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All four of Utah's Republican members of Congress have now endorsed GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, so what about Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah? We asked him last week.

"Yeah, I'm going to vote for the president," Matheson said. "I've had many issues where I've disagreed with him, and people are aware of that. And as a congressman my mantra is to put Utah first, but in this election, that's who I'm going to vote for."

That's a winning endorsement for President Barack Obama if we've ever heard one.


Huntsman says Utah is home • Former presidential candidate Jon Huntsman is back in private life and ruling out a third-party run for the White House or a U.S. Senate bid in Utah.

And, for the record, he still considers the Beehive State his home.

Huntsman bought a condo last year in the new City Creek Center in downtown Salt Lake City, though he also resides in his $3.6 million home in a tony section of Washington, D.C.

"We'll go back and forth," Huntsman said in a Tribune interview, noting his two boys in the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., and his two daughters at home and three nearby. "We have the boys down the road and the girls are here. It was our desire after being divided by the Pacific Ocean to at least be in the same time zone for a while to reconnect."

And Huntsman noted that he's passing on the big, upcoming extravaganza of the White House Correspondents' Association dinner. Huntsman was invited to attend, but instead he's heading to Price to deliver the commencement address at Utah State University's Eastern campus.


Bishop's quips • Rep. Rob Bishop headed to the House floor recently to laud the chamber's outgoing parliamentarian. For political novices, the parliamentarian is the person who makes sure all the rules - even the most intricate, wonky, in-the-weeds stuff - are followed to the letter.

Bishop noted that Parliamentarian John Sullivan is the 19th person to serve in that role, but that the past two had served 46 years and 20 years, respectively.

"So John, in all sincerity, serving only eight years as the parliamentarian here makes you a parliamentarian slacker," Bishop said.

The Utah Republican added that the rule police don't like "ad libbing" and get frustrated when members go off script.

"There is one time I simply turned to John and said, 'Why don't we just mikemic you, and I will move my lips.' I still think that would be far more appropriate, but I don't think anyone in his office found that funny."


Hatch's proxy • Sen. Orrin Hatch plans to remain in Utah until the April 21 state GOP convention, meaning he's missing several votes in Washington. But that doesn't mean his voice isn't being heard.

After a recent Senate vote on a Democratic measure to eliminate some tax subsidies and promote renewable energy, Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl took to the Senate floor to note that if Hatch were present and voting, he would have voted no.

Kyl repeated the move with other votes as well.

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