Certainly, Mia Love’s ascension at the National Republican Convention is unique in recent Beehive State history.
The Saratoga Springs mayor, the daughter of African-American immigrants, saw unprecedented attention in Tampa this week as a GOP House candidate – and not a current – Republican officeholder.
Other Utahns have been invited to give convention speeches – but they already had the mantle of election.
Love is still a major office wanna-be.
Taking advantage of the opportunity, Love gave a rousing short address, which was preceded by one of her excellently-produced campaign videos.
She knocked the socks off more than a few cynical national newsmen, pundits and GOP leaders.
Love had a special web site fundraising goal over the 24 hours after her address, trying for an impressive $100,000. She raised around $150,000.
All well and good.
Now she has to close the deal with 4th District voters.
She’ll have that national help, once again, with Vice President nominee Paul Ryan coming to raise funds and excite local voters.
Mitt Romney himself is coming to Utah (maybe this time he’ll actually appear with regular folks and not just the big-ticket donors he’s gathered previously).
Romney standing on a public stage with Love could really help.
I recall back to 1982.
Then popular Salt Lake City Democratic Mayor Ted Wilson was challenging first-term U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch.
President Ronald Reagan was really popular in Utah (but still not as popular as Romney is today).
Reagan came to town toward the end of the campaign season. Dressed in a smart brown suit to stand out visually, with all those around him in blue suits, Reagan asked Utahns to return Hatch to the U.S. Senate to help him fight the good fight.
In the background was a huge American flag. And a group looking suspiciously like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (but really another choral group) sang the Battle Hymn of the Republic.
Reagan wiped a tear from his eye.
And Wilson later recalled, “I knew right then I’d lost the election.”
So, queue Romney. Get the big flag. Bring the singing group on stage.
And Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson – he with the conservative voting record and much-loved political last name – will be standing alone (as he has before), bereft of national political icons to help him with voters and fund raising.
Is Mia Love a rising star or political flashing firework – a big boom and then gone?
The last two months of Utah’s 4th Congressional District race should be something to watch.