obama & romney*Whoa!

That’s our reaction to news that the newspaper  in the heart of the Mormon universe has endorsed President Barack Obama over Mitt Romney, a staunch Mormon.

The Salt Lake Tribune’s endorsement, which is titled “Too Many Mitts,” praises Romney for his “singular role in rescuing Utah’s organization of the 2002 Olympics from a cesspool of scandal” and declares him Utah’s “favorite adopted son.”

But the newspaper’s editorial board says the Romney it has gushed over since his 2002 Olympic performance is not the same Romney running for president in 2012, reports NPR.org.

“As the party’s shape-shifting nominee,” the Tribune says, “Romney has raised the most frequently asked question of the campaign: ‘Who is this guy, really, and what in the world does he truly believe?’ ”

The endorsement praises Obama as “a competent leader who, against tough odds, has guided the country through catastrophe and set a course that, while rocky, is pointing toward a brighter day.”

For more than a century, the Tribune has been perceived as the left-leaning, non-Mormon — sometimes anti-Mormon — daily newspaper in a Democratic city in a Mormon-dominated state.

The Tribune has endorsed Republicans from time to time, but it also endorsed Obama in 2008.

The paper’s endorsement “undermines part of Romney’s narrative,” says David Magleby of the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy at Brigham Young University, a school owned by the Mormon Church.

Read/learn more at NPR.org.