Prediction: Orrin Hatch Will Run Again in 2018

Senator Orin Hatch (R-UT) speaks at the 2012 GOP Caucus held at a convention center in Sandy Utah, April 21st, 2012. Copyright © 2014 Jeff McGrath. All photos are Copyright protected. Use of images is prohibited without written consent of the Copyright owner.
Senator Orin Hatch (R-UT) speaks at the 2012 GOP Caucus held at a convention center in Sandy Utah, April 21st, 2012.
Copyright © 2014 Jeff McGrath. All photos are Copyright protected. Use of images is prohibited without written consent of the Copyright owner.

A long time ago, a younger Orrin Hatch made this quip about three-term senator Frank Moss. “What do you call a senator who’s served for three terms? You call him home.” Seven terms later, after more than one promise that he would not run again, he’s leaving the door open. Let me tell ya something, when that Tough Old Bird leaves a door open, he walks through it.

Maybe it was a promise he intended to keep in 2012. The same as the promises he’s made in previous terms when he said it’d be his last. And yet he’s still there. And it sounds like he plans to be there until 2024. Now in 2024, that’ll make 48 years as senator. And you know what? At that point, he’ll only be 30 months away from breaking Robert Byrd‘s record of the longest-serving senator in US history. After 48 years, he’d only be the third-longest serving senator of all time. Byrd and Daniel Inoye (just shy of 50 years) both died in office. Our Tough Old Bird can outlive both of them, can’t he?

As of this moment, he’s the second-most senior member of the Senate, behind only Patrick Leahy, who has a two-year head-start. Now let’s say Leahy retires at the end of his term in 2016, and Hatch retired at the end of his term in 2018. They would be tied for 5th place of longest-serving senators of all time. (Strom Thurmond and Ted Kennedy sit at 3rd and 4th.) ((Can we please stop saying they “serve” as senators?))

But if Leahy runs again in 2016 (and he’d only be 76 so why not?), do you think Hatch will let that stand? No. Sen. Hatch knows he has the machine in place to beat whoever whenever, so even the majority want him out, he’s entrenched. He will only leave office when he decides.

Now let me tell ya something, he’s running again in 2018 for one last final term. And THIS TIME he will mean it.

And when I think about that, this is what my brain does.


 

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