Utah delegation understands the core of Romney better than most
TAMPA — It's a good bet that the Republican delegation from Utah suffers fewer hangovers per capita than any other state gathered in Tampa Bay this week.
And based on conversations Wednesday with the Utahns gushing about their adopted home state son Mitt Romney, it's the delegation most likely to use exclamations like "Golly!" and "For Pete's Sake!"
The 78 Utah delegates and alternates staying at the Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore not only share personal ties to Romney through his leadership of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, but they are overwhelmingly Mormon. That means they eschew alcohol and caffeine, and they understand far better than most what makes Romney tick.
"People who think Mitt doesn't understand the common man have never met a Mormon bishop,'' said delegate and businessman Steve Lund, referring to Romney's stint as a volunteer Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints bishop during the 1980s in Boston.
"When you're a bishop you find yourselves embroiled in people's lives, usually the most tender, most difficult issues of a lifetime," Lund said. "You're sitting across the table from a guy helping him deal with losses of loved ones, economic challenges, losing a job, losing a home — kids are running amuck and the wife's dying. He's been in these homes, he knows these people, he knows the pain that exists in society. To characterize him as aloof is nonsense."