Thursday, January 14, 2010

Utah Policy Blog Interviews Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Tim Bridgewater, Who Decries Excessive Spending And Promotes Enterpreneurial Capitalism

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.


Real Representation said...

It seems to me that the reason that Tim Bridgewater is not taken seriously is his constant jumping from one race to the other. He is the perrenial candidate who is constantly running for something. That tells me that he is more concerned about Tim Bridgewater than those he represents.

Don't get me wrong, it seems that Tim is a good candidate, and if we didn't have Eagar or Lee (Eagar is whom I lean toward) I might see him as the candidate of choice. It's kind of like choosing Huckabee over Romney . . . in Utah. Just not gonna happen.

Deseret Dawg said...

I lean slightly toward Eagar myself, not only because I like her philosophy, but because she got in the race EARLY.

But I also want to see a good race, and I'm glad that Bridgewater is finally reaching out to a wider public audience.

Anonymous said...

As good of a man as Tim is, Mike Lee gets my vote!

Anonymous said...

This guy is what we need. He seems to know what he's talking about without coming across as too polished. From what I've read Lee also seems like a good guy. I've never heard of Eager. I'm glad we have some good people to choose from. Bennett needs to go.

The Writer said...

I'm still not sure why Lee is getting such traction. He is the epitome of what people say about the democrats--he thinks he knows better than "you" how to run government, knows to read and interpret the constitution better than others. He's young (38), but that just means he'll be a career politician, like Bob. He's accomplished nothing in the private sector and has spent his whole life working for government and other politicians. What does he know about the needs of business, or the common man? And why is he any smarter than me when it comes to the Constitution?

I like that he says he'll stick to the Constitution, but you don't have to be Supreme Court clerk to do that--I can do that, Eagar can do that, Williams and Bridgewater and each person who reads the constitution can do that.

No, Lee is getting a lot of hype, but he doesn't have what it takes, yet.

RE: perennial candidate. From my perspective, I've not seen Bridgewater "jump from race to race," but rather, I've seen mean spirited insider politics, like the ilk of check cashing industry lobbyist John Swallow, kill his campaigns in two primary races. He wins with voters who know him best (at convention), and loses with those who know him least (the primary). Each time, it has been after dishonest smear campaigns were released by his opponent.

I think Lee a good candidate, and if I get the chance (come primary), I may just give him my vote. But as yet, he hasn't done anything to win my attention more than the others. All he's done is get the attention of a lot of hard core far right conservatives (9/12ers, tea partiers and the iCaucus group), which isn't exactly a ringing endorsement.

I'd like someone more pragmatic, reasoned, and with a better knowledge of what makes the economy tick. Lee has not shown that yet.