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A guess at what Utah politicians had on their summer reading lists

The state flag flies over the Capitol in Salt Lake City before the start of a special session of the Legislature on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020.
Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

Happy Labor Day! This is the unofficial end of a very hot, tough, exhausting political summer. But Utah politicos did have an opportunity or two to kick back and read a book on vacation or peruse hobby information on the internet. Through diligent research, both scrupulous and unscrupulous, we uncovered the summer reading material of politicos and leaders, or what they were checking out online (Alexa got a workout!).

Utah state epidemiologist Angela Dunn: “The Public Health Physician’s Guide to Patience: Dealing With Politicians, Media and Anti-Mask Extremists While Explaining What is Best for Them.”

Gov. Gary Herbert: “Fundraising as an Art Form: How to Solicit Donors When You Have Only Months Left in Your Term.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “Newt Gingrich’s Guide on How to Fail Spectacularly at Making Impeachment Proceedings a Key Issue in the Next Election.”

Pres. Donald Trump: “Nixon’s 1968 Election Tactics: How to Use Riots, Racial Tension and Fear of the Left Wing to Energize the Silent Majority and Build a Winning Majority.”

Congressman Rob Bishop: “Alexa, is this the definition of hell: No baseball, shortages of Diet Dr Pepper and Democrats leading in the polls?”

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden: “American Presidential Campaigns in the 19th Century: Campaigning From the Porch.”

Republican gubernatorial candidate and Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox: “The Candidate’s Complete Guide to Deflecting and Preventing Write-In Opponents.”

U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney: “The Ex-Wives’, Prior Business Partners’, Former Employees’ and Disavowed Family Members’ Complete Guide to Antagonizing Donald Trump on a Regular Basis.”

Most politicians and citizens living outside the capital city: “Alexa, what is it with those Salt Lake City people’s pandemic response? Are they from another planet?”

Salt Lake City politicians and residents: “Alexa, why are we the only enlightened humans in the state?”

Democrat gubernatorial nominee Chris Peterson: “Setting Yourself Up for Life: How to Use Campaign Experience to Write Legal Journal Articles and Law School Courses for Decades.”

U.S. Sen. Mike Lee: Google search: “How to practice zen-like peacefulness and patience while waiting for the shot to the Supreme Court.”

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall: “How to Reveal the Artistry and Philosophy of Protests in a Red State.”

Salt Lake County Attorney Sim Gill: Google search: “How to walk the tightrope as a Democrat elected as a prosecutor, especially in these times.”

Congressman Ben McAdams: Google search: “How to defeat unexpected stiff opposition with tones of moderation and niceness.”

4th District Republican Congressional Candidate Burgess Owens: “The Football Safety Position: Excellent Preparation for a Congressional Candidate.”

Utah Democrat Party Chair Jeff Merchant: “The Proud History of Defining Victory in Impossible Situations.”

Austin Cox (campaign manager for Spencer Cox): Google search: “Tools to convince older political hacks that a 20-something can run a successful statewide campaign.”

Natalie Gochnour, director of the Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah: “Achieving the Impossible: How to Develop a Multifaceted, Comprehensive Economic Recovery Plan in the Midst of a Pandemic.”

Utah Republican Party Chair Derek Brown: “The True Test of Political Leadership: Repairing the Wounds After Three Different Four-Way Primary Battles.”

First District congressional candidate Blake Moore: “Foreign Service Experience: Unique Preparation for Dealing With the Strange Creatures Inhabiting the Nation’s Capital.”

Democratic congressional candidates Darren Parry and Devin Thorpe: Google search: “How to stand out without money or media.”

Congressman John Curtis: Google search: “How to protect the environment and address climate change while representing a very conservative congressional district.”

Republican lieutenant governor running mate Deidre Henderson: Google search: “Tips for running a campaign while recovering from COVID-19 and quarantining at home.”

Congressman Chris Stewart: “The High Art of Using the Threat of Socialism to Achieve Political Aims.”

Senate President Stuart Adams and House Speaker Brad Wilson: Google search: “How to flex legislative branch muscle by calling a special session with a multitude of topics.”

Frank Pignanelli: “Alexa, how do I construct a face mask that allows me to drink wine?”

LaVarr Webb: “Another Top Benefit of Zoom: No One Can See the Chicken Poop on Your Farm Boots.”