This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Re "Challenger talks Hatch's age, says senator may die in next term" (Tribune, Sept. 18):
I wish Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Scott Howell's attack on Sen. Orrin Hatch's age had been worded more politely. His email to supporters said Hatch might "die before his term is through" or become sick and have to retire.
"Look," it continued, "Orrin Hatch is not a bad guy. But he is an old guy, and he's a lifer politician. Our nation doesn't need that. And, at nearly 80 years old, he lacks the skill, knowledge and proficiency to face America's modern needs."
Still, the harshness of Howell's comments does not alter the fact that Hatch's age is a vital issue in this election.
Most of my friends and relatives are in their 70s and 80s. All experience loss of energy, occasional memory lapses, and slower cognitive ability (some deny these losses). A few people seem not to decline noticeably in physical and mental capacity with age; they are rare.
Do Utahns really want a senator who will be 84 by the end of his term?