In the presidential race, the name of Romney's onetime employer has become a dirty word. But in Utah, an underdog candidate rushes to embrace what he calls "Mitt's company."
In recent weeks, the Obama campaign has slammed Mitt Romney's work for Bain Capital, while Romney has struggled to find an effective way to positively cast his well-remunerated work on leveraged buyouts and other private-equity deals. But it seems there's one politician who's not at all leery about being connected to Bain: Utah Republican Senate candidate Dan Liljenquist.
Liljenquist is the conservative challenger hoping to stage a primary upset against the state's senior senator, Orrin Hatch. In April, he succeeded in forcing Hatch into a primary election for the first time in Hatch's 36-year career, by holding him to less than 60 percent of the delegates at the state Republican convention. But Liljenquist, a former one-term state senator, remains a major underdog. He got just 28 percent of the convention vote, he's not well known, and Hatch has assiduously courted the party grassroots and Tea Party activists -- unlike another Republican who fell to a Tea Party challenge this primary season, Indiana Sen. Dick Lugar -- scoring, for example, the endorsement of Sarah Palin.