Cedar City, the little town from which Mike Leavitt hails, is set
in the often harsh but spectacularly beautiful terrain for which
southern Utah is famous.
It is ranching and horse country. Hollywood moviemakers sometimes
choose nearby vistas for the backdrop for their westerns. Intrepid
hikers come to the area to lose the cares of city living.
But Cedar City is no cultural wasteland. It has a delightful,
tree-shaded university and a Tony award-winning Shakespeare Festival
so authentic, in a replica of London's Elizabethan Globe theater,
that Shakespearean actors and directors come from Stratford-on-Avon
to pick up tips.
Cedar City is also no stranger to movers and shakers from
Washington. For instance, Ken Adelman and his family make an annual
pilgrimage to the Shakespeare Festival. Mr. Adelman, who headed the
Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and held other senior posts in
the Reagan administration, is also a Shakespeare authority and now
an adjunct professor of Shakespeare at George Washington University
in Washington. He was in Cedar City again earlier this month with an
entourage of friends and family, including Deputy Secretary of
Defense Paul Wolfowitz.
While Mike Leavitt comes from southern Utah cowboy country, and
can pull on his cowboy boots, don his cowboy hat, and ride a horse
with the best of them, he is no cowboy. Or if he is, as one wag puts
it, "he's an urban cowboy."
Actually, he's urbane. A smart, polished, three-term governor of
Utah who's maintained huge popularity ratings, he's honed his
political skills not only in Utah, but also in the West and on the
national scene, chairing the National Governors Association and
serving in a variety of national appointments. He's paid his
political dues, patting pigs, kissing babies, wearing funny 3-D
glasses, and once appearing at our newspaper offices in a Father
Christmas hat with a handbell-ringing group to play Christmas carols
(absorbing mock scowls from his wife, Jackie, when he rang the wrong
Leavitt is a visionary who's pushed Utah's reputation as a high-
tech state. He's urged an already education-conscious state to
higher effort, particularly in engineering and the sciences.
In the West, where land and water are paramount issues, he's run
afoul of local environmentalists who will be funneling ammunition to
the Democratic senators lying in wait for him at his confirmation