Friday, May 07, 2010

Grading the Candidates -- Bob Bennett

I have decided not to go through the same grading scale that was used for Mike Lee and Tim Bridgewater with Bob Bennett. The reason why is that Bob Bennett is the incumbent, and we already have a good idea of what kind of Senator he has been. The question is do we as voters in Utah want to keep Bennett (the devil we know) or do we want to go with one of the challengers.

Reasons to Keep Bennett --
1. Seniority -- Even if I hate the seniority system in Washington -- it is the system that is in place. getting rid of Sen. Bennett would mean forfeiting a certain level of power and influence for Utah in Washington.
2. Solid Moderate-Conservative -- While there are votes that Bennett has made which are unpopular with Utah's right wing base, they were (in my opinion) the right votes to cast. I believe he represents the views of most Utahns

Reasons to Ditch Bennett --
1. He has been there too long -- His biggest strength may also be a major weakness. Orrin Hatch has been in the Senate longer than I have been alive, and that length may lead, or appear to constituents to cause, a major disconnect with the constituents that these Congressional leaders are supposed to represent.
2. May be overly willing to compromise on values that his constituents hold -- Some of the things that are causing Bennett trouble are votes that appear in opposition to core conservative values.

Conclusion -- Bennett may not be great, but he has been building seniority in Washington. Unfortunately seniority is still a crucial sword in order wield power in Washington on behalf of the State of Utah. Until a congressional term limit is finally enacted, I don't believe Utah can afford to drop a senior senator -- especially for a candidate whose potential congressional career will inevitably mirror that of the senior senator that we would be removing from office.

If you (referring to delegates) are mad at Bennett because of the past couple of painful years, get over it. However. if you seriously want a different direction for Utah's Congressional delegation -- vote for the Democrat. Otherwise, you will force our state to lose a fair amount of influence in Washington without having really changed a thing.

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