Responding to Newsweek’s very Mormon-focused Romney cover-story, Mitt Romney has written a letter to Newsweek, which the magazine publishes in its latest issue. It’s a masterpiece of succinct but effective communication:
I am an American running for president, not a Mormon running for president, but I am also very proud of my faith. And I am not a cafeteria Mormon, choosing some parts to accept and reject—I am “true blue, through and through.” My family and I are better people and far happier than we would have been without our faith. It is puzzling that when NEWSWEEK looks at me (“A Mormon’s Journey: The Making of Mitt Romney,” Oct. 8 ) what you mostly see is a Mormon. I would have thought that more important to my potential presidency would be my record as a governor, 25-year business leader, Olympic CEO, father, husband—and American.
By the way, that section in quotes “true blue, through and through,” is a bit of code for Mormons out there wondering about Romney’s commitment to his faith. It is drawn from an old story from Mormon history, in which a young Mormon missionary was accosted by a band of ruffians who threatened to kill him if he was a Mormon. Asked if he was a Mormon, the missionary answered “Yesiree, died in the wool, true blue, through and through.” Despite his defiance, the man was released unharmed, and went on to lead the LDS Church. An interesting reference for the Romney team to include in this context, but one sure to be recognized by Romney’s LDS backers.