My Interview With Senator Orrin Hatch

At the 2008 Republican Convention in Minneapolis, I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Utah Senator Orrin Hatch.

Senator Hatch is a true gentleman. He is old school. In terms of ideology, he is a conservative. Yet he simply refuses to let politics get in the way of decency. Many people do not know this, but liberal Senator Ted Kennedy credits his fellow Senator Hatch with getting him to quit drinking. It was Senator Hatch who told Senator Kennedy that he “was a good Senator, who had the potential to be a great Senator. However to be a great Senator, he had to stop drinking.”

Ask Ted Kennedy, and he will tell you without hesitation that Orrin Hatch saved his life.

In the brief time I interviewed Senator Hatch, I found him to be a kind, thoughtful, and gracious man.

With that, below is my interview of Senator Orrin Hatch, with hindsight over the election being 20/20.

1) What are the most important issues of 2008?

OH: “The most important issue is who is qualified to run the office of the Presidency. Running for President is tough. Running the country as President is tougher.”

2) Who are your 3 favorite political heroes?

OH: “I’ll give you 4. My political heroes are George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, and Harry Truman.”

3) How would you like to be remembered 100 years from now? What would you want people to say about Orrin Hatch the person?

OH: “I would like to have been seen as a man of integrity. I was an honest man who never gave up, and fought for what I believed was right.”

4) Ted Kennedy has credited with you getting him to stop drinking. You are wel liked and well respected on both sides of the aisle. What can be done to raise the level of discourse in politics today in the way you reached out to Senator Kennedy?

OH: “We have to love each other. We need to stop fighting. We can fight over principles, but we should not make things personal. It is important that we reach out and love each other.”

I would like to thank Senator Orrin Hatch not just for his time, but his incredibly warm nature. He practices what he preaches. He put politics aside. He did not see the giant liberal of the Senate as his enemy. He saw him as a human being. Senator Hatch himself has admitted that it was very difficult for he himself to quit smoking. This battle with nicotine allowed him to see the suffering that his friend across the aisle was going through.

Orrin Hatch is the epitome of a compassionate conservative. He does not compromise hes core beliefs. He simply keeps his ideology in the halls of Congress. When he leaves for the day, he truly means it when he sees his colleagues as friends.

We would all be better off for following the fine example set by Senato Orrin Hatch.


13 Responses to “My Interview With Senator Orrin Hatch”

  1. Stander says:

    Hey Tyger…

    Sounds like a decent guy. Thanks for sharing. You’re obviously going places. Glad to see things going strong for you.

    Off topic…I am back in action with a new second home, Adult Supervision Required (, as well as at Stander’s Point. Just thought you might like to know.

    Yours, Stander

  2. Dav Lev says:

    I admire the Senator from Utah immensely. I also admire all of
    the Southern States senators, who are trying to lead this country away from it’s pending disaster.

    We fought a war (thanks to Mr. Lincoln, no one’s abolitionist who
    managed to condemn 650,000 thousand men to their deaths and countless
    more injured, not to forget the destruction of the entire South).

    Had the South won however, there would have been in the North and
    the other in the South. Slavery eventually would have disappeared
    replaced by unions. Perhaps Russia would have become an ally of the North, and China, of the South. Who knows?

    But that’s another story.

    Now we are seeing the creation of the United States of Socialism…
    on the Kennedy, Pelosi, Levin, Boxer, Reid models.

    350billion to banks with no transparency or accountability, another 350billion to follow, 789billion more dollars over the next 2 years to
    bail out welfare programs, college students, roads that should have been fixed locally or with state funding, more food stamps for those who already get the earned income tax credit, medicare and medicaid, foregiviness of home mortgages (but no re-imbursement from the sellers of these home who made a huge capital gain).

    In my state of California, the stimulus will give us about 11billon dollars..out of the deficit of 42 billion. I’m sure this is Obama’s thank you for our support of him. I ask, will the “Red” states get anything out of
    this? It’s something to watch.

    The recent votes in the Congress went by the numbers.

    We need more Conservative senators and congressmen…and I mean more, lots more.

    To that extent, in 2 years there will be another election.

    Hopefully, we will have a planet remaining by then.
    Hillary Clinton told No. Korea that if they give up their nukes..we
    will love them, break bread with them…have a few rounds of coffee,
    or tea or beer, whatever both agree to.

    Asking No. Korea to give up it’s nukes, is like asking Al Qaeda and the Taliban and Hamas to give up their goal of spreading Sharia worldwide.
    Ain’t going to happen Hillary.

