Could Hatch go out as he came in?
Short answer: YES!
However, you don't come here to read the short answer. So, I'll give you the long answer.
He's the eighth-most-senior senator and has won five previous elections. He's a regular on Sunday morning talk shows and previously chaired the Judiciary Committee. He has three decades' worth of institutional knowledge and spent three decades forging relationships with power brokers. And if Republicans stay in control of the Senate, Hatch will take control of the powerful Senate Finance Committee in just two years.
And, yet, Utah still somehow manages to come up shoet in federal money delt to us.
See this post for more.
"Utah is a small population state, but with tremendous power," said Hatch. "I would say if anyone looks at it fairly they would say, 'Hatch has a tremendous amount of experience and effectiveness. He has got a lot done. People do pay attention to what he says.' "
Experience? Yes. Effectiveness? Maybe. And, unfortunately, people do pay attention to what he says (armed groups from Latin America, anyone?).
"Hatch writes legislation geared more toward industries outside of Utah than inside of Utah," Ashdown said. He criticizes Hatch's support of the movie and music industries against piracy, which he believes has resulted in regulation that hurts Utah's high-tech industry.
"That's what people say when they don't have anything to say," Hatch counters.
Which is what candidates say when they don't have anything to say to rebut the critical statements of their opponents.
Is anyone else's head hurting from that one?
"I have a lot of respect for what Pete Ashdown has been able to accomplish - building up his little ISP - that is not an inconsequential thing," Hatch said. "I've never been in Pete Ashdown's shoes because I was a successful lawyer. He is in the high-tech world, I was in the people world. I dealt with thousands and thousands of people and with their basic human problems."
Notice that Orrin doesn't mention his little 'high-tech" company of 1976 -- cassette tapes. It's because it dates him terrible.
And, having been a lawer and a 30-year Senator, Orrin Hatch should have delt with millions and millions of people.
Ashdown calls the seniority system "anti-democratic."
"It is the only thing some candidates are touting as the reason they should be re-elected," he said.
You mean the founders of democracy didn't want campaign slogans to be "I've been in so long you might as well let me keep my job six more years?"
A nonpartisan group called Capitol Advantage ranked Hatch as the ninth-most-influential senator largely based on his seniority. And that ranking could easily rise.
You mean he's been in there the EIGHTH longest yet he's NINTH most powerful? Hmmm....
Hatch would become the chairman of the Finance Committee in 2008 if Republicans remain in power. The committee oversees all tax issues along with Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare.
Hatch calls it: "The most powerful committee in the whole Congress."
He probably said that about the Judiciary Committee when he has the head of that one, too.
Besides, I always thought it was the appropriations committee that was the most powerful. Rules would probably rank up there as well.
And like we want someone like Orrin to be in charge of Taxes, Social Security, Medicade and Medicare. He is so fiscally irresponsible it's rediculous.