The calendar said September 2008. Mayor Rudy was the Republican nominee for President. I don't know who the VP nominee was, nor who the Democratic nominee was. That was unimportant.
What was important was a story on KSL-TV. A new poll by Dan Jones and Associates had Rudy down by 70 points in Utah. This was based on the fact that, in the primary election season, there had been no clear winner going into the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis. All the candidates had dropped out except two -- Rudy and Mitt Romney. Romney was the clear-cut favorite going in.
However, the convention took on a decidedly anti-Mormon tone. The Saturday before the convention, 30,000 members of the Crystal Free Evangelical Church (located off HWY 169 in Crystal, MN) decended on the St Paul Temple in Oakdale to hold a pro-Rudy rally. At the end of the rally, they threw molitov cocktails at the temple and nearby Stake Center, burning them to the ground.
AT the convention, anti-mormon pamphlets were distributed both inside and outside the Target Center. This made the stuff distibuted on North Temple during General Conference seem bad. SO many "Christian" groups had decended on Minnesota, hell-bent on destroying Mormons, that they missionaries were not allowed out of their apartments.
The leaders of the Republican Party caved to pressure from the religious right, who threatened to leave the party and start their own. On the opening day, the movie that was shown was Temple of the Godmakers by Ed Decker. Rudy's speech was full of hate and ridcule towards the Mormons. The Romney camp was unable to respond.
This turned many Mormons off to Rudy and his platform. However, the race was 50-50 in Utah until the LDS Church did something bold on September 1st. They announced they were recinding their 501(c)3 status in order to endorse the Democrat in the race. This was because of the hatred from the Republican Party that Thomas S Monson called "Persecution worse than in Joseph's day."
The fact of the matter is that the religious right, especially those in control of the Republican Party, are more like the people hanging out on North Temple than those inside of General Conference.