In case you haven't been paying attention, Marie Osmond is on Dancing with the Stars this season. If you did know that, but you haven't been following her, she's managed to avoid elimination for nine weeks and advanced to the semi-finals tonight. After last night's dancing and Marie placing last in the judges' scores, I thought for sure she'd get voted off this evening. Amazingly enough, the fans continue to love her and have kept her for another week, voting off Jenny Garth instead.
Every week for the last eight, I've joked that every Mormon out in T.V. land--whether participatory or disaffected--is voting for Marie. Every week for the last eight, I swear church leaders in wards (that's a Mormon congregation, by the way) across the country have activated their phone trees to get out the vote. Every week for the last eight, I'm convinced, Mormons everywhere have been voting en masse, thereby securing Marie's place among the Stars. And tonight was likely no exception. I swear, more than any other week in this season's competition, Mormons totally and completely voted as a block. No doubt in my mind. I know it with every fiber of my being. Hell, I have a testimony of it and that's no small thing, boys and girls!
As I said, this could bode well for Mitt.* Mormons tend to be predominantly Republican** and, to every other candidates' fear and chagrin, they have been known to vote almost as one. On the other hand, if America gets wise to what's going on here, he--as well as Marie--could find themselves losing in the end as Americans of other religious persuasions get out the vote and swamp the Mormon block.
Still, I'm banking on the Osmond Effect*** to carry Mitt a long way in the months ahead. If he makes it to the Republican nominating convention in Minneapolis next summer, it will be in no small part because of that effect. As for Marie, if she wins the whole dancing enchilada, I'll be oddly happy. Stunned definitely, but happy for her nonetheless!
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* Again, please note, I am not endorsing a candidate here, although, I can also guarantee you that--like John McCain--I won't be voting for Mitt even if he is a member of my cultural tribe and religious heritage.
** I tend not to be, but you probably guessed that already, right?
***I can't take credit for the phrase Osmond Effect. That copyright belongs to Brenda Hansen of PR Prose, 2007. (At least, that's the first place I heard it.)
Photo copyrights: Marie Osmond, www.marieosmond.com; Mitt Romney, Romney for President. Cartoon copyright: John Klossner, LostNation.TV