Pignanelli & Webb: Ah, Christmas Eve. That most magical evening when stockings are hung, visions of sugarplums dance in children’s heads and everyone makes a final check of wish lists, hoping that Santa comes through. Through our usual sources, we interviewed select politicians to see what was on their Christmas wish lists — back when they were 5 years old.
Pres. Donald Trump: “When I was 5 years old, I wrote Santa a letter telling him I just wanted to Make Kindergarten Great Again and I needed a new game called ‘Golf Resort Tycoon’ that I could play with the other rich kids. It was unbelievably great. I fired a few people, won so much I got sick of winning, and the rest is history.”
Sen. Orrin Hatch: “I was really indispensable in kindergarten, serving my fellow students remarkably well, and leading school lunch money reform. So I asked Santa to let me stay there. I had a few good decades in kindergarten, then went straight to the U.S. Senate.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders: "Santa gave me a Monopoly game when I was 5, which I resented because it glorified capitalism. But I invited my friends and distributed all the money, property and cards equally. No one could rent or sell anything. It was really boring, but no one cried because they lost."
Hillary Clinton: "I wanted a big bag of marbles. If I wasn’t winning marbles game, I would pick up my marbles and go home. We played by my rules or not at all.”
Mitt Romney: “I was elected president of my kindergarten class, and I wanted to appoint a lot of girls to important positions, like recess leader. So I asked Santa for binders full of girls.”
Congressman Rob Bishop: “I couldn’t sleep at all Christmas Eve because I was so excited. I really wanted a toy shotgun so I could pretend I was hunting sage grouse.”
Jason Chaffetz: “I was so excited Christmas morning when Santa brought me just what I wanted – a toy microphone. I made my little brother and sister interview me until they started crying.”
House Speaker Greg Hughes: “I had a rough childhood, so I wanted boxing gloves when I was 5, and Santa came through. I wore them everywhere and solved the homeless crisis in my neighborhood by beating up the drug dealers and pimps.”
Congresswoman Mia Love: “I wanted a Velma Dinkley doll, the brainy member of the Scooby Doo gang. She did all the work and solved the mysteries while the boys sat around and ate Scooby snacks.”
Gov. Gary Herbert: "Santa gave me toys to build a play neighborhood when I was 5. Then we created make-believe neighborhood problems and I organized summits to talk about them. We never solved any problems, but we had a lot of summits.”
Congressman Chris Stewart: "I asked for a toy typewriter and I wrote my first book: ‘The Seven Miracles that Saved Kindergarten.’”
SL Chamber CEO Lane Beattie: “I just loved Smurfs. Still do. All so lovable and cuddly. It’s a great philosophy for life.”
Sen. Mike Lee: "I was just like any other normal 5-year-old who wanted to dress up like a favorite superhero. My friends did tease me a bit about the white powdered wig and fluffy shirt of my James Madison costume.”
Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox: "I got a Skeletor costume. I really enjoyed being evil and nasty. Then I felt bad about it."
Senate Pres. Wayne Niederhauser: "When I was 5 I got a Hungry Hippo game. Playing with my friends, it was boisterous, chaotic and fights broke out. Just like dealing with House members today.”
Utah Democratic Party Chair Daisy Thomas: "I got a Rubik's cube when I was 5. It was exasperating, frustrating and soul-crushing. Perfect preparation for my current job.”
Utah Republican Party Chair Rob Anderson: "I received a videotape of the first Star Wars movie when I was 5. I watched the bar scene over and over. Perfect preparation for dealing with the State Central Committee.”
Salt Lake County Council member and U.S. Senate candidate Jenny Wilson: "Dolls, schmalz. I got some Tonka trucks. This avoided the awful gender stereotyping and allowed me to play with the boys."
Attorney General Sean Reyes: “I loved my Dick Tracy watch that helped me pretend to catch bad guys. Plus it had a coder/decoder so I could hide my secret rap music.”
Congressman John Curtis: “When I was 5 I got boring games like Scrabble for Christmas, but I always found ways to make them entertaining. That came in handy when I tried to make Provo less boring. Running for Congress was easy compared to making Provo seem exciting.”
Republican LaVarr Webb is a political consultant and lobbyist. Previously he was policy deputy to Gov. Mike Leavitt and Deseret News managing editor. Email: [email protected] 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 the president/CEO of the Special Olympics of Utah. Email: [email protected]