Hatch learns a lesson from Bennett

posted at 11:35 am on March 16, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Tea Party activists in and out of Utah have targeted six-term Senator Orrin Hatch for a primary challenge, hoping to replicate their 2010 success against his former colleague Bob Bennett.  Bennett got caught by surprise at the caucuses, but Hatch didn’t make that mistake, according to the Salt Lake Tribune:

“I’ve been told that things went fairly well. Actually I’ve been told that things went really well, but who knows,” Hatch told The Tribune. “I’m a tough old bird and nobody is going to push me around without a fight.”

Republican caucus-goers elected 4,000 state delegates, who will gather April 21 to vote on the party’s nominee.

Dan Liljenquist, a former state senator and Hatch’s leading rival among the 10 GOP challengers, lost the battle in his own Bountiful Precinct 12, with Hatch sweeping all three delegates available there.

Slightly more than half of the crowd supported Hatch — and rules required all delegates to eventually win by a majority through numerous rounds of elimination. Hatch supporters used their slight majority to methodically eliminate pro-Liljenquist candidates, as Liljenquist merely shook his head.

Liljenquist even lost the last available delegate on a 69-68 vote.

Matt Lewis says that FreedomWorks, the Tea Party group that organized against Hatch, will wind up looking rather foolish:

One year ago yesterday, I wrote a column titled: “Orrin Hatch: 5 Reasons He Will Be Re-Elected.”

The third reason on my list was this: “Hatch’s team understands the caucus process.” …

It was so bad that his opponent, Dan Liljenquist, even lost his own precinct.

Liljenquist, of course, received the strong backing of the conservative group FreedomWorks. They will likely come out of this with egg on their face, at the hands of Utahans — err, Utahns.

Count me among the skeptics for the anti-Hatch effort, too.  Hatch got a 100% rating from the ACU in 2011 — admittedly, however, after seeing Bennett get unseated in 2010.  In 2008, though, Hatch got an 80%, better than Lamar Alexander (72%), John Cornyn (79%), and much better than Thad Cochran’s 68%.  In 2010, Hatch got 100% again. The NTU, which sticks more to fiscal issues, gives Hatch As and Bs for all but two years out of the last 20.  Normally, we’d reward that kind of growth as an officeholder, and it raises questions about why FreedomWorks and others went after Hatch rather than putting their time and effort into a less-conservative Republican — perhaps by finding a good alternative to Olympia Snowe, for example — or unseating a Democrat.

Objecting to Hatch on the basis of his length of service might be valid, but politicians with that kind of survival rate don’t get caught by surprise often.  Hatch may not be out of the woods yet, but he just delivered a lesson in retail politicking that grassroots activists need to learn well and quickly.  First among those might be choosing targets wisely.


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He needs to be put out to pasture…Suprise him!

KOOLAID2 on March 16, 2012 at 11:38 AM

it raises questions about why FreedomWorks and others went after Hatch rather than putting their time and effort into a less-conservative Republican — perhaps by finding a good alternative to Olympia Snowe, for example — or unseating a Democrat.

1. Hatch has a few positions outside of finances on which he’s bent over backwards to help the opposition, such as on the judiciary. That didn’t sit well with people.

2. Utah is an easy win for a Republican. If they unseated Hatch in the primary, the eventual nominee would win easily.

That’s not necessarily the case in Maine, where unseating Snowe and/or Collins means a competitive race.

teke184 on March 16, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Orrin had better be tough as nails on the Judiciary Committee.

BuckeyeSam on March 16, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Even if the “tea party” people don’t succeed all of the time, they are a useful way to end the “go-along get-along” mindset in DC.

Mord on March 16, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Count me among the skeptics for the anti-Hatch effort, too. Hatch got a 100% rating from the ACU in 2011 — admittedly, however, after seeing Bennett get unseated in 2010.

That’s the point, no?

Akzed on March 16, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Ratings…he’s a caver! The best deal we could get…is his motto!

KOOLAID2 on March 16, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Screw Hatch.

SirGawain on March 16, 2012 at 11:42 AM

Orin Hatch is a toothless, old wimp.
It’s time to purge the GOP of all the ancient go-along-to-get-along types.
Hatch is #1.

