Obama named Time's person of the year. Hatch makes sharp U-turn on Boehner's cliff plan. Utah food tax spike likely to pass the Senate.
Happy Thursday. Jon Huntsman is back. Well, somewhat. The former Utah governor and ex-presidential candidate has been more active on his Facebook page and Twitter and penned an op-ed for the conservative Human Events this week on why the Republicans, and conservatives in particular, are the ones who have the path forward for America. [HumanEvents]
-> Does this hint that Huntsman could be running in 2016? A Huntsman aide says the GOP is in need of advice these days and Huntsman's voice needs to be heard. That's not, for the record, how one shuts the door to a future bid.
Topping the news: President Barack Obama: Time Magazine's 2012 Person of the Year. [Time]
-> Buzzfeed offers up the 22 reasons it was a banner year to be a Mormon. [BuzzFeed]
-> Congress awaits the president's signature on a bill that would allow local officials who oversee federal funds to run for public office. The changes stem, in part, from former Ogden Police Chief Jon Greiner and others who faced job losses over broad language in the law. [Trib]
-> Sen. Orrin Hatch said he was against Speaker John Boehner's Plan B to avert the fiscal cliff but later said he was for it and urged House members to adopt it. [Politico]
Tweets of the day: From @daveweigel: "Hang on: Karl Rove is reporting that there's still a chance Romney might win Person of the Year."
Happy birthday: To Mandy Rogers.
Thanks: A big shout out to USU's Betsy Blanchard who has helped produce Political Cornflakes since August and should be congratulated for surviving a semester in the Tribune's Washington bureau.
In other news: Senate President-elect Wayne Neiderhauser predicts that the proposal for a 3 percent bump in Utah's food tax would likely pass the Senate, but he is uncertain about its popularity in the House. [Trib]
-> A state audit finds problems with how the state's regulators are dealing with health care workers with addiction problems. [UtahPolicy]
-> Utah Policy continues with its top stories of the year: With No. 5 how Ben McAdams ran a perfect campaign. [UtahPolicy]
-> Following the resignation of three State Department officials , Rep. Jason Chaffetz says he still has more questions about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya for those holding positions of higher authority. [Trib]
-> Sen. Mike Lee praises the late Judge Robert Bork as one of America's brightest legal minds. [Examiner]
-> Utah legislators look to increase safety in the state's schools by investigating procedures practiced elsewhere. [Trib]
-> Environmental and antipoverty groups ask the Utah Transit Authority to lower rider fares, but the UTA's 2013 budget includes a 6 percent price hike. [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley offers his take on the deadly role of guns. [Trib]
Where are they?
Utah Governor Gary Herbert joins in on the Road Home Holiday Broadcast.
SL County Mayor Peter Corroon dines at the Salt Lake Board of Trustees Holiday Breakfast, attends a Salt Lake Unified Police Department board meeting, gives remarks at the grand opening of the Draper Senior Center and later heads to the 4th Street Clinic's Annual Homeless Persons Candlelight Vigil.
President Barack Obama attends a series of meeting at the White House.
Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you haven't already, sign up for our weekday email and get this sent directly to your inbox. [Trib]
Thomas Burr and Betsy BlanchardTwitter.com/thomaswburr and Twitter.com/betsyblanchard