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Herbert meets with Obama. Shurtleff to become federal lobbyist. Obama: GOP fiscal cliff proposal "out of balance."

Happy Wednesday. Salon's Alex Pareene takes a metaphoric bat to Jon Huntsman in his latest piece, arguing that neither conservatives or liberals should be listening to the ex-Utah governor. After all, Pareene says, Huntsman may talk about moving the GOP in a new direction, but he still espouses the same lines as Mitt Romney, backed the Paul Ryan budget, wanted to get rid of taxes on dividends and capital gains and jettison the Earned Income Tax Credit that benefits poor people.

-> Pareene writes: "The best-case scenario for a Huntsman-led Republican Party is that they pick off some Dem-supporting 'socially liberal' rich people in Maryland and Manhattan and maybe Silicon Valley. Enough to harm Democratic fundraising, but not to win national elections." [Salon]

Topping the news: President Barack Obama told Bloomberg TV on Tuesday that he is committed to raising taxes on the wealthiest of Americans — and not the middle class — and calls the GOP's latest solution push "out of balance." [WaPost]

-> House Speaker John Boehner knocks the president's response: "If the president really wants to avoid sending the economy over the fiscal cliff, he has done nothing to demonstrate it." [CNN]

-> Gov. Gary Herbert and five other members of the National Governors Association executive committee met with Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to discuss the impact of the pending fiscal cliff on states. [Trib] [DNews] [ABC4]

Tweets of the day: From @EWErickson: "Just how off was the Romney email effort? Had lunch with a friend who got an email from Team Romney targeting *him* as a stay at home mom."

Happy birthday: to Salt Lake County Mayor-elect Ben McAdams.

In other news: Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff says he's taking a new gig as a federal lobbyist for a D.C. law firm in the new year. [Trib]

-> Shurtleff joined a host of conservative activists in stressing the importance of immigration reform during a Tuesday forum. [Trib]

-> Sen. Mike Lee got just what he wanted: rejection of the United Nations disability treaty. Sen. Orrin Hatch, who also voted nay, says the bill would have undermined American sovereignty. [Trib] [LATimes] []

-> One in four Americans had something to say about an deficit reduction plan that doesn't actually exist. Big sigh. [WaPost]

-> Bryan Schott longs for another Olympics like he experienced in 2002. [UtahPolicy]

-> Paul Rolly weighs in on legislators' personal involvement with those tried in court. [Trib]

-> Pat Bagley offers his take on what Republican congressional leaders really fear. [Trib]

Where are they?

Utah Governor Gary Herbert discusses the budget with Ron Bigelow and Lt. Gov. Greg Bell and later films the the National Governors Association's holiday message for the Armed Forces.

SL Co. Mayor Peter Corroon heads to Washington for the National County Executives Association meetings.

SLC Mayor Ralph Becker takes part in a conference call with the EPA Local Government Advisory Committee, attends a Sugar House Streetcar meeting and lunches with Eric Shaw, community and economic development director.

WVC Mayor Mike Winder attends the ChamberWest Government Relations Committee meeting and holds "Milk with the Mayor" open door constituent meetings.

President Barack Obama speaks to members of the Business Roundtable and later delivers the remarks at the 2012 Tribal Nations Conference.

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

— Thomas Burr and Betsy and

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