The Salt Lake News -- published January 16, 2015
SALT LAKE CITY -- Excitement was high at the after-party for an LDS VIP screening of Meet the Mormons this past Tuesday. Mitt Romney had recently announced that he was considering another run for the presidency -- and his loyal followers couldn't be more thrilled.
"There's no doubt that the Brethren's inspired PR efforts have energized Romney's base," church spokesperson, Wilford Delacorte said, referring to the aforementioned feature-length documentary as well as the recent essay touting the prophet Joseph Smith's numerous accomplishments. "Now we're turning the time over to Mitt."
It would appear that Republicans throughout Romney Country share Delacorte's enthusiasm.
"We're on fire down here in Utah Valley," Delores Rudd, a Republican operative from Orem, declared. "He's our one and only true candidate."
But GOP officials outside the boundaries of the former governor's influence remain skeptical about a third Romney bid, claiming the candidate failed to connect with average voters or even fellow Republicans.
"By Romney's own admission, he doesn't care about the votes of 47% of the electorate," Camilla Franklin, a Republican fund raiser from Minnesota, complained. "He boasted that his wife owned a 'couple of Cadillacs' and challenged Rick Perry to a $10,000 bet. Who are this loser's base and what flavor Kool-Aid are they drinking?"
Iowa Republican strategist, Wilbur Lumley, is also baffled by the solidarity of the Romney base. "Mitt seems like a nice guy and all. But he lost miserably. I don't get these people who call him their 'one and only true candidate.' What do they even mean by that?"
Bristling at the criticism, Ms. Rudd countered, "I understand there are elements in the nonmember wing of the party who fear that it will be a repeat of 2012. But that's only because they don't understand the doctrine of continuing revelation. Mitt's totally in tune with what's trending. In 2016, the screen on his Etch-A-Sketch will be completely refreshed."
In a recent interview with The Salt Lake News, Heber G. Sneed, a political science professor from the University of Utah and former Jon Huntsman supporter, summarized Romney's unique position in the potential Republican field.
"In order to secure a base," Sneed explained. "The other Republican hopefuls have to appeal to the Tea Party or to the Christian Right, or to Wall Street, all of whom have substantial ideological agendas. But Romney's base is the Mormons, and the only thing on their agenda is winning. That gives Mitt a distinct advantage."
LDS Spokesperson Delacorte echoed Sneed's optimism. "Mark my words. Come January 20, 2017, Mitt Romney will take the oath of office and then, facing the entire world, proudly announce:
--In other news, yet another Mormon is set to be excommunicated over his support for same-sex marriage and the ordination of women. John Dehlin, host of Mormon Stories is scheduled to appear before an LDS Church disciplinary council on January 25, 2015. Read more here.
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