Orrin Hatch embraces the far right but will it work?
U.S. Sen. Mike Lee is hedging his bets — he won’t be endorsing Orrin Hatch in his run for a seventh term as Utah’s senior senator until after the 2012 Utah GOP convention.
Given that Lee, along with Reps. Rand Paul and Michele Bachmann, is a tea party darling, that could spell adios for Hatch when party zealots take up their brooms again.
Hatch did, after all, support Bob Bennett, who was swept out last June when Lee and Tim Bridgewater were sent along to the primary election.
But since then, Hatch has done everything he can to make himself palatable to the tea party in general and to capital-letter entities such as the Tea Party Express and the Tea Party Caucus.
“I love the tea party!” he exclaimed in an exuberant moment a few months ago. This from a guy who worked with Ted Kennedy to establish the vital Children’s Health Insurance Program.
Just last week, Hatch either was invited to or crashed a tea party convention in Washington. He got a tepid hello from some, but Lee, Paul and Bachmann took him to their political bosoms.