Much of the Utah media focus on the U.S. Senate race lately has been upon Cherilyn Eagar and Mike Lee. This is understandable, since supporters of both candidates have been quite vocal about these individuals. Eagar triggers a strong emotional appeal a la Sarah Palin, while Lee triggers more of an intellectual appeal a la Mitt Romney.
But getting lost in the shuffle is another experienced candidate, Tim Bridgewater. To correct this deficiency, Bridgewater submitted to a 15-minute interview with the editor of the Utah Policy blog. The video is embedded below, but there are audio difficulties; the interviewer sounds like he's talking from the bottom of a well. So I also provide a synopsis:
Why is Bridegwater running? First, economics. He believes we are in danger of spending himself into bankruptcy. He opines that some of our entitlement programs could be bankrupt as early as 2017 if one extrapolates current spending trends outward. He also characterizes the Wall Street problem as more of a government creation, claiming that the Feds created the junk bond market through the excesses and abuses of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. His vision of government involvement in economics is limited to acting as a safety net.
Second, relevancy. Bridgewater believes Bob Bennett, as a result of involvement in Washington DC in one form or another for around 40 years, has become hopelessly detached from everyday issues affecting Utahns. Bridegwater also notes that, despite the fact that he's only 49 years old, 80 percent of Utahns are younger than him. So he contends it's time to pass the Senatorial torch to a younger generation.
Bridgewater did not speak about his fellow challengers by name, but contends he is better suited than the others to succeed Bob Bennett because of the breadth and depth of his work experience, particularly in the private sector. He actively seeks the endorsement of the controversial Club for Growth. He opines that Barack Obama really got elected not because mainstream America wanted socialism, but because America was sick and tired of Bush and did not see John McCain as being much different. He said Bush's problem was that he was so obsessed with the Iraq War and national security that he neglected the economy.
And finally, Tim Bridgewater addressed why he suddenly broke off his campaign for Utah GOP Chair to run for the Senate. Bridgewater originally launched a campaign for Utah GOP Chair at the behest of some state legislators and Governor Gary Herbert. But as he contacted delegates, he found that many of the delegates wanted him to run for the Senate instead. So he changed his mind and launched for the Senate. This strikes me as a logical explanation, and counters Bridgewater's image of indecisiveness.
But the common thread throughout the interview was "enterpreneurial capitalism". Bridgewater is clearly a committed believer in enterpreneurial capitalism being the solution to nearly all our economic problems.
Prognosis: This was a good interview for Tim Bridgewater; he earned considerable credibility. Whether he can compete on the same level as Mike Lee and Cherilyn Eagar remains to be seen, but he seems like an electable candidate who deserves to get his message out. At least the 33 percent of respondents who picked Bridgewater in a KSL online poll think he's electable.
I hope Utah Policy will also interview James Williams in the future to make up for lack of media publicity for his campaign.