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(Ashley Detrick | Tribune file photo) Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman has engaged with supporters and donors about a possible independent bid for president in 2016.
News roundup: Scholar suggests Huntsman for House speaker

Speaker Huntsman? Crapo arrested on suspicion of DUI. Romney was hesitant to run for president.

Happy Wednesday. Congressional scholar and author Norm Ornstein has an idea: elect Jon Huntsman as speaker of the House. Ornstein notes that the Constitution doesn't require the speaker to be a member of Congress and with all the gridlock on the Hill, pulling in a new speaker -- Utah's former governor, for example, is conservative but practical, Ornstein says -- could shake things up enough to actually get something good accomplished. You can read his argument here: [WaPost]

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Topping the news: Mitt Romney was initially hesitant to run for president again but his wife, Ann, helped talk him into the bid, the Boston Globe reveals in an illuminating behind-the-scenes look. [Globe] $ See also: [Yahoo] [Salon] [HuffPost]

-> The Tribune named it's Utahn of the Year, this time the honor goes to "Mormons building bridges," those who stepped out from their comfort zone to try and make headway in once dicey relationships. [Trib]

-> Sen. Mike Crapo, a Mormon bishop, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence this last weekend and issued a statement saying he was sorry and accepts full responsibility for his actions. [AP] The Statesman, Idaho's largest newspaper, says one mistake shouldn't ruin Crapo's career. [Statesman]

Today's news: Salt Lake County is considering tossing out its voluntary board of adjustments and replacing it with administrative law judges. [Trib]

-> SL Co. Mayor Peter Corroon says his legacy is restoring trust in the county government. [DNews]

-> Gov. Gary Herbert will be sworn in soon for his third time in four years. [DNews]

-> Political and personal challenges have marked AG Mark Shurtleff's time in office. [DNews]

-> Utah Policy's No. 3 story of the year: How the Romney Tsunami never materialized to hurt Democrats as much as they feared. [UtahPolicy] A full list of the outlet's top stories: [UtahPolicy]

Tweets of the day: From @ChrisRock: "Yea the McRib is back thank you President Obama."

Opinion section: Paul Rolly offers his 'Twas the Night Before Christmas" Utah-style. [Trib]

-> And Rolly notes some moments of kindness amongst strangers this holiday season. [Trib]

-> Pat Bagley offers his take on the GOP's "get serious" claim on the fiscal cliff. [Trib]

-> Former Sen. Bob Bennett says the Medicare Part D measure may end up being a financial solution rather than a problem. [DNews]

Weekend in review: While it's not the draw it was four years ago, January's inauguration for President Barack Obama is still a hot-ticket for some Utahns. [Trib]

-> Bennett plans to file as a lobbyist the day his two-year cooling-off period is over. [Trib]

-> Utah's environment had some big time successes and sad lows this year. [Trib]

-> The consortium of energy companies that had tried to store nuke waste in Utah has officially called it quits. [Trib]

-> Gov. Gary Herbert has named ex-Rep. Todd Kiser as the new head of the state's insurance commission. [Trib]

-> Interior Secretary Ken Salazar isn't sure whether he wants to stay on for another four years, but sources say the job is his if he wants to keep it. [DenverPost]

Nationally: Chicago residents are hoping that President Barack Obama looks to his home city for his presidential library. [ChiTribune]

-> A fantastic read by The Washington Post's Amy Gardner on how Dick Armey tried to take full control over FreedomWorks only to walk away with an $8 million parachute. [WaPost]

-> D.C. police are apparently investigating a large ammo clip displayed by Meet the Press host David Gregory. Such clips are banned by law in the District of Columbia. [WaPost]

Where are they?

  • President Barack Obama departs Hawaii to return to Washington.

Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at cornflakes@sltrib.com. If you haven't already, sign up for our weekday email and get this sent directly to your inbox. [Trib]

-- Thomas Burr


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