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The Voters Did It Again: Senator Hatch, Favorite Son

Updated on June 27, 2012

When is enough too much?

The axe has been ground so much that it looks like a hatchet.
The axe has been ground so much that it looks like a hatchet. | Source

Pushing the political levers....

For all the complaining Utah voters have done about a Congress with failing grades and a lack luster performance, the Utah voters did what so many voters across the country may be doing in November: they gave six term Senator Orrin Hatch (R) a chance to run for his seventh term in the United States Senate. Apparently his "favorite son" status hasn't been tarnished by his hair turning white while in office.

With roughly two-thirds of the votes which were cast in Utah's open Republican primary, Senator Hatch will be on the November ballot once again, following the first-ever time in the past six election campaigns for his seat in the Senate that he had to compete for his party's nomination.

The campaign slogans:

Hatch ran, with Romney's public support, on the basis that Utah would benefit from his becoming Senate Finance Committee Chairman, if the Republicans wrest control of the Senate from the Democrats in November. He argued that Utah needs a conservative Republican in that position and one who understands Utah's own struggles with the federal government which controls the majority of the public lands in the state.

It didn't seem to matter that Senator Chuck Grassley (R) of Iowa is a conservative Republican with a rating of 82% for voting conservative and would have headed the Senate Finance Committee in Hatch's absence, if Republicans gain control of the Senate in November...meaning that Senator Hatch was not as essential as he claimed. And it didn't matter that Utahns are unhappy with the other members of Congress. Hatch's relatively flimsy argument prevailed.

It should be noted, however, that while Mitt Romney was the clear winner over second-place-finisher Ron Paul at the head of the Republican ballot with over 90% of the vote, Senator Hatch had about 25% fewer votes against relative newcomer Dan Liljenquist whose slogan was "Retire Hatch" and "bring fiscal responsibility to Washington" where Senator Hatch was said to have voted 15 or more times to raise the limit on the National Debt which currently stands at 15.8 trillion dollars.

Will Congress be different in January 2013?

If other states have voters like the Utah voters who demonstrated their satisfaction with their incumbent, we are likely to once again see the same cast of characters in Congress next January.

Money spoke loudly again:

Money also played a big part in Hatch's primary run. He clearly overwhelmed Liljenquist's limited finances, and piggy backed on Romney's statement that quoted Romney as saying "I need Senator Hatch as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee."

Will Republicans gain control of the U. S. Senate in November?

For Hatch to become chairman, Romney better reconsider choosing any sitting senator as his Vice Presidential running mate. That could diminish Republican chances of wresting control of the Senate from the Democrats and leave Senator Hatch with no chairmanship, and Romney with no Republican control of the U. S. Senate, even if Romney is successful in winning the presidency.

In any case, it looks as if Utah's Senator Hatch will once again be cruising the halls of the Senate for a seventh consecutive term. As General Douglas MacArthur famously said "Old soldiers never die..." and in Senator Hatch's case they don't even seem to fade away!


© 2012 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.

Senator Orrin Hatch....


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    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 5 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Hatch packed the caucuses, catered to the Tea Party, and still had to outspend his opponent $10 million to $1 million in his party's primary to get on the ballot for November! He declined a challenge to debate more than once in a radio debate in the morning of a weekday. His Demcratic opponent has challenged him to debate him in every county (29 dates) and said that he will show up at every one, whether Hatch shows up or not. There will be some crossover from disgruntled Republicans.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      well written. You know... 2012 is the first year I can't vote.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 5 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      phdast7: Utah Representative Jason Chaffetz (R) probably could have given Hatch more of a contest, but quickly decided (or was persuaded) not to run against him. Hatch is so entrenched that even as a Republican senator, I have been told that when he needs a crowd he can allegedly call up local unions and they will send one for him. Sad....and phoney, if true.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Good Hub, well written, informative. We so desperately need term limits in this country, to avoid unhealthy concentrations of power, to minimize political favors and handouts. He may be a nice man, probably is, but still....