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on March 16, 2012 at 11:45 AM

I attended Utah caucus meeting last night. My district voted for one wishy-washy delegate (she was against Hatch before becoming for him) and then a definite pro-Hatch delegate. Many comments about Freedom Works having an agenda–what I am not sure–but that we were not to let a Texas group tell us how to vote. There has been heavy mail from them against Hatch and I think it has worked to their disadvantage.

mwdiet on March 16, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Target Hatch & Bennette for being too liberal yet stay silent about or overwhelmingly vote for Romney. Hmmmmmmmmm

29Victor on March 16, 2012 at 11:47 AM

That’s the point, no?

Akzed on March 16, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Exactly. It got Hatch moving in the right direction. I’ll take that. Now if we could only get Romney’s attention.

Bitter Clinger on March 16, 2012 at 11:50 AM

I like Sen. Hatch and these older members can really work the system sometimes. What I wonder is, will the stiff challenge make him tow the conservative line or go all mavericky to show who won. I would hope that Sen. Hatch would turn around and embrace the Tea Party, I think their goals are correct and I don’t believe it is personal. But it’s hard to look at it that way when they tried to fire you.

Cindy Munford on March 16, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Even if the “tea party” people don’t succeed all of the time, they are a useful way to end the “go-along get-along” mindset in DC.

Mord on March 16, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Totally agree. The TP can well serve the electorate just by being strong enough to make some of the sitting politicians look over their shoulders occasionally and wonder whether the next primary is going to bring a challenger.

katiejane on March 16, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Ed,
for starters, don’t trust what the tribune is telling you. I got tons of friends in UT and pretty much everyone feels that Hatch needs to be put out to pasture.

My prediction is that Hatch loses in a squeker in the primary and gets behind and strongly supports Dan.

ConservativePartyNow on March 16, 2012 at 11:58 AM

Down the Hatch.

ElectricPhase on March 16, 2012 at 11:59 AM

Off-topic but interesting to contemplate:

Gawker Will Deputize Commenters, Says Sheriff Nick Denton

Gawker plans to launch an ambitious new commenting model within the next couple months, said its founder, Nick Denton, at SXSW today. The company aims to recruit commenters to elevate the level of discussion on its blogs by segmenting them and giving them moderation tools.

So the first person to leave a comment on a Gawker network post will now be in charge of policing the thread of commenters who reply, maintaining a high level of discussion and recruiting other voices to participate and bring more page views. And there will be multiple comment moderators and threads per post. Free labor!

I wonder how that might work around these parts.

Drew Lowell on March 16, 2012 at 11:59 AM

Alexander and Cornyn should go. We can do much better from Tennessee and Texas.

celtic warrior on March 16, 2012 at 11:59 AM

The Tea Party won’t win at everything it does and it will learn from it’s losses. No worries.

Onwards and upwards

HotAirian on March 16, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Political Vavilovian mimicry.

“Complete the danged fence.” Another weed in the garden…

Fallon on March 16, 2012 at 12:01 PM

It must get lonely in the Beltway without Hatch’s friend Ted Kennedy around.

viking01 on March 16, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Count me among the skeptics for the anti-Hatch effort, too. Hatch got a 100% rating from the ACU in 2011 — admittedly, however, after seeing Bennett get unseated in 2010. In 2008, though, Hatch got an 80%, better than Lamar Alexander (72%), John Cornyn (79%), and much better than Thad Cochran’s 68%. In 2010, Hatch got 100% again.

Evolution in action. Adapting to the enviorment. Survival of the fittest.

a capella on March 16, 2012 at 12:04 PM

As a State Delegate in Utah’s GOP system, I started receiving routine and heavily conservative communication from his team about 18 months ago. Beyond expensive mailers and floods of phone calls and emails, he even sent a book.

He learned from Bennett’s loss very quickly, and as a result, likely kept any truly viable candidate from consolidating the anti-Hatch support. Two years ago, the anti-Bennett vote support quickly consolidated behind Lee and Bridgewater, and there was much more anti-Washington ferver. This time, there was no viable anti-Hatch candidate, and Hatch’s campaign did a masterful job of boxing out any credible alternative from appearing, and an even more impressive job of turning out his supporters in droves.

bhj on March 16, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Free labor!

I wonder how that might work around these parts.

Drew Lowell on March 16, 2012 at 11:59 AM

But isn’t that “exploitation” (favorite liberal argument)?

