Tags: Barbara Comstock | Virginia | Orrin Hatch | Ted Kennedy

Rep. Comstock Gives Nod To Orrin Hatch for Turn To The Right

By    |   Tuesday, 07 April 2015 04:59 PM

Rep. Barbara Comstock, R-Va., raised as a lifelong Democrat, was working in the office of Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., when the idea occurred to her that she needed to veer sharply to the right.

That turn took her to Congress, replacing Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., and to this day, she credits U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, for her sudden change of heart.

"I came here and was an intern for Ted Kennedy, and actually — Orrin Hatch always enjoys this story — as I went to the hearings, whether it was the health hearings or judiciary, which they both were on at that time, I realized that I agreed more with the ideas that Orrin Hatch was talking about how we deal with healthcare, judicial issues," she told The New York Times.

A Republican was born. In fact, a strongly right-leaning Republican, blasted by her opponent in their election battle as a "hyper-partisan operative" whose record on gun control is "scary."

Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust, a Democrat, said that Comstock stands with "extreme Tea Party Republicans" The Washington Post notes.

It didn't frighten Virginia voters, who elected Comstock, a former state delegate, by 125,864 votes to 89,896, a 57-40 percent victory, NBC News reported.

Comstock, 55, a mother and grandmother, told the Times she was not planning to seek the retiring Wolf's seat, but he asked her to run.

"I was just really concerned about the direction of the country. The economy in 2008 was awful. My children were in college or out of school at that point, and I grew really concerned about the world they're going to be living in."

She was known while a Virginia delegate to pass legislation on high-tech issues, and told the Times, "I do think a lot of the technology areas are where we're going to break through a lot of the sort of the right-left divide."

She believes that technological advances also have the potential to work across the board, telling the Times: "Part of getting the economy on track is having technology work better so that things, whether it's health care or access for medicine, are working better and costing less.

"When I was in college, I had to make long-distance phone calls to my husband, who was in Texas, and we spent $200 a month on phone bills. Now, I have a device that costs me less than that, that has the power of my computer and search tools and unlimited phone calls, and why shouldn't your government work more like that?"

Today, she's in Washington, chatting with GOP power brokers, for example, tweeting a photo, "Breakfast with Speaker @ newtgingrich yesterday at Mclean Family Restaurant."

She favors having more women in government, saying: "Right now I'm the only woman representing Virginia. I'm the first woman in this seat. For the first time we're over a hundred women in Congress, but there's only been a little over 300 ever in Congress. I think since there's 10,000-something members of all time. I didn't realize the number was that small."

However, when it comes to the most prominent woman on the political scene right now, former secretary of state and likely presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Comstock waffled to the Times, saying only: "It's always good to stay in my lane on that one, and I don't know what's going to happen on the other side. It's a lifetime in an election between now and next year, so it's always wide open."

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Rep. Barbara Comstock, R-Va., raised as a lifelong Democrat, was working in the office of Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., when the idea occurred to her that she needed to veer sharply to the right.
Barbara Comstock, Virginia, Orrin Hatch, Ted Kennedy
Tuesday, 07 April 2015 04:59 PM
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