  3. Okaaaaaaayyyy…. I guess the dream (re: nightmare) of the Confederacy still lives on…

    I wonder if Sen Hatch will run again in 2012. I kinda doubt it. He’s healthy, from what I know, but he’ll be getting pretty old by then. He’s an interesting character. Pretty mainstream Republican, occasionally straying from the party line. He is old school though, in that he’s more collegial than some of the newer folks up there. He was never a friend of labor, for the most part. But hey, he’s a Republican, so what do ya’ want? All that said, it’s too bad he didn’t win the nomination back in 2000. He would’ve made a much better president than what we had.


  4. hauk says:

    The only thing I recall of Senator Hatch is back in 1999/2000 when the Knight bill was being considered, he declared that Gay marriage was worse than terrorism. This was before 9/11, btw.

    I grew up in England, with the constant threat of IRA terrorism. Personally I would much rather see Gay Marriage than childred dying on the subways from bombs left in trash cans.

    Nowadays, Terrorism has a new face. I still would rather see Gay Marriage than planes flown into our buildings and journalists decapitated.

    Of course, for the record, I support Gay Marriage period- equal rights, plus extra revenue from marriage licenses, and frankly I could care less what two or more consenting adults do in the privacy of their home.

    Anyways, going back to Sen. Hatch… After every election since I was old enough to vote, I’ve heard both sides talk about how we need to work together and be bipartisan. We need to set aside our differences and work together.

    It has yet to happen.

    Maybe he can aid this in the upcoming years- if so, then good for him. If not, then nothing will change.

  5. Micky 2 says:

    I think this whole “bi partisan” thing is being given way too much attention and credit considering what parties look like today.
    We vote along party lines because we reject what the other side has to offer and we propell what we have to offer.
    As every republican has said by voting no on this stimulus, there is nothing bi partisan about its construction yet we are asking to be bi partisan about it.
    Thats just stoooopid.
    Our differences are what make us what we are. We do not need to “put our differences aside.
    We need to find a compromise where each ideology gets some satisfaction.
    I would rather hear the term”meeting half way” than this repeated crap calling everyone to “reach across the aisle” or to “act in a bi partisan fashion”.
    Its ideologically dishonest.
    Once we put our differences aside I believe we are eliminating the one thing that makes us what we are and will lose the beauty of the debates that made and will improve this country

  6. Micky, semantics aside, what exactly have the Republicans offered to add to the stimulus package, or anything for that matter?


  7. Toma says:

    Republicans did not offer to add any thing. They wanted to subract a lot of political pay off, reduce government interference and allow ordinary men and women go about the business of doing business and operating their households. The Federal Government will be the ruin of this nation. I’ve been saying this for years and voting for people that I thought would try to get the Government off my back. No one that I have voted for has came through. Alas, the power mongers continue to usurp, encroach and strip you and me of our liberties.


  8. thepoliticaltipster says:

    I was going to post this on the Mike Steele thread, but the selection of Sarah Palin and the election of Mike Steele are not comparable. Being party chairman has radically different responsibilities and requires a different skill set than being potentially the vice-president to a seventy-two year old. In any case Palin was externally imposed on McCain under pressure from his advisors and the Republican establishment (as a last minute alternative to Romney) whereas Steele put himself forward for election. Out of the people who stood for election Steele was clearly the best candidate for the job as it is very hard to argue that Katon Dawson, Chip Saltsman or Mike Duncan would have been better.

    However, I don’t think Steele understands the reason why the GOP is in such a bad situation, not least because he is more a movement conservative than a moderate. Although the selection of Palin was the main reason why McCain lost by such a large margin the problem lies in the fact that during the large eight years there has been an over-emphasis on tax cutting. Although low taxation is always going to be a hallmark of any right-of-centre party; many in the Bush administration and congressional leadership were happy to place further cuts over other elements of economic freedom such as freer trade, balanced budgets.

    Bush’s foreign policy was clearly courageous, and will leave him with an impressive legacy, and he was genuinely committed (at least in principle) to a more moderate immigration policy. However, Bush was more vigorous in his attempts to stop an expansion of S-CHIP spending, than he was trying to pass McCain-Kennedy. Similarly, the attempt by a large number of opinion formers and establishment figures to strong-arm the Arizona Senator into choosing first Mitt Romney (and then Sarah Palin) demonstrates this. In rejecting (and in some cases strongly opposing) a variety of moderate alternatives, the establishment implied that their priority was asserting control over any future administration rather than finding a qualified candidate.

    The downside to the obsession with tax cuts was also highlighted during the debate on the stimulus. Although the Republicans have won a strategic victory by showing that Obama is unconvincing when he has to fight for his policies in the court of public opinion, they could have forced some substantive changes if they had presented a more reasoned alternative. The rather tired idea of inheritance tax abolition is not a viable policy, especially since there it wildly benefits the well-off and is un-meritocratic (Irwin Seltzer’s 1997 Weekly Standard article “Inherit only the Wind” sums up the arguments against abolition succinctly).

