The purported purpose of the address was for the Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts governor to dispel festering doubts about himself because of his Mormon faith.
Unfortunately, I believe it was a failed performance.
I think Romney and his team overestimated the extent to which his Mormonism has been what is troubling his candidacy and underestimated the extent to which his credibility has been the real problem.
Despite outspending all the other candidates, the Romney candidacy hasn't ignited.
By contrast, former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani has maintained his lead in national polls, despite a background of three marriages, estranged children, pictures of himself in drag, open support for gays, open support for abortion, having endorsed a Democratic candidate for governor of New York and support for gun control.
But Giuliani has not been running as a traditional conservative candidate. Romney has.
What dogs Romney is a sense that he is not being honest about who he is.
Greg Laden talks about Romney's Big Tent being open only to Christians.
Personally I think Giuliani has been getting a pass on these issues, because he is certainly changing his position (most recently on the Federal Marriage Amendment) to pander to the Leviticus Crowd. That being said, Romney has a bit of a John Kerry problem - he is often clearly pretending to be something he is not, and doesn't come across as genuine. Huckabee does quite well in debates because he comes across as genuine.