Bitter Clinger on March 16, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Hatch had Mark Levin’s blessing, which is no small thing.

beatcanvas on March 16, 2012 at 12:11 PM

If only Hatch was as determined and innovative in the defense of conservatism in Congress.

slickwillie2001 on March 16, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Its a win either way….keep learning Tea Party. I hope we all know this wasnt going to happen in one (or two) elections cycles.

ChrisL on March 16, 2012 at 12:13 PM

As a Utahan, err Utahn, I will frankly say that I think Orrin Hatch is an honorable man. He was not a rich man when he went to Washington, and he is not a rich man today. The problem is, he went to Washington to change it. He’s been there 36 years and has become a part of the city.

My prediction: For the next 4 years we won’t be seeing any more A’s and B’s from the NTU, nor will we see any 100%’s from the ACU. He gives us about 4 years of moderation and 2 years of conservatism every term. I like the guy on a personal level, but how long is too long to be in Washington?

rogaineguy on March 16, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Exactly. It got Hatch moving in the right direction. I’ll take that. Now if we could only get Romney’s attention.

Bitter Clinger on March 16, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Amen!

rogaineguy on March 16, 2012 at 12:16 PM

it raises questions about why FreedomWorks and others went after Hatch rather than putting their time and effort into a less-conservative Republican — perhaps by finding a good alternative to Olympia Snowe, for example — or unseating a Democrat.

Yes it does raise those questions. If you look back on the history of these groups, many of them seem to have a track record of targeting “moderate” Republicans in what would have otherwise been a rather safe race, nominating someone nobody has ever heard of before, and handing the race to the Democrats.

On a purely strategic basis, I have a feeling such groups as FreedomWorks and others may have put more Democrats into office than conservative Republicans.

crosspatch on March 16, 2012 at 12:20 PM

In my precinct last night the battle lines were clearly drawn between senior citizens and everybody else under the age of 55. Most of the Seasoned citizens were in a righteous indignation that the rest of us would have a problem with Hatch. One tiny old lady even got up and berated us, with tears in her eyes. It was quite a show. The younger set (and seriously by younger, I mean 40) were asking questions like, even though Hatch votes for things that are clearly against the state platform, you still support him? And the delegate’s rejoinder was that all politicians lie sometimes and that he didn’t care. Their loyalty was all about his position of power, they really didn’t care how bad his record has been getting. When concerns about SOPA and PIPA were raised, it was obvious the older set had no idea what we were talking about, but their minds were made up. It appeared that Hatch had done a great job turning out his older supporters, as they won the votes handily. As a first time participant in this process, I have to say it was awesome to sit with my neighbors and vote. We had a prayer and said the Pledge, and talked about important issues. I came away with the impression that the mode for the Tea Party going forward is going to have to be patience, while the old guard phases out. I don’t know if we have the time for it, but it is what it is.

Kristamatic on March 16, 2012 at 12:30 PM

I was at a Utah Caucus last night and in our precinct…it was evenly split between pro-Hatch supporters and anti-Hatch. However, when it came time to elect the state delegates, the pro-Hatch side won.

I’m hearing the same story from a lot of other Utah caucuses.

Conservative Samizdat on March 16, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Ed,

I think you’ve missed the point. Hatch, like all good politicians, pay attention when the voters start asking questions.

Personally, I’d like to see Hatch retire, but in lieu of that I’d like to see Hatch worried about his future; focuses the mind quite clearly and reminds him why he was elected in the first place.

E9RET on March 16, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Bottom line is that the Tea Party is making the environment so that people have to do the right thing.

jukin3 on March 16, 2012 at 12:33 PM

Spend money on the real races.

For example, get rid of Dem Sherrod Brown in Ohio. A flyover state with NJ’s fifth-most liberal senator in the Senate? WTF.

BuckeyeSam on March 16, 2012 at 12:35 PM

If you think Hatch was pulling the strings on this you are naive. At my caucus there was a record breaking turn-out and a real anti-Hatch feeling until the biggest influence in the state made it known who THEY wanted and that changed everything.

Sammy316 on March 16, 2012 at 12:35 PM

My precinct has tended to be tea party-ish and was very anyone-but-Bennett two years ago. This year there was a lot of backlash against Freedom Works expressed, the outsiders who were trying to tell Utahns how to vote. A lot of talk of how good it is to have a senior Senator and how Romney supports Hatch.

My precinct had Dan Liljenquist’s mother-in-law and even she couldn’t get elected as an anti-Hatch delegate.

