Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another


Religious Republican Glass Ceiling Shattered

The imminent landmark very few are talking about

Print Email
Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney at a debate last month.(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Mitt Romney had a pretty good weekend, winning, on Saturday, both the Maine caucuses and the straw poll at CPAC, the annual convention for conservatives in Washington, D.C. True, fewer than 10,000 people participated in those contests combined; true, Romney’s margin of victory in Maine over second-place Rep. Ron Paul was 194 (not as paltry as it seems, actually, given that barely 5,500 people caucused); true, many expected to him to have wrapped up the nomination long ago. And, true, Rick Santorum is polling ahead of Romney in Michigan, which holds one of the next primaries and of which Romney’s father was governor. But still, Romney’s in the driver’s seat: If he can string together victories in the Michigan and Arizona primaries at the end of the month, he can for most intents and purposes finish this thing in early March on Super Tuesday. And meanwhile, it appears the also-ran will be Rick Santorum; or possibly, by some miracle, Newt Gingrich (whom Sheldon Adelson is no longer funding—for now).

Romney, Santorum, and Gingrich: three non-Protestants. One of them will be only the fifth non-Protestant major-party presidential nominee in United States history—and the first Republican.

The list! Al Smith, 1928. John Kennedy, 1960. Michael Dukakis, 1988. John Kerry, 2004. Three Catholics and one Greek Orthodox (I’ll let you guess which is which). Only one, of course, became president.

Romney is Mormon (not Protestant, it’s different), while Santorum and Gingrich are both Catholic. It’s much more of a milestone than many observers are giving it credit for. And it’s going to make the inevitable first credible Jewish candidate—and then the inevitable first Jewish nominee—come a little sooner.

Print Email

Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

Ed Lobel says:

Kerry’s parents were both Jewish, but he was raised as a catholic, however his brother re-converted to Judism. I had breakfast with John the morning of his nephew’s bar mitzvah and he had to leave early to attend.
Mike Dukaksis’s wife is Jewish and he does obseverb all the Jewish holidays.
Willard Romney as part of his Morman faith went to Jewish cemetaries and without permission baptised deceased Jews into the Morman faith! Rick Santorum is so ignorant of other faiths he sent out a Hanukkah card to Jews in South Carolina quoting a bible passage from John the Baptist! That shows what he must think of Jews. Gingrich while he goes around the counrty saying Democrats are involved in a war against Catholics, he reminds me very much of another slick lunatic who instead of blaming Catholics for all the ills in his country, tried to unite his ountry by blaming everything on the Jews!
Santorum believes in all things Catholic, Romney believes in all things Morman and Gingrich believes in all things Gingrich which equates to nothing!


Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Religious Republican Glass Ceiling Shattered

The imminent landmark very few are talking about

More on Tablet:

Obama: Denying Israel’s Right to Exist as a Jewish Homeland is Anti-Semitic

By Yair Rosenberg — The president draws a line in the sand in his latest interview