Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch has been in office for 34 years and has a record of cooperating with Democrats – he voted for the bank bailout of 2008. Obviously that makes him vulnerable to a challenge from tea-party forces as he runs for re-election next year. So Hatch is doing all he can to connect with the grass roots activists, Politico reports
He’s holding one-on-one meetings with tea party leaders, making phone calls to key players ahead of controversial Senate votes, and indulging in hours-long town hall meetings and picnics with hundreds of tea partyers.
Hatch is even crowing about his new status as the top Republican on the Finance Committee, saying he’ll be in a position to reverse President Barack Obama’s healthcare and economic policies.
“I may not look tough, I may not act tough, but deep down there is nobody tougher than I am,” Hatch tells Politico. “And there is nobody who works any harder than I do.”
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