I was watching the Republican debate last night, though I missed the first hour. It is pretty amazing to see two Mormons, a woman and an African-American up on the stage duking it out to be the next Republican Presidential candidate. There is one more candidate in the wings (Gov. Rick Perry of Texas) and of course, the “other woman” stealth candidate, who isn’t running but appears to be running.

The Republican Party has come a long way with the integration of women, minorities and…. Mormons.

Well, two out of three ain’t bad.

Last night Herman Cain, the African-American businessman was asked the only question about the Mormons, Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman.  The question was essentially about why he didn’t like Mormons.  Cain answered, that it wasn’t him that didn’t like Mormons, but people in the South that didn’t know much about the Mormon religion.

And so it goes.

Rick Perry is getting into the race as the candidate Evangelical Christians can embrace, because they sure are not comfortable with Mitt Romney, the current front runner.  After all, he is part of that “cult.”   And the polls continue to show that many in the Republican Party would not vote for a Mormon for President.

Hence, the great irony. (I love irony)

Mormons are, by and large, the strongest, most loyal Republicans on the planet.  The last two times Utah went for the Democratic Presidential candidate was 1964 (Lyndon Johnson) and 1948. (Harry Truman)

But, yet, the Republican Party, especially the Religious Right (meaning Non–LDS Christians) don’t really like Mormons. Not sure they would fare any better in the other Party, by the way. Think Morris Udall.

Basically, it’s “we love your money and your support, thanks for your votes, but please leave your candidates at home.”

What do you think?