Sebastian on March 16, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Six terms is about 3 terms too, many. Now Hatch wants a 7th. What’s wrong with state GOP leadership??? Can’t they groom a good successor? Instead we need the Tea Parties to raise a ruckus about how these geriatric candidates prefer being inside the beltway and going-along-to-get-along. Christmas, Lugar is being challenged on his residency in Indiana, LOL. And remember Arlan Spector, switching parties so he could die inside the beltway!

Some say terms limits aren’t needed. After all, you can always vote the rascals out. Not true. Once an incumbent gets in, its generally impossible to vote them out because the state GOP leadership apparatus is in their corner. For them, it’s the Party first and the power that comes with it. The Dems work the same way, Party first.

Term limits – needed now more than ever!

Bob in VA on March 16, 2012 at 12:38 PM

If only Hatch was as determined and innovative in the defense of conservatism in Congress.

slickwillie2001 on March 16, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Isn’t that the truth! Both for him and numerous others …

ShainS on March 16, 2012 at 12:38 PM

It’s a good thing for any career politician to be aware and worried voters have other choices.

viking01 on March 16, 2012 at 12:41 PM

reminds me of this:

“I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. Unless it is politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing, the right people will not do the right thing either, or if they try, they will shortly be out of office.” – Milton Friedman

Hatch isn’t a bad guy but he’s been in Washington a long time so at least he’s getting a wake up call. The real target for tea party groups should be Mitch McConnell in 2014 now that clown needs to be retired.

bannor on March 16, 2012 at 12:41 PM

As a Southern Californian working in Salt Lake City this week, I was surprised at the enthusiasm and competitive nature of the caucai and the related politicking. Being an outsider but watching Hatch move to the right the last couple of years, I didn’t realize how tough this race was. I hope Hatch doesn’t thumb his nose at the Tea Party here. He’ll do much better with their support.

MikeinPRCA on March 16, 2012 at 12:43 PM

I know everyone thinks Utah is a conservative state but that only applies to social issues. Utah, however, has an affinity for pork and is more of an establishment/country club republican state.

At the caucus meetings, seniors turned out in droves to protect Hatch. The seniority issue came up (I guess we should elect Senators/Reps for life on that basis?) but more so, was the line that “Hatch brings money to Utah”.

The same people touting that line also rant about Washington’s waste, earmarks, and pork barrel spending. It’s a case of ‘good for me but not for thee’ for them – keep pork, social sec benefits, other govt programs flowing to Utah but shame on everyone else. I think that mentality is held on a national level, unfortunately.

The tea party groups, however, don’t exhibit the disconnect and are willing to cut even if they lose ‘benefits’ (everything’s fair game). The above people (establishment types) don’t like it at all.

It is also why they were so derisive and rude at my caucus meeting when Mike Lee’s name was mentioned. They are willing to keep the status quo, despite how fiscally destructive it may be, so long as the get their ‘free government cheese’.

batter on March 16, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Hatch had Mark Levin’s blessing, which is no small thing.

beatcanvas on March 16, 2012 at 12:11 PM

And some kind words from Palin if I remember correctly?
ES

English Springer on March 16, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Objecting to Hatch on the basis of his length of service might be valid, but politicians with that kind of survival rate don’t get caught by surprise often. ***

Orrin Hatch is a good guy. He’s conservative on judges (he’s on the board of the Federalist Society for God’s sake) and has pretty good ratings on fiscal issues. But because he’s not bombastic by nature, he can be an effective negotiator when you actually need to sit down with Democrats and cut a deal. You need guys like him in the Senate.

If you want to bounce RINOs, bounce McCain, Lindsay Graham, and those types of ppl…

Outlander on March 16, 2012 at 12:48 PM

MikeinPRCA on March 16, 2012 at 12:43 PM

Mike, Hatch and Bennett used to tag-team: one would act the conservative for a year or two prior to their election and so forth. What they did during the first four years post election was more telling about their principles.

If Hatch makes it back in, don’t be surprised for him to find a new Teddy Kennedy to run legislation with and curry favor with the DC media. The only way to keep him conservative is to contently blast his office with calls and keep him worried.

batter on March 16, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Er… contently = constantly

batter on March 16, 2012 at 12:50 PM

The same people touting that line also rant about Washington’s waste, earmarks, and pork barrel spending. It’s a case of ‘good for me but not for thee’ for them – keep pork, social sec benefits, other govt programs flowing to Utah but shame on everyone else. I think that mentality is held on a national level, unfortunately.
***
batter on March 16, 2012 at 12:44 PM

We need to do a much better job with voter education on pork barrel spending. A lot of voters judge officeholders by how much “bacon” they bring home to their districts/states. This simply encourages more spending, since politicians respond to the incentives provided by their constituents.

