This is a column about three bizarre endorsements recently handed to Utah politicians.
Let's take Tommy Lasorda first. He is, in case you hadn't noticed, the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers - although his most important job is head huckster for Ultra Slim Fast weight loss program.Yet he came to town the other day to endorse Wayne Owens.
It was not the most memorable endorsement I've ever heard. Speaking of Owens, he said: "I don't even know this gentleman, but I've been impressed by the things I've heard about him."
Hmmmm. Doesn't even know him, but he is kind enough to lend his name to Owens' candidacy? And Owens is easygoing enough to accept an endorsement from a person who knows baseball and weight loss programs but not politics?
He probably didn't want to hurt his feelings.
(When the phone call came, Owens probably said, "Tommy WHO? What state is he governor of? Oh - Los Angeles. Sure. He wants to endorse me? Sure - tell him I'll be glad to have him come." When he hung up, he turned to an aide and asked, "Tommy WHO?")
Lasorda said that his friend Danny Abraham told him Owens was "a nice man . . . and a lady at the airport told me that you're one of the best political leaders in the state."
Sounds like Lasorda thinks things out in depth before he acts.
Owens responded by saying he was "really honored" to have the "biggest name in American baseball here." He didn't say that he didn't know Lasorda, but since Lasorda didn't know Owens we can guess pretty accurately on that one.
At least Owens had heard of La-sorda - which is more than we can say for Lasorda about Owens - until his Utah trip, of course.
At least Owens did not damage his congressional dignity by appearing at the press conference in a full Dodger uniform - like Randy Horiuchi.
- No. 2 endorsement of interest was a quickie visit by Barbara Bush on behalf of Genevieve Atwood, Owens' opponent. Now I'll admit that Barbara Bush is a little closer to politics than Lasorda - she is at least married to a politician - but she is still not a politician. In fact, she explained her visit by saying, "I'm here because George Bush asked me to come."
Barbara Bush had never met Atwood before. Yet she called Atwood "qualified and decent" and pronounced the congressional seat "winnable" for the Republican Party.
She said that Atwood's refusal to support the president's deficit reduction deal when Owens did made no difference to her. Then she warmly hugged the excited Atwood, who said she loves the first lady, because of "a down-hominess that I just adore."
It is clear that Atwood had seen Barbara Bush on TV and in the newspapers and does love her - from afar. Barbara Bush probably does think Atwood is "qualified and decent," but she had not even seen her on TV.
- Finally, No. 3 endorsement was the quickest trip of all, by the vice president of the United States, Dan Quayle, on behalf of Republican congressional candidate Karl Snow. Quayle flew into the Provo airport and raced to the Utah Valley Community College to recommend both BYU's football team and Snow, neither of whom he had met before.
At least this endorsement came from a bona fide politician. But considering the lack of vice presidential prestige - especially this vice president - the decision to bring a politician may have been a mistake.
Considering all of Snow's political troubles lately, it seems like a cruel joke to have made the climax to his campaign an appearance by a man of questionable prestige.
I just don't understand it.
Why didn't Snow's campaign manager, Steve Studdert - a man of considerable sophistication - use all his connections and go right to the top and bring in Joe Morgan - the manager of the Boston Red Sox?
Let's keep these endorsements consistent.