Hey, look at this!

Argue about this instead of Mark’s post:

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (AP) — President Bush is paying respects to the Mormon church before capping a five-state trip designed mainly to raise money for Republicans.

Bush was privately greeting the new church president, Thomas S. Monson, at the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Monson and two other church leaders also got a private tour of Air Force One on Wednesday while Bush was at a fundraiser for Sen. John McCain.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino says Bush would never miss a chance to meet Mormon leaders. She said he thinks they help communities and spread “the word of love.”

Bush was then heading to Kansas to raise money for Republican congressional candidate Nick Jordan. His events were closed to reporters.

Comments

  1. Love, baby. Spread it.

  2. President Monson toured Air Force One?

    I wonder if the Huntsman jet is about to get an overhaul? :)

  3. Do you think Pres. Monson invited Bush to hear the discussions? That would be quite a referal….

  4. Adam Greenwood says:

    No! Yes! Aargh! Wooh!

    Eh.

  5. Nifty. I bet Bush’s approval rating would still be higher than Monson’s recognition rating in a nationwide survey.

  6. I hope TSM dusted off his feet.

  7. Steve Evans says:

    How can you decline to meet with the President? Or to tour Air Force One? I mean, that’s just fun. But there’s something about mixing fundraising with hand-shaking Pres. Monson that isn’t great.

  8. I believe that the message he was sending was “Your prophet loves me; send McCain your money.” I also believe he said it sotto voice, slowly, and while swinging a gold watch back and forth in a dimly lit room…back and forth…back and….

  9. An earlier story yesterday pointed out that Bush and McCain were at a “private home” in the Avenues, for a fundraiser. The article noted that Julie Beck was present at that appearance, pointing out that she is the General RS President. Part of me feels sorry for Julie Beck, that she can’t attend a political fundraiser without her ecclesiastical position being attached to it. The other part of me (okay, the slightly cynical part of me) sees an action that should have been discouraged, unless a subtle endorsement was actually intended.

  10. slightly cynical, Nick?

    Color me crazy, but if this were a politician that the BCC approved of, everyone would fawn all over Julie Beck as the new darling Church administrator in the bloggernacle, and there would be much hailing this as progress for the church and humanity.

    Okay, now I’m the cynical one, never mind, carry on.

  11. Doc, I think John McCain seems to be a good guy. BCC doesn’t take political stances, but I personally do approve of him. But I don’t generally approve of people in high church leadership positions inserting themselves into partisan politics. It just usually doesn’t go well. I mean, Apostle Reed Smoot is best remembered for cosponsoring a tariff that many people blame for exacerbating the Great Depression!

  12. Doc, I think you are a bit cynical! I do think that the mixing of politics and religion is nasty stuff, regardless of the party involved. I hereby color you crazy.

  13. Doc,
    that’s nuts. I personally spat at Elder Faust once I learned he was a Democrat.

  14. John, isn’t Elder Faust (and Marlin Jensen and J. Reuben Clark . . .) the exception that proves the rule? Shouldn’t you be grateful he is a Democrat, since that exception strengthens the Republican stance? *tongue firmly in cheek*

  15. Ray,
    I steadfastly refuse to believe that President Clark was a Democrat. After all, he hated communists and we all know that Dems are commies flailing about without their Russian overlords to guide them.

  16. Stirling says:

    Clark was a Republican. See Quinn’s biography. An online source is the Utah History Encylopedia.

    Perhaps his positions regarding war and military spending create the confusion.

  17. Stirling says:

    Clark was a Republican. See Quinn’s Quinn, “Elder Statesman, a Biography of J. Reuben Clark. Or, on-line, see the Clark entry in the Utah Historical Encyclopedia.
    Perhaps some of his opinions and lobbying regarding war policy and military spending lead to the confusion.

  18. cj douglass says:

    I’m surprised that McCain and W think they need to schmooze with the Mormons to win Utah. Is the beehive state finally waking up? Na.

  19. Maybe it’s because the Mormons are the only people who will still throw money at Bush. Utah was the highest percentage win for Bush. And it probably will be for McCain as well…

  20. #15 – I forgot about that, John. He certainly had me fooled. I guess I’m going to have to be less church leader statement dependent.

  21. It has nothing to do with schmoozing, they’re here to pick up a check, and nothing else. They know Utah will vote Republican, and they won’t give us a second thought once the check has cleared.

  22. cj douglass says:

    gma and jj – true. sad but true.

  23. jjohnsen in #19 has it spot on. That’s the only reason why Bush stopped in Utah.

  24. BTW,
    For anyone that would mistake me for a rabid republican, I’m with Ronan (#6). I would personally love it if the prophet were to dig into the president and rip him up one side and down the other in true Jeremiah fashion for some of the administrations more horrific policies.

    I guess the point of my earlier comment is that we are quicker and more vocal to take exception to actions that may be construed as endorsement when it goes against our personal leanings. This gives me pause.

  25. gma and jj – true. sad but true.