    Of course, Steele’s power are limited as the role of Chairmen in either party has traditionally been to fundraise, appear on Meet The Press and to recruit candidates, rather than to determine ideology. In fact given what happened last August Steele would do well to emulate Terry McAuliffe’s glad-handing, rather than to follow Howard Dean and intervene directly in the next primary cycle. That said, if Sarah Palin does manage to win the nomination in 2012, Steele is likely to be her running-mate, as this would cast doubt on the motives of any third-party ticket and because few experienced Republicans would be willing to run with her.

  9. Micky 2 says:

    You claim to be so well informed and you had to ask that question ?

    How bout this ?
    Many of our reps on the hill were suggesting that this bill have less spending, more tax breaks and less government interventionism.
    To allow consumers to deduct the taxes and interest payments on any new auto purchase for two years, and a $15,000 tax credit for the purchase of a new home.
    Larger credits for small business than what Obama offered.
    Larger refunds than what comes out to about a 1.36 a day for a single person.
    Gee, thanks.
    They also wanted to sit down and discusss long term permanent employment opportunities other than the temporory ones this plan offers that wont start for another 2 years.
    We have stated many times that this package could do the trick at a a fraction of the cost byh simply putting the money in the peoples hands.
    And when asking to be a part of meetings to discuss such amendments were stonewalled and not even allowed in the same room.
    Then we were told we would have 48 hours to review the bill(at 1200 pages thats impossible) but still were given less than 24 as Pelosi and Reid broke their promise.
    Also, we actually think many of the ideas are good ones and wanted to tweak them a little here and there, but the big issue that we conmsider our major input is to actually withdraw all the gifting and wastefull spending
    What we are saying is that we also want a stimulus, and favor many of the applications in this bill, but all the wastefull spending will just cancell out the benefits.
    That had been our biggest suggestion.
    So you see, there was a “bi partisan ” effort being put forth by the simple means of requesting that the spending be dropped and it was totally ignored.
    Instead, they added more.
    Face it Jersey, you cant cry about conservatives running up the national debt ever again. At this rate, put it together with the initial bail outs a few months ago that Bambi voted for, this stimulus, the TARP that Geithner is applying, interest on these loans, inflation, and you know he’ll be back asking for more in 6 months, we have increased our national debt from 10 trillion to 14 trillion in less than 2 months.

    Answer me this question.
    If we are headed for such certain catastrophe any day now, as Obama keeps saying. Then why is it that these programs, the ones that are worth a damn, don’t take root sooner ?
    And if there was so much bi partisanship invested in this bill why did not even “ONE” republican vote for it ?
    Getting this turd passed as quickly as possible was the only thing being supported as it is 1170 pages long which gave no one any time whatsoever to read it.
    Not to mention , finding exactly whos name was attached to what propositon or project is nearly impossible as I witnessed a panel on CNN trying to do just that.

    As McCain put it, Generational theft.

  10. So, Micky and Toma, you’re saying the Republicans offered more of exactly what got us into this mess in the first place? Great alternative. I thibnk I’d just pass out if you guys could ever be man enough to admit you’re wrong about anything.

    And ya’ know, no one hates America more than you conservatives. You hate our government, hate our constitution, hate our people (especially regular working people). “The government is the enemy” to you guys – our government, our constitutional government of, by and for the people of the United States of America. You may as well be Al Qaeda, but I don’t think Al Qaeda even hates our government more than you guys.

    “Bush’s foreign policy was clearly courageous, and will leave him with an impressive legacy…”

    Oh yeah, Hipster, it’ll be impressive alright – impressively bad.


  11. Micky 2 says:

    “So, Micky and Toma, you’re saying the Republicans offered more of exactly what got us into this mess in the first place? ”
    Thata a misnomer piece of crap.
    Obama has it in his bill to do what we want, we want more of it.

    Instead this has become the largest transfer of wealth from our hands to the fed ever in history.
    More of the same that got us into this ?
    Yea right.
    Did you know that when we tried this in the 30s it didnt work and it was the war that got us out the rutt.
    Its the exact same thing only on a larger scale.
    What got us in this mess was your dumb ass regulations on the banks and F&F along with the CRA.
    Most economists have agreed that the resulting housing bubble collapse was the catalyst that got this whole ball in motion.
    Not to mention that theres already over 20,000 economists who say this bill wont work

    Besides that, you asked what we did to contribute and I gave you a factual ,answer.
    So dont go getting all huffy and saying you would pass out if we had to admit we were wrong, you were wrong in assuming we did nothing.

    The rest of your delusional crap does not answer my question after I was kind enough to answer yours.

    Cant you feel the stimulus in the air ? Are you stimulated ? Cant you feel the love ?
    Bambi is gonna sign you a big ole 3 trillion dollar Valentine card and slip ya the big one.