Outlander on March 16, 2012 at 12:53 PM

The Tea Party is doing its job, keeping weak-knee’d Repubs like Hatch in line.

WordsMatter on March 16, 2012 at 1:03 PM

Unfortunately sending Hatch letters and calling him gets you an extremely rude and condescending reply that tells you you are too dumb to understand the nuances of government at the federal level.

Kristamatic on March 16, 2012 at 1:10 PM

If only Hatch was as determined and innovative in the defense of conservatism in Congress.

slickwillie2001 on March 16, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Isn’t that the truth! Both for him and numerous others …

ShainS on March 16, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Start with the elitist ruling class GOP who gave us Oromneycare in the form of a bean-counting neutered candidate -to oppose the most dangerous anti-American president and machine in history.

Conservatives and relious foks need not apply

Don L on March 16, 2012 at 1:15 PM

There were about 160 credentialed voters at my precinct caucus. There were 5 anti-Hatch nominees and 8 pro-Hatch nominees for 4 state delegate slots, and each side had party veterans. Even though the anti-Hatch nominees had a tighter “slate,” all 4 slots went to pro-Hatch nominees. I imagine precincts with lower participation rates would skew more anti-Hatch, but they’d have to skew a lot to compensate for what I saw.

One thing that was sort of weird was not that seniority was an issue, but that a lot of people expressed worry about Mike Lee’s junior status to drive the seniority point–against having “two junior senators.” Mike Lee has been really nothing but excellent in the Senate minority.

theperfecteconomist on March 16, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Hatch had Mark Levin’s blessing, which is no small thing.

beatcanvas on March 16, 2012 at 12:11 PM

…I did not know that…and I really respect his opinion…so I have to back off of what I was thinking!

KOOLAID2 on March 16, 2012 at 1:23 PM

Who did the Church get behind?

elowe on March 16, 2012 at 1:28 PM

FreedomWorks should be focusing their fire on Indiana and Texas.

We REALLY need Mourdock and Cruz in the Senate.

letoile du nord on March 16, 2012 at 1:30 PM

I was elected as a delegate for Hatch. We need him to help President Romney with the finance committee. We’ll get Jason Chaffetz next election which I’m sure even the Tea Partiers can appreciate that.

Our district split, 1 Hatch, 1 undecided, 1 ABH

It would have been all Hatch but the precinct chair broke the rules when the caucus host told all the chairs to incorrectly vote with all 3 delegate slots running simultaneously.

I raised an objection, but we didn’t get a majority because the high level people were looked to as authorities on the matter.

scotash on March 16, 2012 at 1:31 PM

I was elected as a delegate for Hatch. We need him to help President Romney with the finance committee.

How is Hatch better than Crapo for that?

theperfecteconomist on March 16, 2012 at 1:34 PM

I can’t believe people actually pay attention to ACU.

Dante on March 16, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Target Hatch & Bennette for being too liberal yet stay silent about or overwhelmingly vote for Romney. Hmmmmmmmmm

29Victor on March 16, 2012 at 11:47 AM

And I know this is a Hatch thread, so I won’t hijack it with any more responses other than to say Santorum is NOT a “true conservative” according to Hot Air standards. He is a deceiver because he doesn’t even bother to admit he “changed his mind” on the issues.

He was Pro-Abortion before his political career started, and was against Right to Work until just before the South Carolina Primaries. At least be consistent on your judgement of candidates.

scotash on March 16, 2012 at 1:50 PM

Hatch is ok.

pat on March 16, 2012 at 1:50 PM

“Many comments about Freedom Works having an agenda–what I am not sure–but that we were not to let a Texas group tell us how to vote.”

“This year there was a lot of backlash against Freedom Works expressed, the outsiders who were trying to tell Utahns how to vote.”

Freedom Works is a GOP oriented PAC run by Dick Armey. It has hijacked the Tea Party brand but it is not a Tea Party group.

