News roundup: After Romney loss, GOP rudderless
Published: December 3, 2012 05:50AM
Updated: December 3, 2012 05:50AM
FILE - This Nov. 7, 2012 file photo shows Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney waving to supporters at an election night rally in Boston. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, says he has a gut feeling that Romney will run for president again. Romney has said he will not do so. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia, File)

Dabakis to take McAdams' senate seat. Dems gather in Utah. Hatch, Obama trade jabs.

Happy Monday. With Mitt Romney's presidential hopes dashed, the Republican Party is facing a leadership vacuum as it tries to figure out what direction to head: "It's left the GOP rudderless, lacking an overarching agenda and mired in infighting, with competing visions for the way ahead, during what may be the most important policy debate in a generation." [AP]

-> Meanwhile, Romney hasn't returned to Michigan after the race but his plane is there. [Freep]

Topping the news: Delegates have elected Utah Democratic Party Chairman Jim Dabakis to take Salt Lake County Mayor-elect Ben McAdams' state Senate seat. [Trib] [DNews] [UtahPolicy] [Fox13]

-> The Democratic National Executive Committee holds its final meeting of the year in... Utah. [Trib] [DNews] [Fox13]

-> Former Utah coach Rick Majerus passes away while awaiting a heart transplant. [Trib]

-> When it comes to dealing with the fiscal cliff, it all comes down to a last-minute push to see which side caves in first. President Barack Obama has proved to be equally as unyielding as the Republicans. [NYTimes] [WaPost]

Tweets of the day: From @daveweigel: "Another Nate Silver interview in which he mocks his enemies? I think he's killed the grass with all this endzone dancing"

Opinion section: Outgoing Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon stresses the importance of educating homeowners. [Trib]

-> Frank Pignanelli and LaVarr Webb look at tough questions the Legislature will have on its plate. [DNews]

-> Rep. Jim Nielson, R-Bountiful, favors the elimination of sales tax on food entirely. [Trib]

-> Brian Bushman, an Ogden psychologist, discusses the science behind political apathy. [Trib]

-> Ex-Sen. Bob Bennett says journalists are failing to do their job with regard to questions raised about U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice. [DNews]

-> Paul Rolly weighs in on hibernating campaign donations, political connections and a clever high schooler's response to thievery. [Trib]

-> Pat Bagley offers his take on the burdens teens carry these days. [Trib]

-> George Pyle shares recent web discoveries that may be of interest to political junkies. [Trib]

-> Members of the Southern Utah Anti-Discrimination Coalition think it's time for "Dixie" in "Dixie College" to head for the hills. [Trib]

Weekend in review: Sen. Orrin Hatch counters the president's taped remarks concerning the fiscal cliff, labeling the incumbent's tax plan a "classic bait-and-switch on the American people." [Trib] [DNews]

-> The Utah Republican Party won't challenge Rep. Jim Matheson's slim win but officials plan to push for uniform standards across the counties for counting votes. [Trib]

-> An argument dating back six years has been dealt with (again), resulting in a decision allowing EnergySolutions waste facility to renovate but forcing it to remain approximately the same size. [Trib]

-> In the D.C. Notebook, a look at congressional superlatives as well a question about Sen. Mike Lee's favorite shopping place. [Trib]

-> Congressman-elect Chris Stewart slowly gets the hang of Washington D.C., his part-time home for the unforeseeable future -- all starting with the office selection raffle. [Trib]

Where are they?

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-- Thomas Burr and Betsy Blanchard and