In Utah, it’s all about Mitt, isn’t it? After all, Romney is the Mormon candidate, given former Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.’s lukewarm acknowledgement of his “spirituality.” Mitt got front-page billing in The Salt Lake Tribune, and the media follow him as much for his novelty as his acumen. Now he’s on the cover of Newsweek as an LDS missionary from the Broadway spoof The Book of Mormon. The Deseret News ran a story on the significance of a Mormon running for president. Then, readers were treated to a “Sunday Extra” story in the News about whether journalists shy away from religion in their reporting. This was followed by an editorial intoning that “we foresee journalists who are schooled not just in their craft, but in the history and practices of the faith traditions within their communities.” Is there any doubt about which communities they mean?
Romney, as governor of Massachusetts, made national headlines for creating a universal health-care plan in his state. The June 6 New Yorker details how Romney had the support of Republican muscle like the Heritage Foundation and even Newt Gingrich. And his strategy included the Bush administration, which, in effect, signed off on his “individual mandate.” Now, the GOP tide has changed and so has the Heritage Foundation, and Mitt Romney didn’t mean to lead the Democrats on the path to “Obamacare,” which 27 states including Utah have now sued to overturn. Only Vermont stands out after their governor signed a single-payer health-care law.
You can depend on Gov. Gary Herbert to confuse almost any issue. Remember when he said no to the legislative mandate returning state workers to a five-day week? But then the Legislature overrode his veto and asked that state agencies look at their workweeks on a case-by-case basis. Herbert apparently didn’t approve and mandated that all offices return to the five-day-a-week schedule. On another issue, Herbert has offered money—$25,000 to Weber County, for instance—and sandbags to areas hit by flooding but in the same breath notes flooding is a “local” responsibility and the state’s just there as a coordinator. Herbert wants individuals to prepare for disasters. Does this mean digging trenches around their homes? Sounds like passing the buck down the line—without the bucks, of course.