The Mormon Church doesn’t endorse candidates or political parties, and although most American Mormons are Republicans, a Mormon Democrat has served as the Senate Majority Leader for the last five years. Owing to our history of persecution and emphasis on self-reliance, there is also a noteworthy group of Mormons with libertarian sympathies who do not easily identify with either party.
In the summer of 2008 I received a phone call from the Obama campaign asking me to serve as national co-chair of Rabbis for Obama. What prompted the call? First, an article I had written praising the senator for using his name Barack — which he said his father had told him means blessing in Hebrew — rather than the more generic Barry.
I celebrate the courage of the more than 613 rabbis who have chosen to endorse President Obama for a second term. It is impossible for me to represent all of them. Each rabbi must make his or her decision based on a number of factors, including the possibility that they could lose their jobs, damage their reputations or alienate donors and board members. There are consequences for each member of Rabbis for Obama in this diverse and distinguished group. Significantly, this group has doubled in size from 2008 to 2012.
Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) endorsed Mitt Romney for president and said that he is not interested in the vice-presidency.
I couldn't help recalling that this was the same Colin Powell whose United Nations speech five years earlier had convinced me that invading Iraq was the right thing to do.