Pignanelli & Webb: If summer is over, why is it so hot outside? Hot or not, the Labor Day weekend marks the traditional end of summer. The youngsters are back in school, the pigskin is flying.
But we can’t say goodbye to summer without answering the burning question so many inquiring minds want to know: What did politicians do on their summer vacations?
Pres. Donald Trump: “I lounged at one of my many beach houses and read a great self-help book, ‘How to Cause Chaos Nationally, Internationally, Economically and Militarily — and Make it All End Well.’ As the Chosen One, I had already mastered most of those skills, but I commend the book to anyone who likes to blow things up.”
Presidential candidate Joe Biden: “I spent most of my vacation time strategizing how to defend Obamacare, but I did read a few snippets from ‘How to Campaign like a 30-Year-Old.’ The main thing is to take a lot of naps.”
Gov. Gary Herbert: ”I spent my vacation thinking up new ways to describe how Utah is the best-managed state with the strongest economy in the country. I realized I only have 16 more months to make the case ... unless Spencer appoints me as advocate-in-chief. By the way, did you know that Utah’s economy is really, really strong ... ?”
Tax Reform Task Force Members: “We spent our summer enduring two months of heated town hall meetings throughout the state listening to suspicious citizens tell us they don’t want taxes changed. Of course, we responded with smiles and courtesy. Truly, such patience deserves a guaranteed spot in heaven.”
Losing Salt Lake City mayoral candidates: “What could be more fun than spending a summer knocking on doors, debating, and bragging about accomplishments? The only downside was ... we lost.”
Congressman Rob Bishop: “It was the best summer in decades. Because I’m not running again next year, I did not have to make that one fundraising call I usually make each summer. It’s great to avoid that horrific ordeal.”
Democratic Party Chair Jeff Merchant: “My summer vacation was spent looking under rocks and sticks all over the state in search of a sentient organism that resembles a human being willing to run as a Democratic candidate for governor. Please advise if you are aware of such a creature.”
Republican Party Chairman Derek Brown: “I spent my summer vacation studying one of the most difficult challenges in politics — how to convince 4th District voters that Ben McAdams is a flaming liberal and secretly part of ‘The Squad’.”
Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski: “I’m glad for my decision not to seek reelection. But watching the primary election, I couldn’t help spending summer weeks wondering if all those pundits were wrong and I could have walloped Jim Dabakis.”
Congressman Ben McAdams: “My staff and I had great fun this summer. We disguised our voices and called Bishop’s, Curtis’ and Stewart’s offices asking for the member of the Utah House delegation from the majority party. Then we would laugh and laugh.”
Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman Jr.: “Summer is a lovely time. It provides the opportunity to think great thoughts and develop important priorities and fashion Huntsman 3.0. Stay tuned.”
Erin Mendenhall and Luz Escamilla: “It was a great summer, emerging from the mayoral primary election. Now we have to figure out how to answer those pesky Inland Port questions.”
Congressman John Curtis: “I’m doing my best to get around to other parts of the district, hopefully with some publicity. Otherwise, when I go back to Washington in September everyone will still call me that Congressman from Bears Ears.”
Sen. Mike Lee: “I had great fun on my vacation reading the Constitution backwards into a tape recorder. When I played back the result, I think what I heard was a recipe for bundt cake.”
Sen. Mitt Romney: “I went to many community celebrations throughout the state and had a great time. But I’m still in pursuit of the perfect deep fried Twinkie. Can’t wait for the State Fair.”
Most of the potential candidates for governor in 2020: “We spent the entire summer not bothering any voters, media or anyone else with real politicking. We’ll pretend this was an actual strategy. You’re welcome.”
Attorney General Sean Reyes: “My office sued the federal government over Obamacare this summer. What does it take to get noticed for that?”
Congressman Chris Stewart: “I had great fun this summer giving speeches and media interviews blasting socialism and socialists. It’s always good to have an existential threat to the nation to campaign on.”
Deseret News management: “We spent the summer as we do every other season of the year: trying to keep Pignanelli & Webb from embarrassing the newspaper. It’s a really tough job.”
Republican LaVarr Webb is a political consultant and lobbyist. Email: email@example.com. Democrat Frank Pignanelli is a Salt Lake attorney, lobbyist and political adviser. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.