Sunday, February 3, 2013

Politics and callings

One really interesting political thing i remember from my exile in Utah is the conventional wisdom that the quickest, most efficient way for an active Mormon male to be called as a mission president was become one’s party nominee for a high-profile Utah state office (e.g., the legislature, governor, congressional representative) and lose. Of course, Utah politics being what they wereare, that means running as a Democrat.* I don’t know if the conventional wisdom is (or ever was) true, but it seemed to be widely held: Run for office in Utah as a Democrat, end up called as a mission president.**

This leads me to wonder: Just idly accepting the conventional wisdom as correct (whether it is or not), we’ve now got Mitt Romney, who unsuccessfully ran as the nominee for national office (president) as a Republican. What’s the script on this one?

* I still remember the blurb in the newspaper one election day talking about the state party gatherings that night in Salt Lake City to watch the election returns come in: The Republicans will celebrate a lot of victories at XXX. The Democrats will celebrate a lot fewer victories, but have a better party, at YYY. The Libertarians will celebrate no victories, but have the best party of all, at ZZZ.

** I heard theories about why this might be the case, as well. The least charitable was that it was an attempt by the Mormon church to weaken the Utah Democratic Party by taking its experienced campaigners out of circulation. The more charitable was that if you’re looking for someone to run a church mission who knows how to deal with the frustrations of spreading a message you firmly believe in to an often-hostile population, you could do worse than use the experience of Democratic politicians from Utah.

1 comment:

Heather the Mama Duk said...

Nursery leader.

I mean, he already has the hand motion thing down. Every time Romney did the taxes down, revenue up thing complete with one hand going down on "taxes down" and the other hand coming up on "revenue up" I'd have an urge to sing The Wise Man and the Foolish Man.