DC swamp about to give Utah the Elizabeth Dole treatment?

Let’s travel back to 2002, my friends. A long-serving GOP senator was set to retire.  The state party appears to cede control to the national GOPe in lining up a replacement. A Republican with minimal current ties to the state is parachuted in to “hold” the seat.

Yes, I’m talking about Elizabeth Dole.  I can already hear the boo-birds hollering: “But, but, but, …. She’s FROM Salisbury!!!!”

True. But she left the state and didn’t look back in the early 60s.  According to her memoir, she graduated from Duke and Harvard as a Democrat and headed to DC to work in the Johnson administration.  

In her memoir, she admitted that the only reason she became a Republican was so her beau — and future hubby — Bob Dole, then a sitting congressman, would not be embarrassed.

Bob and Liddy lived and STILL DO LIVE in the Watergate hotel in DC.  In fact, I lived down the street from the Watergate in the late 80s and early 90s while at GW.  I used to bump into Mrs. Dole in the Safeway at the Watergate complex regularly.

Karl Rove & co. moved her back to NC and she set up shop in her mother’s house in Salisbury.  She ended up heading the National Republican Senatorial Committee – shades of Thom Tillis — and presided over the loss of a GOP majority.

In 2008, the GOPe “smart guys” stumbled and bumbled through a reelection campaign that gave us six years of Kay Hagan in the seat Jesse Helms had locked down for 30 years.

The scenario appears to be replaying itself in Utah.  Republican Orrin Hatch, in DC for what feels like forever, is stepping down.  All indications are that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney — at the urging of The Swamp — will take up residence in his Utah ski cabin and seek to replace Hatch.  That vacation home, and a religious faith shared by a lot of Utahns, are about all that tie Romney to The Beehive State.  

Breitbart’s Joel Pollak made an interesting point about the Romney-Utah affair.  Why isn’t Romney running in Michigan –where he still has a lot of family and his dad was governor — or Massachusetts — where HE was governor?  Michigan’s Debbie Stabenow has really low approval ratings and no real top-tier opponent.  Knocking her off would give Senate Republicans and their majority some breathing room.  It would also trade a reliable liberal voting record for a relatively conservative one.

Utah IS going Republican.  Romney winning that seat does little real good for GOP fortunes in DC.

Pollak sees Romney’s Utah move as a gambit to bolster the intra-party opposition to Trump.  Arizona’s Flake and McCain, and Tennessee’s Corker are all on their way out.  Ben Sasse of Nebraska is still there, though.


7 comments for “DC swamp about to give Utah the Elizabeth Dole treatment?

  1. Tyler Dunn
    January 6, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    Would make sense for him to run elsewhere, but Utah is the path of least resistance to giving him what he seeks. A seat at the table.

  2. Rachel
    January 6, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    The everlasting curse of RINO Republicanism. It’s worse than an incurable STD!

  3. GUWonder
    January 6, 2018 at 7:46 pm

    Orrin Hatch is a good example of why we need term limits. He went to DC as a staunch conservative Reaganite and stayed that way his first few terms. but the longer he was inside the beltway swamp the more he went native there and turned into a major RINO. He had a vigorous primary from a conservative state legislator six years ago, but faked out the electorate by saying he realized he had drifted off course and for a year or two out from the election started voting much more conservative. Once the primary was over, he went back to being a liberal Republican again. It is good that he is going, but Romney would vote just as liberal as Hatch.

    Pushing Romney probably has more to do with McConnell than it does Trump. It is part of McConnell’s drive to “crush them (conservatives) everywhere”, but Rove is likely in the mix, too.

    We can only hope that Utah conservatives will put up someone who will vote like Senator Mike Lee to primary the establishment carpetbagger Romney.

    • Ellene Busby
      January 7, 2018 at 9:53 am

      Wouldn’t it be delicious if Romney lost the primary?

      • Toxhandler
        January 7, 2018 at 9:04 pm

        Well, that pretty much depends on the intelligence of Utahan Republicans. As they are majority Mormon, it’s hard to say what will motivate them. Romney may not be a RINO to them as we define the term. The LDS church is not necessarily in step with non-Mormon conservatives on amnesty and immigration issues, for example.

  4. hair-on-fire
    January 7, 2018 at 10:12 am

    I am convinced that Republicans have a YUUUGE opportunity to dislodge many more Dems in Nov 2018, as we did in 2010 and 2014. This will be an election where the Dems are expecting to sweep many races purely based on traditional mid-term election history. But Trump won unexpectedly by promising many things of interest to everyday American middle-class working folks. And the Dems have intentionally done nothing but resist for an entire year, and probably for two years by next November. Dems have not led, not followed and surely have not gotten the h3ll out of the way.

    If the Repubs would run true conservatives instead of RINOs, this coming election could put us in a position to implement true entitlement reform (i.e. serious cuts) and closure of many of the unconstitutional FedGov departments, agencies, offices and bureaus- those which are unsupported by a plain reading of Article 1 Section 8.

    So, Mitt is the least of our worries. If we are not united in achieving real legislative goals between now and November, we could lose the best opportunity we’ve ever had to put resisting, divisive, out-of-touch Dems out of power for a generation. They deserve it! They’ve earned it!

  5. Firecat
    January 7, 2018 at 10:18 am

    Has anyone considered House Representative Mia Love?

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