Pignanelli & Webb: Well, it’s Thanksgiving weekend and everyone is recovering from turkey and pumpkin pie hangovers or (in Frank’s case) early holiday libations. After the feast, vigorous exercise is warranted, but before you take a brisk walk in the crisp air, take a look at what some of our newsmakers were thankful for as they carved their turkeys.
Every man, woman and child: We are extremely grateful that we can now watch TV and listen to the radio without being bombarded by negative advertising from the McAdams and Love campaigns.
National pollsters, campaign experts, political wise men: Whew. We are grateful the Democratic House takeover occurred as we boldly predicted. We’re also thankful that no one remembers two years ago we were questioning whether the House could flip because of Republican gerrymandering.
Local political consultants, campaign managers and activists: We abundantly thank the authors of our state Constitution that allows for citizen initiatives. The cornucopia of opportunities, revenue and job security we enjoyed this election cycle was indeed bountiful.
Congressman-elect Ben McAdams: Whew. I am especially thankful that the "Year of the Woman" momentum bypassed the 4th District. I will be even more grateful if Nancy Pelosi doesn’t punish me with lousy committee assignments for my campaign ads and public pronouncements that I oppose her as speaker.
Congressman Chris Stewart: I am so grateful for cynical Democratic strategists who convinced Ben McAdams to run in the 4th District instead of the district he lives in.
National news media: We are grateful President Donald Trump makes news 24/7 to boost our ratings and gives us unlimited opportunities to be self-righteous in our protestations of "fake news" and "enemy of the people."
Democratic leaders: We are so obliged to Trump for providing our voters the motivation, inspiration and enthusiasm that we could never instill ourselves. Here’s to more Trump in 2020.
Sen.-elect Mitt Romney: I'm grateful to live in Utah. There is something unique and wonderful about this place … especially because people actually seem to like me — unlike citizens in Massachusetts.Salt Lake County Councilwoman and losing Senate candidate Jenny Wilson: I sincerely appreciate the enlightened voters who sent Mayor Ben to Washington. Of course, I expected to win the Senate race (wink, wink), but it didn’t hurt that running all those campaign ads helped align the forces of the universe to make me the natural pick for Salt Lake County mayor. Thanks to all.
Advertising agencies, TV and radio stations, graphic artists: We are deeply grateful for the cornucopia of blessings our democracy delivers, especially a First Amendment that allows unlimited spending by super PACs and eager billionaires. May they prosper and raise ever more billions of dollars for their right-wing and left-wing causes.
Former Utah governor and Russian ambassador Jon Huntsman Jr.: I'm grateful to survive (so far) various White House purges. If I can refrain from questioning the president's intelligence, a shot at secretary of state could be ahead.
Utah Democratic Chairwoman Daisy Thomas: So this is what it's like to win. Nice feeling. Thanks.
Utah Republican Chairman Rob Anderson: I’m grateful for my family. Otherwise, no comment.
Sen. Orrin Hatch: I'm grateful to the citizens of this great state for allowing me to serve them for so many years. It’s humbling to see the remarkable progress since Brigham and I declared, “This is the place.”
Gov. Gary Herbert: I’m appreciative of so much. I’m not quite as old as Orrin, but with his retirement I accept the mantle as elder statesman of the party.
Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox: I am grateful for the incredible legacy of Herbert. Now the 2020 cycle is here and I can step out of his shadow.
Retiring House Speaker Greg Hughes: I am thankful for my role in resolving homelessness and crime in Salt Lake City and bringing all sides together on medical marijuana. Let me know if more help is needed. I’m around. Just sayin’.
Retiring Senate President Wayne Niederhauser: So, my last official act will be overseeing the special session on medical marijuana. Then, thank goodness ... Free at last. Free at last.
Congressman John Curtis: I’m grateful to remain in Congress, even as a member of the minority. Fortunately, my experience with the strange politics of Utah County has prepared me for anything.
Congressman Rob Bishop: Although I am saddened at losing my committee chairmanship, throwing political bombs at Democrats for the next two years might be a fun way to close out my congressional career.
Attorney General Sean Reyes: I am grateful to defy history and still lead a scandal-free attorney general’s office as I enter the next election cycle.
Sen. Mike Lee: Munificent blessings have been showered upon me the past year. Criminal justice reform, Supreme Court nomination talk — and now being able to call Mitt Romney “junior.”
Congresswoman Mia Love: I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve, for my supporters — and for those who are already encouraging future adventures.
Pignanelli & Webb: We’re grateful that the elections are over, the holidays are here and that the politicians we annoy have a sense of humor — at least most of them