You bought the line that political consultants in Utah don’t know what they’re doing, so you hired an out-of-stater to parachute in and carry you over the finish line.
In the spirit of good, old fashioned friendliness, we’ve compiled a list of helpful hints so your guys and gals won’t misstep on their first foray into Utah politics – I mean, their first time into Utah, period.
Here is your handy, dandy guide.
- Don’t shop on Sunday.
- If you must shop on Sundays, wear sunglasses. And for pete’s sake, don’t wear your candidate’s campaign shirt to the store.
- Avoid like the plague the grocery store line between 11 PM and Midnight on Saturday. Or Costco on Saturday.
- Yes, City Creek has all the great stores. No, they are not open on Sunday.
- In Utah 99% of Macey’s mentions are the grocery store, 1% are the department store. So when someone mentions a meat deal at Macey’s, they are in no way referencing Lady Gaga.
Get to know and love these Utah faves:
- Fry sauce
- Navajo tacos
- Funeral potatoes
- Green Jell-O
- Bear River raspberries
- Brigham City peaches
- Turkey from Moroni
- Howie’s rootbeer
- Apple Beer. No, really.
- You can buy a drink in Utah. If you sit down somewhere and order food. And show 25 forms of ID.
- The Zion Curtain has to do with alcohol, not religious observances in the temple.
- Slurpees are an acceptable form of ‘drinks after work.’
- See above recommendation for Apple Beer.
- Don’t forget to add the middle initial to the name of every Mormon leader. No one knows who Parley Pratt is. Or Gordon Hinckley or Tom Monson, for that matter.
- Pick up a town pronunciation guide before you embarrass yourself or experience a serious tongue injury. Tooele, Hurricane, Eureka, Hooper, Oquirrh – they don’t sound like they look.
- Remember. In Utah, the ‘t’ is strictly ornamental, like in “Mountain” for example.
- It’s Utahn, not Utahan. Seriously. I don’t care what Google says.
- Flip, fetch, freak, heck, gosh, shiz and geez are mostly acceptable swear words. The other ones are not. ESPECIALLY not in public.
- Know the difference between the City-County Building and the Salt Lake Temple.
- Stake Centers: appropriate for pickup basketball, but not a steak dinner.
- Campaign blackouts the first weekend in April or October, Sundays, or Monday evenings. No calls, no fundraising, no door knocking. No nothing.
- Everything political comes with two different sets of instructions. “When in Salt Lake County” and “When not in Salt Lake County”
- Don’t wear blue in Salt Lake county and don’t wear red in Utah county. Purple is out some places, too. Be safe. Stick to earth tones.
- Outside of Utah, a swallow is a cute little bird. Inside Utah, it is a poisonous snake who was probably the one in the garden of Eden
- Tahitian Noni is not the Polynesian dance that the BYU football team does before the game.
- If you say you feel sick at a campaign event, someone WILL offer you an essential oil that can fix that.
- Don’t crack Utah jokes. You’re an outsider. You can’t pull it off (unless you’re Jeff Foxworthy, then feel free).
- We don’t stop for little snowstorms that drop 6 inches, so buck up and go knock some doors.
And the NUMBER ONE tip for East Coast staffers:
- Don’t run against a black female conservative former mayor, with a top-notch campaign team and fundraising prowess. You ain’t got a snowball’s chance…..in Moab.
Thanks for the top-notch suggestions from experienced politicos Curt Bentley, Daniel Burton, Karen Peterson, Shon Harris and John English. I published this one first over on Utah Politico Hub. Check ’em out!