This was a big surprise – the link I read was “Tribune Endorsement: Too Many Mitts”. Naturally, I figured Chicago Tribune, and immediately thought “Well, yeah.” As it turns out, though, it’s the Salt Lake Tribune, the home paper of Utah’s capital. (Which is apparently a wonderful city, and I would very much like to visit some time.)
The piece starts with the usual tale of Romney’s role in saving the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, a well-trod story – but also an oft-misunderstood one, as everyone seems to ignore the fact that a large reason for Romney’s ability to save it required the Federal Government to take on the debt…
Anyway, let’s move on to what the endorsement said next:
Romney managed to save the state from ignominy, turning the extravaganza into a showcase for the matchless landscapes, volunteerism and efficiency that told the world what is best and most beautiful about Utah and its people.
In short, this is the Mitt Romney we knew, or thought we knew, as one of us.
Sadly, it is not the only Romney, as his campaign for the White House has made abundantly clear, first in his servile courtship of the tea party in order to win the nomination, and now as the party’s shape-shifting nominee. From his embrace of the party’s radical right wing, to subsequent portrayals of himself as a moderate champion of the middle class, Romney has raised the most frequently asked question of the campaign: “Who is this guy, really, and what in the world does he truly believe?”
The piece continues, and things don’t get any better for Candidate Romney, as the piece echoes my own feelings about Mitt, a man who exhibits the courage of his ambitions and nothing more:
Politicians routinely tailor their words to suit an audience. Romney, though, is shameless, lavishing vastly diverse audiences with words, any words, they would trade their votes to hear.
This is a very good piece, and one I think is devastating for Romney (although, I do wonder just how widely it will be read). I had to try really hard not to reproduce here with enthusiastic support and my own thoughts of agreement.
Every week at work we select our favourite article of the past week. A colleague mentioned today that I never select one that I can’t criticize first (invariably, my complaint is that the author takes too long to get to their point, or the article’s length is questionable). I think this piece will be my next selection – irrespective of its politics, it is also a very well-written piece. Whoever wrote it has a wonderful, clean and fluid style that any aspiring journalists should take a look at and learn from.
The piece really is good, and it makes it perhaps clearer – as Alyssa just said to me – that Obama’s policy-appeal may be more with moderates than hard-core lefties, his tougher stance on foreign policy is more popular with moderates, and that the vicious partisanship is, actually, recognized in states outside of the “more traditionally political” (a horrible way of my saying New York, California and so forth).