Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

September 13, 2012
Why I like Mitt: He’s Mormon, a good buddy and Huntsman’s out

I’m still hoping one of my buddies ends up with the top job in the White House.

I struck out with former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman when he dropped out of the race for president after he discerned that the Republican establishment wanted the other Mormon candidate.

I call Huntsman my buddy because he spoke to me a few years ago at Miller Motorsports Park. It was something like, “Could you get out of the way I can’t see the races?” No. I made that up. Actually, Huntsman was extremely cordial and sincere as he extolled Larry H. Miller’s motorsports park and how it would be a boon to Tooele County in more ways than economical. I can’t recall the entire conversation or the sentence verbatim.

My cousin’s wife works for the Huntsman Corporation so I also have that tie to the former Utah governor. My cousin said he really liked Jon Jr. and if he didn’t become the Republican candidate he would probably vote for President Obama. I’ll have to get back with my cousin and see if he still feels that way.

That leaves me with my other Mormon buddy, Mitt Romney. I heard he went to BYU so we have that in common. However, I know his GPA had to be much higher than mine if he ended up as a candidate for president while I went on to cover demolition derbies at Deseret Peak Complex.

I recently learned that Romney went to Stanford prior to his LDS mission and wanted to go back until his girlfriend, Ann, told him to join her at BYU or he was out and she was moving on to other suitors. He submitted and graduated from BYU with honors, then went on to graduate from Harvard Law School. Meanwhile, I’m back at the Bit & Spur Rodeo.

When I worked in Ogden in 2002, I remember a sports writer running into the Standard Examiner office one night telling the crew that Mitt was on the rampage with a few choice words to Olympic officials because there was a traffic jam and busses en route to Snowbasin ski resort to watch the downhill events were being delayed. I suppose that shows he means business when he’s in charge of something — like the 2002 Winter Olympics. I heard in the end those Olympics went quite well and Mitt is taking a lot of credit for that now, in this his time of need.

I’m also buddies with the Republican nominee for U.S president because he once owned a small shack in Park City, and likewise, I’ve been to Park City. He’s also a staunch member of the LDS Church and I’m a member of said organization unless I’ve been booted out unannounced. There may be action taken after this column goes to print.

But hey, I feel kinship with Mormons worldwide — another reason to back Romney for president. And since a bunch of Mormons live in Utah it’s almost like he’s a local guy.

Without a crystal ball, I can’t determine whether having one of my buddies as the Commander-in-Chief will be bad or good for the country. I know the opposing Democratic Party believes it will be catastrophe for Romney to win and polls show he’s behind in the race.

I know one should not make one’s selection just because one of the candidates is such a close buddy. A voter should analyze the issues, watch the debates, learn the platforms of the candidates and think seriously about their selection before casting a vote. But I’ll still vote for my close friend.

This message was not endorsed by the Republican committee to elect Mitt Romney.

Mark Watson

Sports Editor at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Mark directs all editorial coverage of sports in addition to reporting on a wide range of events from high school football to international racing. He has a wealth of journalism experience, having worked for four other newspapers in the state. Mark grew up in Tooele County and graduated from Grantsville High School and Brigham Young University.

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