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For week ended June 27, 1999 Posted 26 Jun 1999

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Hatch plans get national attention (Hatch Preparing for 2000 Run)

Summarized by Kent Larsen

Hatch plans get national attention (Hatch Preparing for 2000 Run)
Associated Press 24Jun99 L1
By David Espo: Associated Press Writer

The entrance of Utah Senator Orrin Hatch into the race for the GOP nomination for President of the US has attracted national attention, with coverage in most major newspapers around the US, many based on this AP story.

To date, Hatch has not made any campaign trips or raised money and is only now hiring aids to work in crucial early-primary-state New Hampshire. In contrast, the front-runner, George W. Bush, has raised over $13 million and has hired a staff of 60. Another dark horse, Rep. John Kaisch, R-Ohio, has made nine trips to Iowa, another state crucial for its early caucuses.

But Hatch's top adviser Sal Russo says that the voters don't yet know what they want yet, "Realistically, voters are totally unfocused." Russo says that Hatch has unique qualities, he "combines that Ronald Reagan vision of a shining city on the hill, economic growth and opportunity with the experience in the Senate of crossing party lines and ideological spectrums to get things done."

And Hatch himself believes that it could happen, "My life has been filled with impossibilities," he told reporters this week. "My life has been filled with miracles. I believe in miracles. It would probably take that to elect me."

Hatch's office issued its first campaign press release on Wednessday, announcing that Ken Egan and Patrick Hynes had been hired to work in New Hampshire. His strategy seems to be to put himself into a position to capitalize if Bush stumbles. And Hatch is likely to use Mormon connections to gain support throughout the US. One anonymous source claims that he hopes to attract a network of Mormon donors to help his early campaign.

But Lyn Nofziger, long-time Republican political operative and advisor to Pat Buchanan, believes that Hatch has a different idea in mind. "I think Orrin Hatch is a tool of George W. Bush. He picks up the Mormon conservative vote that otherwise would go to Pat and Gary Bauer. The votes will be split, allowing Bush to go into some of these states and win without much of a fight."

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information