UPDATE: Some more Mitt stories of interest:
Robert Draper’s wry observations from GQ:
Occasionally, he revealed himself anyway. During one Ask Mitt Anything session in Indianola, Iowa, a young woman in a parka stood up to ask the candidate a question. “What concerns me,” she began as she stood before a man with an estimated net worth of $250 million, “is that so many people in office cannot even relate to what the average American is going through. I look at the gas prices and health care skyrocketing. How are you going to be any different?”
“Well, I’ve made a difference,” Romney replied, and then ticked off his accomplishments as governor—health care reform, raising educational standards—before perhaps recognizing that the woman was not really asking what Romney had done but what he felt. Passing on a chance to show some empathy, he instead reminisced fondly about how he and his family spend Christmas skiing at their condo in Utah.
Mike Madden goes native at Salon:
But for the most part, the funeral skipped over any serious Mormon theology. Hinckley was eulogized for his work expanding the church, building up LDS educational facilities and steering the massive bureaucracy whose office building towers over the Salt Lake Temple. The service blended mellow Tabernacle Choir songs with dry speeches sprinkled with soft humor. It was almost devoid of any actual religious ritual; there was none of the incense, chanting and elaborate pomp that marked the pope’s funeral, for instance. It may be a mark of how new and how truly American Mormonism is that it held a funeral for its spiritual leader in a giant conference center distinguishable from a corporate auditorium mostly by the enormous pipe organ behind the podium.
Church leaders, of course, are seeking believers, not voters, and the story serves a different purpose for proselytizing than politicking. Earnest young Mormon women guide visitors around the Temple Square, explaining Smith’s prophecy and politely offering to send a free copy of the Book of Mormon. As I filled out a mandatory comment card after the tour, my guides sang me a hymn and told me to pray more often. After the Smith film, another pair of guides approached, eager to see if I wanted to learn more about him.