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Book review: Book gives an inside look at Mitt Romney's life and his political career

"Mitt Romney: An Inside Look at the Man and His Politics" by R.B. Scott is a biography of presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
"Mitt Romney: An Inside Look at the Man and His Politics" by R.B. Scott is a biography of presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
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"MITT ROMNEY: AN INSIDE LOOK AT THE MAN AND HIS POLITICS," by R.B. Scott, Globe Pequot Press, $16.95, 231 pages (nf)

After revealing in the preface that he is a distant cousin of Mitt Romney and disclosing details of a personal meeting with Romney where they discussed sensitive LDS Church business, Mormon author R.B. Scott delivers a highly critical review of Romney's rise to power.

Scott's book, "Mitt Romney: An Inside Look at the Man and His Politics," offers insight into a man many do not seem to understand. The author attempts to portray Romney as man who feels obligated to serve his religion, his family and his country.

Starting with a candid story about Romney being arrested in 1981, Scott describes how the future Mormon bishop, stake president and Massachusetts governor was charged with disorderly conduct stemming from a disagreement with a park ranger over a boat registration.

Scott also details how Romney went to great lengths to bury his arrest record during his campaigns for political office, but was very open and honest about it while speaking to wards or congregations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Boston.

Romney's handling of Salt Lake's Olympic scandal is one area where Scott seems to pull no punches. After describing the public perception of Romney saving the 2002 Olympic Games, Scott offers his own opinion, "Despite rumors and national, if not global, gnashing of teeth, practically every savvy Utahn, not to mention many devotees of the modern Olympic movement, might point out that there really was no extraordinary scandal per se associated with the 2002 Winter Games."

Scott continues this point by noting, "U.S. District Judge David Sam confirmed it when he scathingly dismissed criminal indictments against two Salt Lake Organizing Committee leaders nearly two years after the closing ceremonies for one of the most successful and profitable games ever."

According to Scott, Romney's rescue of the games was more of a shift in financing. He writes, "The sea change in the SLOC was almost as visible as it was instantaneous. First, Romney agreed to work for no salary. At his first meeting with the management committee, he announced budget cuts of $98 million with an eventual goal of $200 million."

Scott continues, "This ushered in what came to be known as the 'MittFrugal Olympics' that Utahns (and) the news media … would grow to love over the next three years."

But Scott's book focuses on more than just Romney's involvement in the Winter Games. He also discusses Romney's reputation of being a flip-flopper on important issues and the challenges he and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints face with Romney as a candidate for president.

Steve Larson is one of the founders of Information Alliance, a Utah-based data collection company and is vice president of sales. Steve spends his free time writing, practicing photography and spending time outdoors.