Mia Love's had a rough few days defending the American dream. Not just any American dream, but her very personal, very specific American dream.
At this summer's Republican National Convention (and at every speaking opportunity where she's given the chance), Utah's District 4 candidate for U.S. House likes to tell a very scripted "American dream" story -- that she was born of immigrant parents, a mom and dad who came to the States from Haiti with $10 between them, and from those humble beginnings, Love went on to graduate from college, get "faith," move to Utah to marry a returned Mormon missionary and eventually become the mayor of Saratoga Springs, a small bedroom community in Utah County.
Once the state GOP
became aware of her, she catapulted into prominence and was quickly conscripted to run for Congress. Support from across the country began
pouring in to get this woman elected. Did I say woman? And did I mention Haitian-American? And conservative? A Tea Party fave? Republican gold! Must get this woman into office.
It was all going so well until a liberal magazine called Mother Jones did something the rest of the Utah media had failed to do: Take a look at her story. In a 2011 interview with the Deseret News, Love innocently described what was probably a family legend: that an immigration law would grant citizenship to Love's parents if they had a baby in America. A mere 25 days before that law was set to expire, Love was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., allowing her parents to send for her older siblings, who had remained in Haiti. Love told the D-News: "My parents have always told me I was a miracle, and our family's ticket to America."
Only problem is, Mother Jones couldn't find evidence of such an expiring law, leaving them to speculate that Love may have been an "anchor baby," a U.S.-born baby who paves the way for parents to legally immigrate to the U.S.
Listening to Love dance around the questions Tuesday on KSL Radio's Doug Wright Show was reminiscent of how Sarah Palin struggled with media interviews when she ran for vice president in 2008. Her answers were often defensive and peppered with awkwardly injected talking points. Like Palin, Love has been thrown into the fray before she has matured as a candidate or proven herself as a political leader. These "preemie" candidates are heavily coached on campaign rhetoric that sounds hollow and silly when candidates are in situations that demand they be authentic.
"I think it's so sad Jim Matheson and his friends would go so far as
attacking my family, attacking the American dream," Love said on Wright's show, insisting her opponent was behind the article. "... Utah won't stand for it."
Right, Mia, it does strike close to home when Mother Jones
dares to question your American dream story. However, you're the one
who regularly invokes the story. And, if elected, you would either
eliminate or scale back dramatically the very programs that assist immigrants
and other low-income people. So, your parents' story is of interest to us.
It's your chance to be authentic, to speak from the heart, to quit listening to your handlers and be yourself.
PS: And blaming a DINO (Democrat in Name Only) like Jim Matheson for being in league with Mother Jones is almost laughable. Utah really won't stand for that. They'll be rolling on the floor.