GOP senators unhappy with Susan Rice. Huntsman joins bipartisan group. Rep.-elect Stewart assembles his team.
Happy Wednesday. GQ magazine is out with its 25 least influential people of 2012 and topping the list is none other than Mitt Romney. "Was anyone inspired by Mitt Romney?" the magazine asks. "Did anyone vote enthusiastically for Mitt Romney?" Here's guessing there might be a few Utahns who disagree with the premise. To be fair, the magazine's list also includes First Lady Michelle Obama and her healthy-food cause. [GQ] [Politico]
-> The Utah Democratic Party's LDS caucus asks members to fast and pray in an effort to heal the country's polarization. [DNews]
-> Thanks in part to the fear of future gun regulations, Black Friday gun sales hit an all-time high both in Utah and nationally. [DNews]
-> Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman joins No Labels, a bipartisan nonprofit group that hopes to bring the left and right together. [Trib]
Happy birthday: To Temma Martin and state Rep. Janice Fisher.
In other news: Chris Stewart, congressman-elect for Utah's 2nd District, has made two hires as he puts his new staff together. [Trib]
-> Utah serves as a laboratory for Jim Dabakis, chairman of the Utah Democratic Party and gay activist. [WaPost]
-> Paul Rolly weighs in on passport problems, driver's license problems and confusing alcohol laws. [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley takes on Grover Norquist and his no-tax-increase pledge. [Trib]
Nationally: The Hinckley Institute's Kirk Jowers says Americans should take their fascination with the presidential horse race and focus it on understanding the critical issues facing the country. [KSL]
-> An Idaho state senator believes Romney still has a chance at the presidency in January if the states that went red refused to participate in the Electoral College. [IdahoStatesman] (Btw, that's not true. Snopes has a good take: [Snopes.com])
-> Sen. Jon McCain and two other Republican senators say they are "significantly troubled" after meeting with U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice and acting CIA Director Michael Morrell regarding Rice's initial explanations of the Benghazi attack. [Politico] [WaPost]
-> Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), one of three GOP senators present, said while exiting the meeting: "Bottom line, I'm more disturbed now than I was before."
Where are they?