Tea Party Patriots is the main umbrella group. It encourages members to join in the political process but it does not endorse candidates. It will do things like prepare report cards on candidates and organize debates.

http://www.freedomworks.org/ http://www.teapartypatriots.org/

PatJDooley on March 16, 2012 at 1:57 PM

I can’t believe people actually pay attention to ACU.

Dante on March 16, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Yep. The fact that they rate Hatch as high as they do should discredit them entirely.

iwasbornwithit on March 16, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Hatch is a solid conservative.

ghostwriter on March 16, 2012 at 2:30 PM

I heard a couple of interviews on Levin with Hatch. I think Hatch really “gets it” with the whole DC problem at this point. I believe that Obama was a real wake up call for Hatch and he seemed to realize that the whole “go along to get along” keeps moving the ball down the left field. I came away from those interviews feeling more comfortable with him getting re-elected again.

I agree, Lugar would be a better target for the tea party at this point. He doesn’t even pretend to be a Hoosier anymore.

Also, if they want to go for a not so “long” shot, they should really concentrate on unseating Dem Debbie “SpenditNow” here in MI. I believe the right circumstances could align and she can be defeated.

karenhasfreedom on March 16, 2012 at 2:38 PM

I don’t follow Sen. Hatch’s closely and who he keeps company, but what I do know of him and remember is his defense SCOTUS Thomas. Since then I always see him as an honorable man.

But what caught my attention, to which I would like to point out is that @edmorrissey failed to mention Michelle Malkin as one of those who wanted to oust Sen. Hatch.

So, I’ll go ahead and add it for you, respectfully:

@michellemalkin –> “Hatch may not be out of the woods yet, but he just delivered a lesson in retail politicking that grassroots activists need to learn well and quickly. First among those might be choosing targets wisely.”

Now, let’s compare Sen. Hatch ACU rating with Santorum, “ACU rating as of 2006 was 88.1

So, it is befitting to say that conservatives should choose their candidates wisely, if we’re comparing ACU ratings.

gothicreader on March 16, 2012 at 2:40 PM

I don’t follow Sen. Hatch’s closely and who he keeps company, but what I do know of him and remember is his defense SCOTUS Thomas. Since then I always see him as an honorable man.

But what caught my attention, to which I would like to point out is that @edmorrissey failed to mention Michelle Malkin as one of those who wanted to oust Sen. Hatch.

So, I’ll go ahead and add it for you, respectfully:

@michellemalkin –> “Hatch may not be out of the woods yet, but he just delivered a lesson in retail politicking that grassroots activists need to learn well and quickly. First among those might be choosing targets wisely.”

Now, let’s compare Sen. Hatch ACU rating with Santorum, “ACU rating as of 2006 was 88.1”

So, it is befitting to say that conservatives should choose their candidates wisely, if we’re comparing ACU ratings.

gothicreader on March 16, 2012 at 2:40 PM

Nice post. That’s the value of indices like the ACU rating: It provides an objective basis on which to compare the voting records of politicians over time.

ghostwriter on March 16, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Why don’t we all leave Orrin Hatch alone and concentrate on getting strong candidates for states currently held by Democrats?

Orrin Hatch is a true gentleman, and is extremely popular in one of the most conservative states in the Union. One of his major positive attributes is that he has been a very capable and conservative Chairman or Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, responsible for vetting nominees to the Supreme Court or District or Appellate Courts.

He had to give up the Chairmanship of the Judiciary Committee to Arlen Specter, which caused LOTS of problems with President Bush’s nominees, but Specter later became a Democrat and lost his re-election bid. Hatch is easily the longest-serving Republican on the Committee, and should become Chairman again if Republicans win back the Senate. If Hatch gets “primaried out”, the Judiciary Committee would have a less experienced, and probably less capable Chairman.

Steve Z on March 16, 2012 at 3:02 PM

Nice post. That’s the value of indices like the ACU rating: It provides an objective basis on which to compare the voting records of politicians over time.

ghostwriter on March 16, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Objective? LOL.

No.

Dante on March 16, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Who did the Church get behind?

elowe on March 16, 2012 at 1:28 PM

It made a huge push for caucus attendance. They knew the old folks would turn out as younger conservatives have a harder time (mom has to stay home with kids etc) and they aren’t retired.

Plus Romney put out a robocall for Hatch.

