145 of 174 people found the following review helpful
Justin T. Hart
- Published on Amazon.com
You don't need a taste for politics to devour this tome. Don't get me wrong, there's plenty of inside baseball here - details to satisfy even the most politically addicted among us - but the layman will also appreciate this candid and fair examination of Governor Mitt Romney and his presidential aspirations.
From the meticulous picture of Romney's Mother Lenore to the savvy analysis demonstrating the angst that many conservatives have towards John McCain, Hewitt weaves facts and insights in a way that is both sympathetic and honest. The picture that emerges is not the fainting, fawning, flush that some detractors predicted. Rather, the famous chiseled chin (which Hewitt admits will be used for and against Romney) comes even more clearly into relief; wrinkles and all. And, from the interviews in the book, this seems just fine with Mitt.
"Hang a lantern on your problems..." a maxim that Romney cites in the book seems a savvy approach to both business and politics. Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, calls it "facing the brutal facts." No doubt this was something that Romney practiced in the private sector. It's also something that Hewitt employs throughout the book. Whether detailing the failures of George Romney's presidential bid or handicapping the Mormon issue for Romney 2.0, Hewitt pulls no punches pressing sons, associates and political pundits about Mitt's advantages and disadvantages in the 2008 race.
Admittedly, I'm a fan of Romney, but the book provided me with numerous angles and views I hadn't considered before. For example, in my mind Romney has always stood solidly in the spotlight, always providing the solo with some ragtag chorus as backup. Hewitt brought into the foreground the interesting characters of Peter Flaherty, Kevin Madden, Spencer Zwick, and many others. In truth, what Hewitt shows, is that Romney is the man who brings the "team of rivals" together, constantly looking for people to challenge his assumptions and forge new ideas.
Hugh also handles the Mormon question extremely well. He provides both the pro-Mormon doctrinal viewpoint (from noted Mormon lawyer Rex E. Lee) and the detractors' stance (from Walter Martin). Hewitt wisely leaves this doctrinal debate to the professionals but elucidates the constitutional precedent for disposing of denominational litmus tests pretty handily. The book also does a masterful job of defining what bigotry against Mormons really looks like.
Hewitt's ultimate warning is this: "if because of his faith, he lost the Republican primaries to a less able candidate and that in turn led to the election if Hillary, the defeat of Romney on the grounds of his religious beliefs would be a great tragedy." [page16].
In short, "A Mormon in the White House" is great read about a tremendous subject and a boon to the conservative movement in this challenging election season.
78 of 92 people found the following review helpful
Living the Dream
- Published on Amazon.com
have just finished reading "A Mormon in the White House" 10 Things Every American Should Know about Mitt Romney by Hugh Hewitt.
First let me say that this is the third book by Hugh Hewitt that I have read. On occassion I listen to his radio show and view his blog, but neither of those rise to the level of his books. He books are well researched, well written and I believe are clearly from the heart. He believes what he writes and lets you know in his writing what he does not believe.
The first book of Mr. Hewitt I read was "In But Not Of", a book that every person with heart and a glimpse of faith should read, best before your thirty, good at any time (I gave copies to all of my early 20's kids). The second book I read was "Blog" which outlined the new media and its power in changing the location and the method of discussion of all issues in America.
Now comes "A Mormon in the White House". In a full disclosure environment I must note that at the sophisticated age of 12, I worked on the campaign of Governor George Romney in Flint, Michigan. I went door to door, gave out flyers, did paper work, and once, in a parade down South Saginaw I got a chance to meet the man and shake his hand, an experience I have not forgotten.
Much of Mr. Hewitt's book centers around the issue of Mitt Romney's Mormon faith. Even when I was 12, faith was an important part of my life. I was baptised, confirmed and raised a Missouri Synod Lutheran and that speaks for itself. In my teenage years, I went to various kinds of churches, I knew God was real, but was curious as to how different people approached God, and how God approached them. I admit that in those days I did not visit a Mormon church, mostly by chance not by choice.
Since then I have attended full Gospel (Pentecostal) churches, I have been back in Lutheran Churches, been immersion baptised in Southern Baptist Churches and have been a long standing member in several of them including The Korean Church of Houston; New Hope Baptist in Fayetteville, GA; Applewood Baptist in Wheatridge, CO; and two large churches affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, The Fellowship of Los Colinas, now called Fellowship Church in Grapevine, TX and our current church, Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA.
Thankfully, though the Mormon theme is in the book, Mr. Hewitt spends a great deal of time on the issues of the day that Mitt Romney stands for. Not just says but has acted upon in both his public and commercial life.
Though I would not vote for the Mormon Church, the 2008 election is not about the Mormon Church, though I would not become a Mormon as I believe my faith is where Jesus Christ wants my faith to be, I can be who I am, an evangelical Christian with a strong Southern Baptist underpinning, I will vote for Mitt Romney and give my support to him.
