With all the pomp surrounding the president’s visit to Utah, it cannot be ignored that while Donald Trump carried the Beehive State, as expected, he received the lowest percentage of any Republican White House nominee since Barry Goldwater in 1964.
And several high-profile Utah officeholders made it known that they did not vote for Trump, choosing alternative conservatives instead. The Utah delegation also was part of a coup attempt to wrest the nomination from Trump on the floor of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
With Trump’s propensity to judge the worthiness of people based on how much they grovel before him, the smiles, handshakes and photo ops with the president likely don’t mean much.
After Trump’s victory, speculation was rampant that several Utah officials were on short lists for high-level jobs in the new administration.
Perhaps because of Trump’s relatively poor showing, for a Republican, in one of the nation’s reddest states, the named Utah hopefuls went 0 for 4.
And if you count Mitt Romney, an early and harsh critic of Trump during the 2016 campaign who was invited to dinner with the then-president-elect fueling speculation he might be named secretary of state, it was 0 for 5.
Cynics like me figured the dinner was Trump’s way of humiliating Romney for his earlier disrespect.
The other high-profile Utah names in the mix were Rep. Chris Stewart for secretary the Air Force, Rep. Mike Noel for Bureau of Land Management director, House Speaker Greg Hughes for a deputy position in the U.S. Department of Transportation, and Attorney General Sean Reyes for chairman of the Federal Trade Commission.
None of them got the respective gigs, although Hughes, unlike the others, had indicated he was happy staying right where he is.
That’s different from the George H.W. Bush administration in which Utahns held several top posts, including Roger Porter as domestic affairs adviser to the president and Brent Scowcroft as national security adviser.
Church and state? • Utah Valley University President Matthew Holland announced recently that he will be leaving the Orem school to serve as a mission president for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Where in the world he will be serving won’t be known until June, and it is a social custom in Mormonism for friends and family members of prospective missionaries to have contests guessing where the young man or woman will be headed to spread the LDS gospel.
But the guessing games usually don’t involve using public school resources.
Posted on the UVU Facebook page is an invitation to join a contest guessing where Holland will serve his mission. Several have already posted their guesses; the invitation specifies just one guess per person.
Those who guess right, according to the post, will receive awesome UVU schwag.
Church and business? • For years, Deseret First Credit Union’s slogan has been “serving the LDS community since 1955,” a proud declaration that would bring an amused eyebrow-raising reaction from some fans when that announcement would be made at University of Utah football games, where Deseret First has been a sponsor.
It’s a legitimate moniker. The credit union started out as the financial institution for employees of businesses owned or affiliated with the LDS Church.
But when a large sign bearing that ad was erected at a construction site for a new Deseret First branch at 3200 West and 4700 South in Taylorsvile, several neighbors grumbled about the implied exclusivity of the business. After a couple of weeks, the sign was taken down.
Here’s a thought: Deseret First could put a baptismal font in each of its branches, so if potential non-Mormon customers wanted to do business with the credit union, they could join the faith and open a new account all in the same day.
What a jerk • Shame on the UTA bus driver going eastbound on 4500 South on Friday at 3 p.m.
I was stopped at the light when I noticed a woman running across the street to catch the bus pulling up to the 500 East bus stop. She got there in time and the driver had put on the brakes as she was running up to the door. The driver then released the brakes and drove off as she frantically waved at him to stop. There is no way the driver couldn’t have seen her in the side mirror.
We pulled around to see if she wanted a ride. She was on her way to the Smith’s store near 900 East and said she could walk.
She wore a dark pink scarf and had Middle Eastern features. She spoke broken English and told us she was from Jordan.
Don’t know, of course, if her appearance was the motive for the driver’s brutishness. But either way ...