Between the two (and seniors wanting to protect their government handouts), it seems clear what outcome they wanted. Hopefully, however, enough will oppose to send Hatch to a primary.

batter on March 16, 2012 at 3:21 PM

It must get lonely in the Beltway without Hatch’s friend Ted Kennedy around.
viking01 on March 16, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Stockholm Syndrome

On a purely strategic basis, I have a feeling such groups as FreedomWorks and others may have put more Democrats into office than conservative Republicans.
crosspatch on March 16, 2012 at 12:20 PM

in my precinct last night the battle lines were clearly drawn between senior citizens and everybody else under the age of 55. Most of the Seasoned citizens were in a righteous indignation that the rest of us would have a problem with Hatch
Kristamatic on March 16, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Freedomworks’ Kibbe writes

Yet, in 2010, Hatch was the Senate’s third-highest earmarker. Long before taxpayers were forced to pick up the bill for President Barack Obama’s failed experiment in crony capitalism – Solyndra — Hatch sought no less than seven earmarks totaling $20 million for a renewable energy venture named Raser. The Obama administration eventually funded the company, and it promptly went bankrupt. But not before the company renamed its facility in honor of Hatch.

Utah has even sued the federal government over the health care law, and yet Hatch cosponsored individual mandate legislation in 1993 — another example of how out of touch he is with his constituents.

At of the end of 2011, about 93 percent of the roughly $5 million raised by Hatch’s campaign came from outside of Utah, according to the Federal Election Commission, with about 17 percent from the District of Columbia

Meanwhile:

In my precinct last night the battle lines were clearly drawn between senior citizens and everybody else under the age of 55. Most of the Seasoned citizens were in a righteous indignation that the rest of us would have a problem with Hatch
Kristamatic on March 16, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Try going to a Dingell session in Michigan

The problem with Hatch is not that he is greatly skilled. He has developed maximum survival skills. He has spent a lifetime in a cloister, and has learned what causes pain,and what gets payback. Such knowledge can be crippling. At the point a representative develops greater friendship with his fellow members, in the name of survival, than with the higher politik, he becomes problematic

He will lose his ablity to explain the higher need to stroke the Senate, or to continue feeding the Earmark beast

The Senate is filled with players who dont want amateurs spoiling the game. Hatch is smart, but, try to be civilized and take a bone away from a dog when he is chewing it, and you might lose your hand. The bone becomes the end game, even if the hand that supplies the bone wants a game change

entagor on March 16, 2012 at 3:30 PM

Nice post. That’s the value of indices like the ACU rating: It provides an objective basis on which to compare the voting records of politicians over time.

ghostwriter on March 16, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Objective? LOL.

No.

Dante on March 16, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Ummm… yes, it is objective.

ghostwriter on March 16, 2012 at 3:31 PM

Ummm… yes, it is objective.

ghostwriter on March 16, 2012 at 3:31 PM

Ummm…no.

Dante on March 16, 2012 at 3:36 PM

I was at the caucus and I can confirm, as someone previously mentioned, the seniors really went for Hatch and couldn’t understand anyone being against him. I think he survives for another term regrettably.

I personally received what seemed like a dozen or more FreedomWorks anti-Hatch robo-calls over the last month, which began to annoy the hell out of me. The anti-Hatch efforts were discussed last night in our precinct and I think it played a role in mobilizing the pro-Hatch supporters. A pro-Hatch ‘seasoned citizen’ in my precinct believed firmly that the anti-Hatch efforts were being paid for by the Democrats.

diesirae on March 16, 2012 at 3:58 PM

Ummm…no.

Dante on March 16, 2012 at 3:36 PM

Do yourself a favor, consult a dictionary, and learn what the word means.

ghostwriter on March 16, 2012 at 4:00 PM

Ed, you are missing one crucial point regarding FreedomWorks impact. Forcing Hatch to take the caucus seriously, i.e., become answerable to the tea party puts the necessary exclamation point on Bennett’s loss. Other wayward Repub’s will have taken note.

Working for a replacement for Snowe may have suited the GOP, but unless FreedomWorks has a candidate in Maine worthy of support, what is the point in working for another Susan Collins or Scott Brown? That is, after all, the RNC’s task.

bains on March 16, 2012 at 4:10 PM

And some kind words from Palin if I remember correctly?
ES

English Springer on March 16, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Hah, I remember that interview from what earlier this week or last. Orrin really just could not stop mentioning that “endorsement”.

oryguncon on March 18, 2012 at 12:29 AM