First came the Searchlight Brawler, Harry Reid. Now Orrin Hatch joins the ranks of the Senate tough guys . . .
Asked whether—like fellow Utah Senator Robert Bennett—he might be defeated in his bid to obtain the Republican nomination, Hatch bragged "I'm a lot tougher" than Bennett, and considerably more conservative to boot.
Hatch's macho moment came this morning during an interview with Chuck Todd on MSNBC's Daily Rundown. When Todd asked whether he intended to seek re-election in 2012, Hatch, to his credit, didn't mince words, saying he was definitely running, subject only to continuing to feel physically strong. But when Todd asked if Hatch might meet the same fate as Bennett at the Utah GOP nominating convention, Orrin flexed his muscles.
Watch Hatch pump some rhetorical iron.
ORRIN HATCH: As long as I am healthy and strong and can work as hard as I always do, yeah, I'm going to run again and I intend to win.
CHUCK TODD: And why are you conservative enough to survive a convention challenge?
HATCH: Well, I would think my 90% American Conservative Union record over 44 years --
TODD: Well, that's what Bob Bennett thought.
HATCH: Well, we're different. I think Bob Bennett should have been re-elected. He's a fine man. On the other hand, I'm not Bob. I'm a lot tougher. And I'm actually more conservative, by quite a measure.
FWIW: As for Hatch's claim of being more conservative than Bennett by "quite a measure," Hatch's lifetime ACU rating of 89.15 is a lot closer to Bennett's 83.63 than it is to Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz's perfect 100.