Again, when I was young and working for the campaign, and I mean I spent many hours in the offices, on the streets, nothing, but nothing came of George Romney's Mormon faith. In fact, until I read the book being described I did not know George Romney was a Mormon. And even at 12 I was aware of such things, but it never came up. What came up were his stand for family and for limited government and taxes and for the people of Michigan and that was enough to get me motivated even at 12.
I am much older now, disabled from questionable medical care surrounding cancer, but in some way I am going to get involved. This man (Romney) is the real thing, believes what I believe, wants what I want and is not afraid to say so. This country needs the 'not afraid to say so' so badly right now that even a disabled man, veteran, father, still working man will take what time, energy and finances and do what I can for Mitt Romney.
His father was good for Michigan, He was good for Massachusetts and will be good for America.
For those of you who are Christians like I am, we need to get past his faith, like it or not, and focus on what we have in common. Country, security, family and the list goes on. Thats enough for me and it should be for you. Our religion should not drive our decision about him through his, we should find our common ground and move forward with it. (There is not another Republican contender who can come close to your beliefs in reality, though they give them speaking space, what have they done?)
This is a good book, if you have any questions, read it. If it takes you farther away because of what you learn of Mormonism, then get past it as there is no room in this country for public office tests, except the Constitution alone.
turn the key and smile.
228 of 277 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
This book covers well the life and career of Mitt Romney. It is not a comprehensive work, but rather an insightful approach to all important aspects of Governor Romney's past and what makes him tick. Clearly the evidence is well presented that Romney is a solid conservative who is arguably the most intelligent of all the candidates running for president in 2008, whether on the left or right.
Not including the Appendix, the book is 269 pages with 10 chapters. It is easy reading and is most compelling. The mainstream media would have us believe that Mitt Romney is purely an opportunist. My reading of this excellent book leads me to the opposite conclusion: That Romney may well be the only statesman among all politicians aiming at 2008.
My purpose in buying the book was to carefully study the man's character, as I think very few other traits in a leader matter more than his core character attributes. My conclusion from reading this book is that not only is Romney a highly principled leader, he is motivated chiefly by a long-standing family value or desire to serve others selflessly.
I join with Mr. Hewitt in stating that America may make a horrible mistake if she does not elect Mr. Romney as our next president.
My conclusion upon completing the book is that Romney's tremendous business experience, extraordinary CEO skills, principled leadership, and drive to attain the highest of goals imaginable place him well above all other candidates (as to qualifications) who seek power in the presidency. Since the DNC is doing everything in its power to assign trite labels to Mr. Romney, it is clear that they don't want anybody to read this book for the truth behind the man. In Romney, "What you see, is what you get."
I recommend this book as one of the best books on character and leadership that I have ever read and an outstanding addition to any library.
73 of 89 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
I believe that the voters and delegates deciding whether to give Romney the Republican nomination in '08 have an obligation to read this book and think deeply about Romney in making that determination. This work is researched from a non-LDS perspective by a well-known constitutional law professor, trusted for his honesty and intellect in conservative religious circles. Hewitt's entire thesis, which I find credible, is that the Christian right faces a defining moment in its history with the 2008 election (attacks from the left threatening every fiber of America abound). If the Christian right mistakes friends like Romney and Mormons for enemies, it will lose the fight with its real enemies from across the world in time. As a Christian, I am aware of the seriousness of this decision. I am thinking deeply about Romney's compaign; physical, mental, moral and spiritual abilities; capacity for good; and religion. It was an outcast, a Samaritan, who saved a Jew on the side of the road and was praised by Jesus, not the Levite or Rabbi. Differing faiths can help each other when it is called for.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
I felt like this book was aimed towards conservatives, probably evangelicals, who refuse to consider Romney due to his religion. Democrats will find much of the book informative but the arguments are not directed to them. This book will compare Romney to Guiliani and McCain much more than to Obama and Clinton. Written to conservatives, the assumption that any Republican is better than what the Democrats are offering is simply accepted.
Romney's strengths and weaknesses are shown pretty well. I've liked him since the Olympics but I learned a lot about him. His strengths are presented as being just what the country needs. The weaknesses shown are only negatives from a conservative point of view (government mandated health insurance etc.)
Hewitt makes the point that those who would vote against anyone because of religion is a BIGOT. He reminds the reader that JFK faced the same predjudice as a Catholic but the country was supposed to have gotten over it. Because it appears that those who are openly admitting they will not vote for a member of The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-Day Saints are mostly from the political right, who refer to themselves as Christians. These evangelicals will not vote Democratic due to the morality issues on which they differ. For them the choice is between Republicans. This book proves that Romney is much closer to what conservative evangelicals claim to want in a President. The reader gets the message that if Romney is the most qualified candidate, and the most morally conservative Republican, and a person votes against him because of his type of Christianity, hypocrisy reigns.
The one criticism I have for the book is that in the last 40 pages or so, the anti-bigotry point is made over and over and over again. It reads as if the author expected many people to pick and choose which chapters they read. If someone only reads the religion chapter, the main points are included in that chapter, even if they are made in previous chapters. For someone reading the entire book it can be repetitive.