    The Al Queda remark was the dumbest nastiest thing you’ve ever said….

    so far

  12. Micky, you can’t compare the New Deal with this. Firist of all, you cons all seem to conveniently forget that the Depression was 4 years under way before the New Deal even got started. It was Hoover’s lack of response that prolonged the Depression – not FDR’s initiatives. And many parts of the New Deal were failures and eveyone involved admitted it when that was true. FDR and Co were trying anything and everything to turn things around. Much of the New Deal was experimental and had never been tried before. But much of the New Deal were tremendous successes that to this day we rely on as a nation. You also have to remember that the New Deal established a social safety net that we can thank today for this economic downturn’s mitigance relative to the Great Depression. There’s a reason we don’t have mass bread lines, riots, communist and fascist movements, and people jumping out windows – and that’s the New Deal. We have SS and Medicare and Medicaid and unemployment and education and training and AFDC and food stamps and section 8 and comp and infrastructure and all those other things you cons hate, but if it weren’t for them people would be demanding your heads right now.

    You guys incessantly repeat that the New Deal prolonged the Great Depression but never do you explain why or how. I don’t think you even understand the New Deal, or the Great Depression – let alone what’s going on now. I think of that idiot on Chris Matthews that one time who said the Dems wanted to “appease” like “Chamberlain” and then when pressed couldn’t even recall what exactly Chamberlain did! It’s just ignorantly regurgitated cheap GOP talking points.

    As for hating America – I mean it! You guys hate our constitutional government. You repeat it all the time! You hate our government of, by and for the people! You do! Just admit it!


  13. Micky 2 says:

    “Micky, you can’t compare the New Deal with this”

    Sure I can, its easy, the similarities are amazing as noted by many outstanding economists who constantly make the connection that this nor that amount of government spending/rescuing has ever worked.
    You say we cant compare the two ?
    How convenient when its that comparison that drives this philosophy that government spending on this scale works into the crapper.

    “you cons all seem to conveniently forget that the Depression was 4 years under way before the New Deal even got started. It was Hoover’s lack of response that prolonged the Depression – not FDR’s initiatives. ”

    So what ? 2 years, 4 years late, it doesnt matter, this kind of rescue effort didnt work before and it wont work this time.
    Because people were depending on Social Security, work relief, unemployment insurance, mandatory minimum wages, and all that crap business didnt hire more workers, if they didnt the unemployment rate during the New Deal would have been less then half of what it was.
    But hey ! Whoopeeeee ! Now we have freebees, who needs to work !?

    And that is exactly what Obama is doing only so he can ensure his next election. Hes creating a massive population that will be dependent on those in office right now.
    Now who loves America ? Huh ?

    “Much of the New Deal was experimental and had never been tried before. ”

    I guess you guys havent learned, have you ?

    “You also have to remember that the New Deal established a social safety net”

    True, but that net must be maintained. This does nothing to pay into it, it only pays into select micro state and city budgets by offering short term empolyment that is at least two years away.
    What happens when we backload the payout to three generations as we have just done ?
    My grandkids are going to paying my SS and everyones entitlements ontop of this humongous debt.
    Its too much for one generation, it eats itself, the math is basic, but the language in selling it is the same as selling prophecy.
    The net needs to be smaller, period.
    Unfortunatly these are real tengible dollars and results were are expecting and not a mythical figure.

    “You guys incessantly repeat that the New Deal prolonged the Great Depression but never do you explain why or how.”

    Thats just another one of your brain fart lies that you didnt think too much of before you let it pop out. Its just nonsense.
    Many GOP leaders have explained how the new deal failed and what the comparissons are to the stimulus.

    see here.

    “You often hear President Obama’s stimulus plan referred to as the new New Deal. ”

    Tell me, would you pay your mortgage with your Visa ?
    Thats exactly what this moron is doing and you and the like voted for.

    IMO, its you guys who hate America and do these things subconsciously like taking sh*t and not even worrying about how its going to get paid for.

    You say we are suggesting exactly what got us in this mess ?
    Thats a lie.
    How does putting the money in the peoples hands instead of the fed and congress make a repeated mistake ?

    Since you obviously cant answer any of my questions, probably because the answer would be too incriminating for you to stand, lets try another one.

    What the hell good is 13.00 a week going to do me ?

    I’m not going to engage in your asinine childish “hate America” dribble.
    I dont have to defend myself, but if this POS bill fails, which it will, its you and the morons who voted for this a$$clown that will have some explaining to do.

    “I don’t think you even understand the New Deal, or the Great Depression – let alone what’s going on now”

    I’ll tell you this much.
    When you actually own your own house, business and have kids, then you can come talk to me as if you have a clue.
    Untill then, you’re just a mindless starry eyed Obamabot backing this crap out of blind devotion.

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