    And while I don’t like Bush, the same could be said of Clinton and Obama. Nobody is coming here to try and gain votes in the next six month. We aren’t big enough to make a difference in a national election, and the outcome has already been determined*. Any candidate that shows up is either looking for us to help volunteer in other states or to donate to the campaign. Neither Utahns or Mormons amount to many votes, Mormons especially because they don’t vote as a block outside of Utah.

    *Unless McCain picks a certain former minister to be his VP, then miracles could happen.

  26. I think if Julie Beck showed up at an Obama fundraiser, we wouldn’t express glee. We’d faint.

  27. Peter LLC says:

    Heck, even I got to tour Air Force One once. One of the old ones at the Air Force museum in Dayton, anyway.

  28. Ryan Bell says:

    I think someone needs to go back and check the Trib articles. I saw an article saying that Julie Beck took the tour of Air Force One with Presidents Monson and Uchtdorf. I did not see any mention of her going to the fundraiser at the Stewart home. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’d be surprised if she went.

  29. Did they let Uchtdorf take it for a spin? That would be cool. :)

  30. A friend of mine who shall remain nameless, and who is well connected with a number of General Authorities who are democrats, compiled this list of GAs who are registered democrats. Some will surprise you.

    Current and Past Apostles:

    Heber J. Grant
    Anthony R. Ivins
    Charles W. Penrose
    John R. Winder
    John W. Young
    Stephen L. Richards
    Henry D. Moyle
    Hugh B. Brown
    N. Eldon Tanner
    Orson F. Whitney
    Franklin D. Richards
    Moses Thatcher
    Abraham H. Cannon
    Melvin J. Ballard
    Joseph F. Merrill
    James E. Faust
    Boyd K. Packer

    Past and Present 70s (this list was compiled some years ago; there are probably some additions to be made)

    B. H. Roberts
    Edward Stevenson
    Jacob Gates
    Rulon S. Wells
    Charles H. Hart
    Antoine R. Ivins
    Marlin K. Jensen
    Melvin Hammond
    Stephen Snow

    This same well-placed person also told me that when the Church needs something done in Washington, they are much more likely to call Harry than to call Orrin or Bob (and that was before Harry became majority leader).

    I can’t wait until President Obama, as part of Dean’s 50-state program, makes numerous visits to Utah. His wife paved the way with a meeting with Elders Cook and Ballard a couple of months ago.

  31. Yes, Elder Packer is not a typo.

    On the other hand, Elder Scott is the only apostle whose name I could find on public campaign donation websites. He gave a chunk to Romney’s campaign.

  32. Elder Packer….a Democrat?
    GASP…..I’m…slipping…into a 3 day coma….

  33. --I am I-- says:

    Jeremy,

    I think I speak for everyone when I say I’m going to need some sort of verification that Packer is a Democrat. I’m not the sort to scream epithets at people, but I’d need some pretty serious evidence, as it really doesn’t seem to fit with his projected persona.

    That said, I’d really like to think that, just so I can shove it in some people’s faces. I mean I myself am not Democrat (and while I registered R most recently, I am increasingly unhappy that I did so, and wish that I had a political party that I could happily and joyfully register with), but I sometimes just want to point people in the right direction by saying “look, there is more to this than simply going with the perceived crowd.”

  34. Steve,
    Have you had any hits from SLC headquarters. You seem to have caught the eye of the PR department.

    I am I,
    BKP comes from a humble working class background. I wouldn’t be all that surprised. It is sad when our own stereotypes get trammeled isn’t it. How could we be so wrong. Democrats and Republicans are supposed to be the true alignment of good versus evil. My faith in the Democratic party is shattered (tic).

  35. President Monson should convert Obama!

  36. So Neal A. Maxwell wasn’t a democrat?

  37. The records I’ve seen indicate that eight of the apostles, including BKP, are currently registered as Republicans. The six other registered apostles are non-declared.

  38. Except Elder U. He is probably a Christian Democrat if I was to guess.

  39. LOL, Doc — that article was up before my post, I think.

  40. I met Harry Reid a year ago in Washington State and he said that BKP was a Democrat. My wife and I were much surprised.

  41. I believe that Elder Faust’s and Elder Packer’s political affiliation goes clear back in their families to about 100 years ago when the church sort of assigned families to each political party.

    I know that Elder Faust held political office as a Democrat (I believe he was in the Utah state legislature). I don’t know if Packer was ever politically active. It seems possible to me that both men were Democrats out of family tradition, whose beliefs didn’t necessarily mirror all aspects of the national party platform.

  42. Chad Too says:

    Ken Jennings has gone on record and a Mormon Democrat.

    Here I thought I was the only one.

  43. Chad Too says:

    as a Mormon Democrat. Sorry.

  44. When I was at work yesterday and doing my usual rounds of official government websites (checking to make sure nothing massive was going to impact the day) I was quite surprised to see President Monson on the front page of WhiteHouse.Gov.

    I assumed this has something to do with all the Mormons who keep voting for Romney in primaries rather than sully their eternal souls by actually casting a vote for McCain, also known around these parts as “that one guy who could actually get me to vote for Hillary out of sheer frustration with the entire political universe.”

    But “they needed to pick up a check” makes much more sense.

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