D.C. Notebook: SLC 'middle of nowhere' or 'middle of awesome'
Politics • Utah capital target of backlash from Romney remark.
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Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney offended British leaders last week by questioning whether London was adequately prepared for the Olympics, and British Prime Minster David Cameron fired back with a shot at Salt Lake City saying: "We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world. Of course it's easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere."

The exchange stirred up many on Twitter. Here are some of our faves:

@dandrezner: "If you ski, it's more like the middle of awesome."

@VictoriaPeckham: "London now appears to be at war with Salt Lake City. Can't wait for Romney to land in Israel."

@angiewelling: "Ouch. Diss Romney all you want, Prime Minister, but don't take it out on my city!"

@mediapolitic: "Maybe Romney will invite PM Cameron and the SLC mayor to sit down and share a beer. Oh, wait…"

A Mormon reference • Romney struck a somber tone in a speech recently in addressing the massacre at a movie theater in a Denver suburb — and he seemingly harked back to a passage from his faith's signature scripture, the Book of Mormon.

"Today we feel not only a sense of grief, but perhaps also of helplessness," Romney said. "But … we can offer comfort to someone near us who is suffering or heavy-laden. And we can mourn with those who mourn in Colorado."

The latter sentence seems straight out of Mosiah 18:8-9 in the Book of Mormon.

"As ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another's burdens, that they may be light; Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life."

Romney has not been known to throw out LDS references in his speeches, though he has noted Bible passages before.

Of course, Romney could have also been quoting from the New International Version of the New Testament in Romans 12:15: "Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn." The King James Version also includes the line: "Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep."

D.C. pays homage to Pioneer Day • While Utahns were celebrating July 24 with fireworks and parades, some Beehive State ex-pats in the D.C. region tipped their hat to Brigham Young with some tasty treats.

Sen. Mike Lee's office held a homemade root beer float party. Rep. Jim Matheson hosted a special lunch "featuring everyone's favorite Utah pioneer recipes" that included a Jell-O desert and frog-eye salad.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz's staff had planned to pull handcarts to work and sing pioneer songs, but turns out, nobody makes homemade handcarts in the D.C. region, so they trekked out to the suburb of Falls Church and hit up Cafe Rio, a Mexican fast-food chain that started in Utah.

The offices of Sen. Orrin Hatch and Rep. Rob Bishop ordered in lunch … from Cafe Rio.

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Burr and Canham report from Washington, D.C. They can be reached at tburr@sltrib.com or mcanham@sltrib.com or via Twitter @thomaswburr or @mattcanham.