Salon.com looks at potential Tea Party challenges to three Republican Senators – Orrin Hatch, Richard Lugar and Olympia Snowe.
The article runs down the usual information about Hatch being at the mercy of the delegates to the Utah Republican Convention and his recent embrace of Tea Party positions. But, there’s one interesting nugget that could be at the heart of the whole movement to get rid of him.
This is the same basic game that Hatch has been playing since early in the Obama administration, when it became clear that his then-Utah colleague Bob Bennett was in danger of being swallowed up in the right's revolt. He's positioned himself as a voice of unequivocal opposition to the White House, even if it's meant contradicting positions he previously staked out. Granted, Hatch's voting record has always been solidly conservative; it's why Sal Russo, one of the few Tea Party leaders whose political roots go back several decades,has said the Tea Party Express won't participate in a Hatch challenge. But the conservatives activists who make up the Tea Party don't generally have long political memories; they aren't interested in Hatch's ACU rating from the 1980s and 1990s. They just know that he's been in Washington for more than three decades and that he liked TARP.
Of the three senators targeted by the Tea Party, Salon says Snowe is the best positioned to survive because Maine is receptive to independent candidates. If Snowe fails to win the GOP nomination, she could be successful running as a write-in or independent.