Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb: What candidates say, and what they really mean

Published: Sunday, Sept. 2 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

Dodgy candidates: "I am running because I want to give back to the community." (If I get elected, it should postpone that inner-city service missionary call.)

All candidates: "Along with all Americans and Utahns, I am outraged and disgusted by partisan bickering and personal attacks. I am committed to a positive campaign." (I'll let my surrogates and Super PACs rip my opponent to shreds.)

Sen. Mike Lee: "I'm pleased to be joined by new constitutional conservatives in the Senate tea party caucus next year." (I'm glad I didn't have to run this year in Utah; the tea party candidates got clobbered.)

Barack Obama: "The Republicans will cut taxes for the wealthy, dismantle Medicare, destroy the nation's safety net and strap their dogs to the tops of cars." (Sure, my record is dismal, and people are hurting; my only chance is to blame Republicans.)

Mitt Romney: "I am prepared to lead this nation to an economic renaissance with jobs, energy and personal freedom." (Please, please, like me! I'm funny, I'm friendly, I'm warm, I like dogs!)

Rep. Jason Chaffetz: "Mia Love is an exciting candidate who demonstrates the diversity and youth of the Republican Party." (Sheesh, how did I get upstaged by this upstart?)

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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