Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Calling Hatch Home

Senator Orrin Hatch, term limits, congress, Senate, hypocrisy,

Back in 2012, U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch pledged that, if elected, his current six-year term would be his last. On Election Day 2018, Hatch will be 84 years old — and have spent more than half his life in Washington.

Still, Utah’s senior senator just announced he intends to run for re-election for an eighth term.

Why? Our newly-elected president, Hatch told a Salt Lake City TV station, “is all over me to run again.” And so is the leadership in the Republican Senate — and even in the House. Or so he says.

But what about the people of Utah? A poll this past January found that 78 percent of Utahans “definitely” or “probably” did not want Hatch to seek re-election — with 58 percent in the “definitely” camp.

“Hatch’s bid for an eighth term is an endorsement of term limits,” argued Richard Davis, a political science professor at Brigham Young University, yesterday in the Deseret News.

“For many years, I opposed term limits because I felt legislators needed the time to gain knowledge and handle the long-standing bureaucracy and the power of interest groups,” Davis wrote. “However, I have concluded that such knowledge can be gained relatively quickly and would become more effective if there were not highly senior politicians, like Hatch, who dominate a legislative body for many years.”

In 1976, Hatch challenged an incumbent with the line: “What do you call a Senator who’s served in office for 18 years? You call him home.”

Today, having spent over 40 years in power, Hatch only wants more . . . and calls Washington home.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.


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5 Comments

  1. John F Brennan says:

    Hatch has no intention of serving ’til he is 90.  The deal is get him re-elected with state wide name recognition and claims of his power gained by has seniority in the Senate.   Then he can resign and his successor will be appointed. That provides much more party control than those pesky primary things.  

    • Pat says:

      Why wouldn’t he simply suggest someone to succeed him?   Wouldn’t the party unite around him or her?   Isn’t the Utah GOP fairly cohesive?
      Even if Hatch was reelected, how does his seniority benefit his successor?
      Wouldn’t that person start out as the most junior senator in the Senate?

      All who argue for term limits can start by casting their own votes against incumbents.

      • JFB says:

        Re-election followed by resignation and governor’s appointment is a much surer process, as the party establishment in is control of the entire process. No primaries or competing candidates, no having to run a candidate without an incumbent’s designation.
        Of course the newly appointed senator has no seniority, seniority is an argument for the re-election of the incumbent (and a ruse).
        Running, resigning and appointment could be accurately termed an establishment handoff.

  2. Brian Wright says:

    Yes, I agree with the previous comment, that the political ‘thing’ may be in motion. But excellent column, Paul. On the other hand, Hatch has been, as I recall, the strongest advocate for health freedom, especially supplements that the Senate has had. It will be tough to march on to medical fascism under his replacement.

  3. Mario Guillont Jr. says:

    These guys are all the same, be they Republican or Democrat. They’ve been in power too long, love it’s taste, and get fat in the head over the years, no matter how good they may have been in the past. If he really wants to do good, he should go home, write a tell-all book to let the public who is really pulling the strings, and what the public can do about it when it runs counter to their interests. I’ll bet you’ll make more money, and get all that attention you crave, Mr. Hatch. What do you say?

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