When I first heard that Evan McMullin was running for President as a #NeverTrumper, this was my reaction:
Who the hell/fuck is Evan McMullin is still my reaction but Slate’s Jim Newell tells us *why* McMullin is running and *where* he’ll concentrate his efforts:
McMullin was born in Provo, Utah. He is a Mormon and holds an undergraduate degree from Brigham Young. McMullin knows what’s up here, and he “plans to aggressively contest” Utah, according to BuzzFeed’s story breaking the news of his candidacy. McMullin’s first campaign logo depicts the letter “M” with one star over it. It’s an apt symbol for a candidate whose success will be measured by his ability to win one state.
The “Utah strategy” is one that Never Trump Republicans have been toying with since well before McMullin came into the picture. It was one justification for the seemingly endless efforts to recruit Mitt Romney into the race, and it’s a state in which Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson is working hard as well (often in spite of himself.) McMullin’s ties to Utah make him a much more competitive fit for the state than, say, Tennessee’s David French would have been; if he has enough money behind him, it’s not out of the question that he might jump into contention in the state.
So, the plan is to “save” the GOP in one state? I don’t get it. It’s more likely to help HRC or even Libertarian Gary Johnson. But given how much the latter’s campaign has focused on weed legalization, I think his numbers are bound to sink in the notably abstemious Beehive State. His sole attractant is to Willard Mittbot Romney who likes Johnson’s running mate fellow former Mass Governor Brahmin Bill Weld. I guess the McMullin gambit is an attempt to woo Mitt or some such shit. The whole idea is ludicrous even if Evan Who can somehow carry the state. If the election continues to evolve into a blow-out it simply won’t matter who wins Utah. Btw, Utah hasn’t gone Democratic since 1964 and, trust me, it wasn’t a battleground state, it was caught up in the LBJ tidal wave.
As I may have mentioned before, I was born in Salt Lake City before being sprung at the tender age of 7. I still have family there and Salt Lake itself has changed a great deal over the years. It’s a much more cosmopolitan place than it used to be. They’ve even done away with the quaint fiction that bars are “private clubs.”
I would get a kick out of the whitest white whales of all turning blue this year. I’m still skeptical BUT it’s possible that, with a Romney endorsement, Evan Who could win the Beehive State’s 6 electoral votes. It would be the cherry on the sundae of this weird, wild, and wacky election year.
There are actually two swell songs with Salt Lake City in the title so I’ll give the last word to the odd couple of Johnny Mercer and Bob Weir: