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Hugh Hewitt Book Club

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Romney’s spectacular first quater has the phones ringing and the e-mails rolling in: How did he do it?

Answer: Read the book. Especially if you are a journalist/Beltway type who doesn’t want to be surprised again.

Second answer: See some of the Q&A from today’s online interview.

And be sure to read Matt Lewis’ interview with senior McCain advisors John Weaver and Mark Salter, in which Salter flatly declares “The idea that McCain approached Kerry is a fantasy.”

No one with any common sense is going to believe Kerry over Weaver and Salter. Read the whole interview.

Two exchanges from the WaPo Q&A:

Utah: Where is Romney’s money coming from? Is a lot of it from Mormons — not the church, but from individual Mormons, both wealthy and rank-and-file?

Hugh Hewitt: From 33,000 different contributors. Generalizations are dangerous, but here are some keys.

First, as detailed in my book, Romney’s business success is at a level few journalists much less voters understand. His incredible start is owed in large and probably dominant part to his business world contacts and their friends. he spent two decades turning aorund companies and leaving lots of grateful executives, employees and shareholders in his wake. They know him, like him, and are impressed with his abilities. They wrote checks. They will continue to do so.

You will also see a lot of Mormons giving to Romney, even as the black community of Chicago has rallied around Senator Obama as detailed in today’s New York Times, and as Greek Americans rallied to Dukakis in ’88.

But here’s a key fact: When Romney arrived in Salt Lake to take over the games in the late ’90s, they were in desperate straights. The sponsors were gone, the corruption charges kept piling up, the Congress (led by Senator McCain) was very leery of giving any help, and the media was in full battle cry. The Games came very close to being canceled.

Romney turned all that around. There are a lot of grateful –and very impressed– people in Salt Lake City. They suppoort him and not because he is LDS but because he saved their games and their city’s reputation.

Finally, again, as detailed in the book, the “Bain Way” means innovation at every level, and the Romney campaign has been rolling out innovations at every level of the camapign but especially in fundraising.

Did I mention Spencer Zwick? He’s called the new Jack Oliver for a reason.


Baltimore: Mr. Hewitt: Okay, so a man believes that an angel gave a guy named Joe Smith gold plates and, when Smith was challenged and would not produce them, he actually came up with a hat in which he said the angel’s information also was contained, but it was a hat containing writing that only he could read, so he would dictate it and others would take it down. That’s Mormonism. And you don’t think that’s a touch … weird?

Hugh Hewitt: Do you believe belief in Mary’s appearance at Lourdes is weird? Do you believe speaking in tongues is weird? Do you belief in angels?

Lots of Americans believe lots of weird things. Democrats believe raising taxes will help the economy. We should decide debates on the weirdness of beliefs in the public policy arena, not the theological.


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