The Corner

A Chat with Hatch

With NR ace Bob Costa, I sat down with Orrin Hatch, who covered the waterfront with us: Romney, Akin, the Senate of today, the Senate of tomorrow, the Senate of yesterday. He told us an excellent, dramatic tale involving Bob Byrd, Russell Long, Fritz Hollings, and other such figures. Does terrific imitations of Byrd and Hollings, for two. (Hollings is easy to do. Byrd, a little subtler.)

In 2000, Hatch made a run for the Republican presidential nomination, short-lived. On a plane ride, he said to me, “One of the reasons I’m doing this is to make it easier for the next guy” — the next Mormon candidate. At the time, a poll showed that 19 percent of people would not vote for a Mormon, under any circumstances. Hatch said, “Well, that leaves the other 81 percent to compete for.”

And here we are, with a Mormon presidential nominee (and a Mormon Senate majority leader, I believe). Hatch talked a little about Mormon-evangelical relations (improving). He talked about what it is to be a bishop, as he has been, and Romney has been. You’re responsible for a lot of people. You hear about a lot of problems — the whole, awful human gamut. You do what you can to solve those problems.

Romney has spent a fair amount of his life doing good. We should hear more about it, and appreciate it more. Romney can’t talk about it, of course — that would be bragging. It would kind of cancel out the good. But others can be less reticent. Whether he becomes president or not, Romney has already performed impressively, in a variety of life’s departments. That attracts a lot of envy, of course.

P.S. They used to say of Quakers — not in a complimentary way, I think — that they did good and they did well. Doing good and doing well is fine with me, just fine.

P.P.S. If the race is close, or Romney is ahead, the Obama campaign will pull out all the stops — and the ugliest of those stops, I think, will be religion, race (always race), and wealth.

P.P.P.S. One of Hatch’s staffers is a lovely woman named Antonia Ferrier. Any relation to Kathleen, one of the greatest singers who ever lived? There is a dispute in her family. Some say yes, some say no. Antonia thinks no. Most people would be tempted to claim yes, I think, regardless.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More