Thursday, April 13, 2006

Lunch with Senator Hatch

So I had lunch with Orrin Hatch this afternoon. Well, I and about 40 other state convention delegates had lunch with Orrin Hatch this afternoon but it sounds cooler if I say it the other way.

It was interesting. When I shook his hand I was surprised at rough his skin is. It was like shaking hands with a farmer. Either he's not used to the dry air in Utah anymore or the guy just works hard. I think he just works hard.

During the question and answer part I was impressed with his compassion on the DREAM act that allows states to give in-state tuition to children of illegal immigrants, I was happy to see that he's a lot less strident than the average Utah County Conservative, I was impressed by how technology illiterate he sounded and I was impressed by how well he understood how to make things work in the Senate.

I did ask about digital copyright and the flow of information on the internet. His answer on digital copyright centered on protecting copyrights overseas. He didn't get back around to the flow of information on the internet, but I weaseled in another question about NSF funding which I think threw him off. He did say that I should contact his office if I thought they could help me land some NSF funding. Sweet!

Overall, I was very favorably impressed. The guy's not a technocrat but he seems to be a fine senator. Most of all, I am glad that he's not a far right wing conservative. He seems moderate, compassionate and conservative.

Pete Ashdown's giving a talk tonight at BYU. I need to go to that and get an impression of Pete's personality and where he stands on all kinds of issues.

My short political career so far has taught me that it's important to meet the candidates and get to know their personalities.


Neha Rungta said...

NSF funding! Awesome. Just remember the people who were nice to you when you didn't have any funding and didn't know Senator Hatch. Hopefully the rough hands comment does not put a dent your dreams of the $$

Matthew Whiting said...

I'm a state delegate who was also at the lunch. I was also impressed with how moderate he came off to me. I was especially heartened by his introductory comments which were almost completely on energy, my number one topic; although I was disappointed that no one asked any question about energy. Thank you for your question on NSF funding. I agree we need to be expanding funding for NSF not cutting it. This may be one of the few areas that the Fed can have an influence over demand side energy policy.