Screenshot from campaign video. They cropped it, not us.

Willard Mittens Romneyton-Rafalca III formally announced his bid for the US Senate today with a cheesy video talking about what a very Utah kind of guy he is, because if anyone's forgotten it since the 2012 presidential election, he personally saved the Winter Olympics sometime before the approximately 4.3 million grandchildren in his ad were born. While the ad never mentions Romney's frequent disagreements with Donald Trump (or his frequent toadying to Donald Trump), the goal for the ad is to remind Utah voters that although he's not really from Utah, Mitt Romney is one of them, kind of, because he has "Utah Values," not Washington Values (and certainly not Massachusetts Values. Why would you even mention Massachusetts?)

We've definitely seen worse campaign ads, many of them from Mitt's 2012 presidential campaign. You have your family scenes, your warm tones, your completely unnecessary "scratchy film" effect to suggest nostalgia, and the contrast between Washington values bad and Utah values good. The only mild surprise was the ad's mildly Trump-tweaking but very careful line about immigrants:

Utah welcomes legal immigrants from around the world. Washington sends immigrants a message of exclusion.

That emphasis on legal immigrants -- who Republicans used to all say they loved, though now all immigrants are bad for America unless they're from Norway -- probably will play well in Utah, where Trump's bigotry turned off a lot of Mormons, who tend to be attuned to attacks on religious minorities and refugees. And where, as McKay Coppins noted during the last election, Mormons are still sore about an 1879 US attempt to keep Mormons from overseas from immigrating to join folks in the Utah Territory.

Despite Romney's occasional testiness toward Trump, at least when he wasn't sucking up and trying to get a cabinet position, his campaign emphasizes that Mitt isn't running a "Trump protest campaign" of any kind. With the collapse of Steve Bannon's status as a focus of wingnut love, it's unlikely his threats to recruit a random crazy to oppose Romney from the right will pan out. Or so say the experts -- you never know, Bannon might find some breakaway self-proclaimed prophet with a string of child brides to back.

It seems unlikely Romney will have too much difficulty overcoming claims he's a carpetbagger; he has homes (and car elevators? Maybe!) in Park City and in the SLC suburb of Holladay, and his connection to the 2002 Winter Olympics can't hurt, even if maybe he's still resting on that line in his résumé past its sell-by date.

Ah, but if you want proof that Mitt fits in with Utah values, all you need is that photo of him and his kids and grandkids:

In a remarkable show of fair-mindedness, Romney apparently has no plans to skew the election's outcome by importing them all to vote for him.

At the moment, MittBot ver. 2.018 seems to be well optimized for electoral task operations; a recent Salt Lake Tribune poll showed him with 85 percent Republican support in a match-up against Democratic candidate Jenny Wilson, although of course it's still early and Mitt may be enjoying the advantage of not having said much of anything in public yet, where people can hear him.

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[LAT / WaPo / Salt Lake Tribune]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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