Mitt Romney today in New Hampshire.(Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

“Even he didn’t come from affluence,” Rehnert insisted. “He wasn’t a trust-fund guy.”

Perhaps what he meant was: Romney wasn’t a Wasp. He never really talked to his co-workers about his Mormonism, but he sometimes joked with Jewish colleagues about how their religions made them all outsiders.


One great mystery about Romney has been where his Mormonism comes in and what it explains. Maybe the clearest answer comes from taking at their word the businessmen with whom he came up, who say they never saw its influence. Romney’s religion constitutes a minority set of beliefs. Poorly understood and widely mocked, it can provoke suspicions about his motives. Perhaps it is not surprising, then, that he has adopted a public persona that contains no detectable motives at all, one that is buried in objectivity, in data, in process. The best evidence of how important Romney’s religion is to him could be how far he has kept it from view.

“The Romney Economy,” Benjamin Wallace-Wells, New York.