Thursday, May 24, 2012
Governor Palin has endorsed Senator Orrin Hatch in the Utah Senate Primary. Today, National Review Online published an article by Robert Costa about the Governor's support of the Senator and their mutual respect. Here are some snippets:
The two people least surprised by Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Senator Orrin Hatch this week are Palin and Hatch. In the Twitter and Facebook era, they became political allies the old-fashioned way: through handwritten letters and personal phone calls.
It’s an unlikely, politics-fueled friendship that’s fit for a Robert Caro book. Hatch, a soft-spoken grandfather, is one of Palin’s top outside mentors. He encourages her and cheers her. They share family stories, they discuss history, and they talk about legislation.
“It’s true,” Palin tells National Review Online. “He’s a warrior.” She respects his record, especially his work on the Senate Judiciary Committee, where Hatch has frequently been an influential figure during contentious Supreme Court confirmations.
Even though she is 30 years his junior, Palin has grown to appreciate Hatch’s historical perspective on Congress, the presidency, and the conservative movement. “I respect public servants who benefited from and grew under the tutelage of Ronald Reagan,” she says.
The warmth is mutual. “She and her husband are the handsomest couple that I’ve ever met,” Hatch says, smiling, as we chat in his spacious Senate office. “They’re both top-flight people and I got angry with the mainstream media constantly running her down.”
Hatch openly acknowledges that he has long and doggedly sought Palin’s support.
Palin was another tea-party leader who gave Hatch an opportunity to review his Senate experiences, from the Clarence Thomas hearing to his near-victorious battle to pass a balanced-budget amendment. Hatch also says he learned from her. “She is the prime reason the conservative base really played a factor in the last presidential election,” he says. He keeps tabs on her speeches and appearances.
“She’s sharp as a tack,” Hatch says. “I like the way she defends herself and our conservative values.” When she was attacked in the press, he’d defend her in conversations with reporters, during talk-radio interviews, and on cable television.
When Palin went on Fox News on Tuesday night to signal her support for Hatch ahead of the primary, it was a pleasant surprise to the senator, but not entirely unexpected.
Early Wednesday, the pair spoke on the phone. “I told her that I love her and her husband,” Hatch chuckles. “She said, ‘We love you, too,’ and that she’s here to help.”
“Look, it was a nice conversation,” Hatch says. “I can’t claim that I’ve been a major influence for Sarah, other than what she may have observed from all the fights around here. But I must say, I’ve watched her very carefully and I think the world of her.”
They may be from different generations, but it’s a fighter’s instinct that, in Hatch’s telling, binds them. “She’s had more than her fair share of barbs but she keeps coming back,” Hatch says. “I never give up, either.”
Read the full article here.