J. Scott Applewhite, File, Associated Press
In this Dec. 16, 2011, file photo, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, speaks to reporters as Republican Senators emerge from a closed-door negotiation on the payroll tax cut extension and other measures, at the Capitol in Washington.

Sen. Orrin Hatch would have us believe the opportunity Utahns have to defeat Obamacare and other socialist programs is an either/or proposition: either we re-elect him so he can work with Mitt Romney as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, or we will lose all opportunity for conservative reform. That simply is not true.

If Utahns choose to elect a dynamic new leader instead of Hatch, a very conservative senator, Mike Crapo of Idaho, will chair the Senate Finance Committee. Romney will work with Crapo to make the exact same changes he would make with Hatch. In fact, Crapo did not vote for TARP or the Bush Stimulus — acts of leadership many Utahns wish Hatch had taken, as well. In the bigger picture, Hatch has framed his entire campaign around his potential chairmanship — offering delegates almost no justification for his re-election based on issues or accomplishments.

Leadership is a character trait. Senate seniority is a default circumstance. At this critical crossroads where Americans must choose between continued socialism or constitutional reform, we need leadership, not seniority.

Lauren Curtis