Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb: On Huntsman, Hatch and other big 2012 questions

Published: Sunday, May 29 2011 12:00 a.m. MDT

Pignanelli: Yes. They will agree to defer any further discussions to a much later date.

Will anyone file against Orrin Hatch this summer?

Pignanelli: While Utah's senior senator continues to work the delegates, potential challengers are likely to wait until the fall to decide anything. In other words, they're waiting to see just how strong or vulnerable he is.

Webb: Yes. Party caucuses are in March of 2012, not all that far away, and many months of organizing are required to be competitive. It's time to jump in or stay out.

Will President Barack Obama be re-elected?

Webb: He's the favorite, but the country is headed for fiscal conflagration, and Obama's profligate spending means higher taxes and economic disaster. Voters will send him back to Chicago.

Pignanelli: Other than Huntsman, none of the remaining likely candidates can defeat the president.

Will the 2012 Republican presidential nominee be a Mormon?

Pignanelli: Two of the three current legitimate non-crazy, non-weird and/or non-philandering Republican candidates who possess the basic intelligence and credibility to carry the GOP banner are members of the LDS Church. Therefore, there is a 66 percent chance that the Republican nominee will be a Mormon.

Webb: No. But it will be someone spiritual.

Will it ever stop raining?

Webb: I'm glad we can blame global warming for hot, cold, wet, dry, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and drought. It's better than some religious explanation. I live on the 25th floor of a downtown condo high-rise, so the floods won't get me. Anyway, what's wrong with being Seattle?

Pignanelli: LaVarr must stop all his rain dances. Utah is the second most arid state, therefore is it not too much ask that our region start behaving like a desert.

Republican LaVarr Webb is a political consultant and lobbyist. Previously he was policy deputy to Gov. Mike Leavitt and Deseret News managing editor. Email: lwebb@exoro.com. Democrat Frank Pignanelli is a Salt Lake attorney, lobbyist and political adviser. Pignanelli served 10 years in the Utah House of Representatives, six years as minority leader. His spouse, D'Arcy Dixon Pignanelli, is a state tax commissioner. Email: frankp@xmission.com.

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