Political reporters were abuzz when it surfaced on Twitter that none other than Glenn Beck was at Romney's event in Iowa today. He's had a rocky relationship with Romney in the past, but lately the two have been cavorting behind closed doors.
Beck did not speak in Iowa today, nor did he meet with Romney, Ryan or any other campaign official. He was just... in the crowd. He shook a few hands, talked to a few fans and left. Still, his presence at one of these things is noteworthy. Beck hasn't always been the Mormon BFF the campaign may have wanted him to be. He has said he doesn't "trust" Romney on his radio show.
Politico's James Hohmann and Dylan Byers report Beck flew into the event on a private jet because he "had time in between" two events of his own, one in Ohio and one in Chicago. It was nothing official. He wanted to "just be in the crowd," and see what it was like. A source told Hohmann and Byers that "nothing official" was happening with the campaign.
But that's not entirely true. Beck's been warmer to a Romney Presidency on his show lately, and it seems to be a bit more "official" than Hohmann and Byers' source let on. The New York Times' Amy Chozik reports the Romney campaign's been courting him for months
Mr. Beck’s unique position as both a Mormon and a prominent voice among evangelicals has been too tempting for Mr. Romney’s campaign to pass up. Campaign officials have quietly courted Mr. Beck, according to a person briefed on his meetings with campaign surrogates who could not discuss private conversations publicly. Mr. Beck declined to comment for this article.
Chozik explains the campaign wants Beck to be help Romney develop a connection with evangelical Christians who are feeling uncertain about voting for a Mormon. Beck, a Mormon himself, has considerable sway in the evangelical community through his radio show. They're a group Romney need a big turnout from on Tuesday if he hopes to stand a chance. Romney's kept quiet about his religion in interviews, but Beck has argued for him (and Mormons) on his show.
There's no word yet on if Romney asked Beck to use his powerful sway with the Big Blue Jeanlobby to help his campaign.