Bob Bernick’s Notebook: Career Counseling for Utah Politicos

If you’re on Facebook, or some other online friends’ site, you know there are all types of “what kind of a dog, tree, rock star, state, etc.,” you would be.


How you answer a dozen questions puts you in one of these pre-selected boxes.

So let’s play a variation of that theme this week.

How about what the perfect job would be for current Utah political leaders– what office they really, really, aspire to. And compare that with the job they probably will end up with.

Here goes:

— Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams. He would love to be governor. He’ll probably end up Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams.

I don’t see a Democrat, even a moderate Democrat, winning the governorship any time soon.

— Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker. He would love to be governor. He’ll probably end up a three-term Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker.

If Utah gets a fifth U.S. House seat after the 2020 Census, maybe – I say maybe – there could be a seat with enough Democrats and independents in it for a Democrat to win. Becker or McAdams would have a chance in such a seat. We’ll see.

— U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah. What doesn’t Chaffetz want to be?

For the near future, his ideal job would be chair of a major U.S. House committee, like Oversight and Government Reform. (Chaffetz is the chair of that committee’s National Security Subcommittee now.)

Come 2018, Chaffetz would love to win Sen. Orrin Hatch’s seat. From there, even a shot at the vice presidential slot on the GOP ticket?

He’ll probably end up Sen. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, not bad for a college place kicker with great hair.

— Utah House Speaker Becky Lockhart, R-Provo. Of course, she wants to be Utah’s first elected female governor.

What she’ll probably end up with is Rep. Becky Lockhart, R-Utah, of the 3rd Congressional District in 2018 after Chaffetz runs for the U.S. Senate.

— Gov. Gary Herbert. Herbert actually admits being governor is as high as he wants to go – nice candor from any officeholder.

What he wants is to be governor for another four-year term. What he’ll probably end up with is being former Gov. Gary Herbert after 2016, deciding to retire from active politics.

— Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox. Cox is so young who knows what he really wants – maybe Superman when he grows up?

However, only former Lt. Gov. David Monson ever moved up in the food chain – and that was one term in the U.S. House.

Cox will probably end up in the Utah Legislature, again, if he wants to.

— Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah. Lee wants to just hold his office after one six year term. But he’ll probably end up a one-term U.S. senator, and move on to head up a leading archconservative think tank.

— U.S. Reps. Rob Bishop and Chris Stewart, both R-Utah. Each may think about running for the U.S. Senate at some point, or maybe the governorship. Or, more likely, they will each retire from the U.S. House after serving 1,000 years and being a big-shot committee chairman or ranking minority member.

— Mia Love. She wants to be the first African-American female Republican member of the U.S. House.

She will be.

And she’ll stay there for a long time, if she doesn’t become even too conservative for the 4th District after the Republican Party is forced to hold open primaries starting in 2016.

— Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.

What Hatch really wants is to die in the U.S. Senate, preferably while giving a well-attended floor speech.

More likely Hatch – after wiggling and trying to find a way out of keeping his promise to retire in 2018 – will come back to Utah the end of that year hoping to be called to an important LDS Church assignment.

Some unfortunate Mormon missionaries may be forced to listen to “President” Hatch music recordings for three years.

— Former AGs John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff. What they want is for no criminal charges to be filed against them, and to quietly find a well-paying job as a payday lender corporate attorney.

What probably will happen is that Swallow and Shurtleff will become librarians in the Utah State Prison; with Shurtleff pushing around the library lending cart asking inmates: “Hey, you want to read a great book about Dred Scott?”