The NPR program Fresh Air interviewed the authors of a new book about Mitt Romney a few days ago. The authors, two reporters for the Boston Globe, did a lot of homework in digging into Romney’s life. The surprising thing about what they concluded–and how the NPR show presented it–was that it was mostly very positive.
Occasionally, news outlets will follow two young missionaries around for a day and write a story about it. I’ve seen such stories locally a few times. As interesting as that might be to non-Mormons, though, I’ve always wished someone would shadow and report on things like Ward Council meetings or family home evening or home teaching. That’s where the real meat of regular Mormon life is. A day in the life of a bishop is far more fascinating than a day in the life of a missionary.
While the NPR story did spend several minutes on Romney’s mission, it also described his service as a stake president. It recounted some controversy–objectively–but mostly it dwelled on the Christlike ministration such a calling entails. One excerpt:
So you’re absolutely right that you will find divergent views of Mitt Romney from the people he led. One of the things I was most surprised in doing the research in this book was to learn how incredibly charitable and generous he has been – he and his family have been – in often very quiet ways, sometimes in small ways, sometimes in large ways. But it’s not something he ever, or that he rarely, I would say, talked about. And I found that sort of fascinating, especially in light of sort of how he’s sort of viewed today.