Salt Lake already looking towards 2016

They haven’t even lost 2012 yet, but already Salt Lake is looking ahead:

“Sometime in the future I think there is a very good chance Utah will get it.  Now, if we win the Presidency in 2012, then obviously going into 2016 whoever is President gets to make that selection, it’s not quite the same process.  But if we don’t, then I think there is a very good chance that we could get it in 2016.  But sometime it’ll come to Utah,” said [Utah Republican Party chairman Dave] Hansen.

And Western Republicans aren’t happy:

The Republican National Committee this week is expected to signal it’s choice for the host city of the 2012 presidential nominating convention and the heavy betting is on Tampa, Florida, according to those involved in the process. That means Salt Lake City and Phoenix are out, a snub western states aren’t happy about.

Some of those involved say that Tampa out-lobbied and out-shined the two other competitors, Phoenix and Salt Lake City, despite a move inside the party to reach out more to western states like Utah and Arizona. What’s more, front-running 2012 presidential hopeful Mitt Romney recently spoke favorably about Tampa, irking his Mormon allies in Salt Lake City, also home to the 2002 Winter Olympics which Romney organized.

The other cities apparently are so convinced that Tampa is the leading venue that they considered teaming up to push Salt Lake City as the best western choice, though a deal was never cut. What’s more, Salt Lake and Utah officials have been talking about how they will be the front-runner to host the 2016 convention.

We reported on those Romney comments, and as we said at the time:

Gee, nothing like pandering to the local audience in an early 2012 primary state.