Sunday, May 9, 2010

You're Next, Orrin: Cherilyn Eagar Has Not Yet Endorsed Either Tim Bridgewater Or Mike Lee, May Run Against Six-Term Senator Orrin Hatch In 2012

After a tough but unsuccessful campaign for the U.S. Senate, Cherilyn Eagar is taking a well-deserved rest on Mother's Day. And if her husband's smart, he's waiting on her hand and foot today.

The only media outlet to report on Cherilyn Eagar's reaction to the elimination of both incumbent Bob Bennett and herself from the U.S. Senate race at the Utah State Republican Convention on May 8th is the Provo Daily Herald. According to the Herald, Cherilyn Eagar has yet to endorse either of the two survivors, Tim Bridgewater and Mike Lee, who will square off in the Republican primary on June 22nd. She said she hasn't had the time to think about whether she'll endorse either Lee or Bridgewater. Because Bridgewater, like Eagar, is an enterpreneur and Bridgewater, like Eagar, received an endorsement from a national immigration lobby, I suggest that Eagar might be more likely to endorse Bridgewater than Lee. Since Bridgewater outpointed Lee 57-43 percent in the third round of delegate voting at the convention, Bridgewater must now be considered the favorite to win the primary.

But what Cherilyn Eagar also said is that she's quite interested in mounting a challenge to Orrin Hatch in 2012 should he decide to run for a seventh term in the U.S. Senate, shattering Reed Smoot's record. Ironically, when Hatch ran for the first time against Frank Moss in 1976, Hatch criticized Moss's 18-year tenure in the Senate, saying that many Senators, including Moss, had lost touch with their constituents. Since Hatch has now served nearly 34 years, he is particularly vulnerable to being hoisted upon that same petard himself. Bear in mind that if Eagar decides to run for the U.S. Senate in 2012, she won't be alone; Congressman Jason Chaffetz may decide to run, as could the loser of the Bridgewater-Lee primary race.

Update: Since I first published this post, the Deseret News now reports that Orrin Hatch is absolutely unfazed by Bob Bennett's loss and intends to run for re-election in 2012. Hatch seems to characterize Bennett's loss as a fluke because he stood for election at a time when dissatisfaction with Washington is at a peak. Hatch says he has not been targeted with as much hostility as Bennett. Hatch has got two years -- to either change his mind, or make himself more electable.

Even so, I still think Orrin Hatch would be smart to decide right now that this current term will be his last term, and walk out as an honored elder statesman. Thirty-six years will be more than enough; it's time to turn the seat over to the next generation.


nacilbupera said...

Good & timely post. Not ready to call it yet, but my gut tells me one way or another Hatch goes in 2012.

Deseret Dawg said...

Orrin Hatch apparently doesn't agree. The Deseret News reports that Hatch thinks Bennett's loss was a fluke, and that Hatch intends to run in 2012.

Some people are stubborn.

arc said...

Cherilyn did what she said she would do - No back room deal.

She obviously choice someone, as an elected state delegate she voted.

I have liked Hatch as senator better than Bennett re: votes and response to ideas, suggestions, and letters.

Hatch may or may not be harder to beat than Bennett, but after May 8th, Hatch has to realize the likelihood of him loosing just got bigger than before May 8th.

David B. Goates said...

Orrin is shooting for the longevity record in the Senate. The delegates in 2012 will stop that from happening. He's also shooting for the record to be the OLDEST Senator EVER elected from Utah. Neither is a distinguished goal worth pursuing, and he would be well-advised to take a page from the Bennett lesson book. He's not indispensible either.