Distant relatives whose ties extend back to the founding of the Mormon church, Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman Jr. became political allies as governors. Before that, their fathers were chummy. Mitt’s sister and Jon’s mom were college roommates. So when Romney was preparing his first presidential run, he assumed he had Huntsman in his corner. He was wrong. Their split in 2006 created a bitter rivalry that led to a contentious 2012 presidential showdown.
This book by Salt Lake Tribune reporters Matt Canham and Thomas Burr tells the story of these dynamic and dynastic families, who have found themselves driven together by chance, business, politics and piety.
It starts with the rise of George Romney and Jon Huntsman Sr., men who escaped poverty to become wealthy and influential. Their sons responded to their powerful fathers in different ways, but they ultimately ended up in the same places — vying to run the 2002 Winter Olympics, campaigning for governor and then for the White House. While both Romney and Huntsman have fallen short of the ultimate political prize, their successes on the national stage have become a turning point for the LDS Church, which yearns for broader acceptance from the American people.
As their fathers expected much from them, Romney and Huntsman expect much for their children and that means we may not have seen the last clash between the clans.
President Barack Obama [Democrat] 51.06% (65.9 million votes
Mitt Romney [Republican] 47.20% (60.9 million votes)