When interviewed by Jake Gibson of Fox News on May 10th, Chaffetz said, "It's a possibility, I'm not taking anything off the table...This anti-incumbent sentiment is a tsunami that isn't going away... I respect everything Senator Hatch has done, but the question is whether 36 years in the U.S. Senate might be enough. Orrin will be 78 in 2012." Chaffetz might not be alone, though; Cherilyn Eagar is talking about launching her own bid.
This same story was also posted on The Hill, and it attracted this interesting comment:
Puente on 05/11/2010 at 13:40
Chaffetz, like all other tea bagger republicans, is a backstabbing jackass. The fact that he's already entertaining his options in 2012 (he posted a Salt Lake Tribune article about his prospects against Hatch in 2012 on his Facebook page) is testament to how little he cares about being a representative and how obsessed he is with acquiring more and more power for the sake of having that power. The guy is a megalomaniacal, narcissistic douche bag.
O.K., who do we know named "Puente"? When I look at the list of candidates for the 3rd District, I find that an individual named Joseph Puente is running against Chaffetz as an independent. Note that I cannot verify whether or not Joseph Puente actually wrote the comment. But Puente has a long-standing political feud with Chaffetz, and he's posted derogatory comments about Chaffetz to The Hill in the past. In the Dirty Laundry page of his website, Puente also admits to having been diagnosed with clinical depression while he was serving our country in the U.S. Navy, contemplated suicide three times over a 15 month period, and is functional only with the aid of antidepressants. So it's quite possible that if Puente posted the comment, he did so while off his meds.
As for Hatch, he doesn't seem too worried about a Chaffetz challenge. "He has the right to if he wants to," Hatch said of a potential Chaffetz bid. "He won't be the first person to challenge me." Hatch then added, "I'm one of the hardest workers you'll ever find...And I intend to run again, if feel healthy enough to do it. If I can do the same work I'm doing now, [Utah Republicans] are going to want me. They're going to need me, and most people know that."
"They're going to need me"??? Isn't that what Bob Bennett kept saying?
The issue is NOT personal character. Both Bob Bennett and Orrin Hatch are classy gentlemen who exhibit no signs of being power-hungry. But they're essentially clueless as to what's going on. Incumbency has become a major issue -- particularly long-term incumbency. Those who have been there the longest are perceived as part of the problem merely because they've been there the longest. The same problem exists on the other side of the aisle as well; how do you think a lesbian gender studies instructor named Claudia Wright forced a responsible, moderate blue-dog incumbent named Jim Matheson into a Democratic primary? That wouldn't have happened in 2008, but it happened this year. And it may happen to Orrin Hatch in 2012.
By the way, Orrin Hatch does not intend to take sides in the upcoming June 22nd primary battle between Tim Bridgewater and Mike Lee. Hatch told MSNBC that he thinks either one of them would be a good senator and he will go by what the population says.