Salt Lake City
In a surprise move, Utah's largest newspaper endorsed President Barack Obama on Friday, saying with so many different "Mitts" over the years, the paper couldn't be sure which Mitt they'd be endorsing.
As Daily Kos tells us, "his mother was born and raised there. His parents met and fell in love there. He went to college there. He met his wife there. He was married there. His church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is headquartered there. He ran an Olympics there."
"So, what kind of man gets shunned by a town with such deep connection to that man?"
Despite being credited for saving the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics and making Utah his home at one time, the Salt Lake Tribune said that the state's "favorite adopted son," Romney, has become "the party's shape-shifting nominee."
“Nowhere has Mitt Romney’s pursuit of the presidency been more warmly welcomed or closely followed than here in Utah. The Republican nominee’s political and religious pedigrees, his adeptly bipartisan governorship of a Democratic state, and his head for business and the bottom line all inspire admiration and hope in our largely Mormon, Republican, business-friendly state,” the Tribune says.
But somewhere along the line, Romney stopped being Romney; or the "Mitt Romney we knew, or thought we knew," Utah's paper of record states.
And there's something else: "Sadly, this is not the only Romney."
The Tribune reports that in politics, 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." the endorsement adds.
"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:
Question: "Who is this guy, really, and what in the world does he truly believe?"
Answer: "The evidence suggests no clear answer, or at least one that would survive Romney’s next speech or sound bite."
"And what of the president Romney would replace?" the editorial asks.
President Barack Obama has attempted, with varying degrees of success, to pull the nation out of its worst financial meltdown since the Great Depression, a deepening crisis he inherited the day he took office.
What has to be admired, the editorial board writes, is the fact that Obama acted wisely to bail out the auto industry, which has since come roaring back. The same cannot be said of Romney, who in so many words, said the carmakers should sink if they can’t swim.
Examining Obama's strengths, the paper states that in the first months of his presidency, Obama acted decisively to stimulate the economy:
"His leadership was essential to passage of the badly needed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Though Republicans criticize the stimulus for failing to create jobs, it clearly helped stop the hemorrhaging of public sector jobs. The Utah Legislature used hundreds of millions in stimulus funds to plug holes in the state’s budget."
"In considering which candidate to endorse, the Salt Lake Tribune editorial board had hoped that Romney would exhibit the same talents for organization, pragmatic problem-solving and inspired leadership that he displayed here more than a decade ago," the editorial board wrote on Friday, according to the Boston Globe.
The paper concludes: "Therefore, our endorsement must go to the incumbent, a competent leader who, against tough odds, has guided the country through catastrophe and set a course that, while rocky, is pointing toward a brighter day."
"The president has earned a second term. Romney, in whatever guise, does not deserve a first."