray John McCain as a man with an "irrational, explosive temper" who uses the f-word a lot.