Washington- (ABC4 News) – With more than 40 years of service under his belt, Senator Orrin Hatch has been a highly visible figure in the U.S. Senate, but there are parts of his everyday life in D.C. that most of us haven’t seen.
ABC4 News traveled to Washington to get a unique look at a day in the life of the senator.
Over the years we’ve grown used to seeing Senator Hatch lead a speech from the Senate floor and performing other official duties as he represents our state, but there’s a lot more to his daily life in Washington than what we see, and it starts with an early alarm.
“Normally, I get up around 5 o’clock and I try to work out every morning, because this a tough job and at my age, I want to stay as healthy as I possibly can,” said Hatch, (R) Utah.
After the workout, Hatch heads to Capitol Hill where he surrounds himself with signs of home.
His favorite NBA team, a successful Winter Games and his family are all prominently on display in his office.
“We’ve had four missionaries in the family and every one of them are exceptional human beings, in fact, all of our children are really exceptional. The grandchildren are all good too. Our sons and daughters have raised good families.”
In addition to his family, the senator says he’s proud to be an example of his faith as he goes throughout the day.
That means when it comes time to close the deal, it’s not being done at the local tavern.
“I don’t even know what beer tastes like. I don’t know what hard drinks taste like either.”
Instead, you’ll find the senator trying to sway those final votes in places like his hideaway, a small personal office not far from Senate chambers in the Capitol with a prime view of the National Mall.
He took over the spot once held by a dear friend.
“That was Ted Kennedy’s hideaway. I negotiated a lot of bills with him in that particular room. And so, when he left I was surprised that I was able to get that because it’s one of the premier hideaways in Washington.”
The senator says it’s a special place to solve problems and settle cases.
Not far from there sits another room where it happens, the Office of the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, where hatch hosts high-profile guests.
“I have a big network in this town to help me pass legislation, but I also go straight to the people and make a case with them, and most of them show great respect for me.”
Senator Hatch is third in line to the presidency, a position never held by a Utah politician.
Along with that comes the responsibility of signing passed legislation.
When we caught up with him he was attaching his signature to one of his own bills, the Music Modernization Act.
The position also comes along with a security detail watching over him daily.
“It’s not necessarily my choice, but they are going to make me have a security detail no matter what I do.”
Over his four decades in office, Senator Hatch has taken countless steps through the Senate Building and Capitol, countless rides on the Senate Subway and has made countless, and in some cases improbable friendships along the way.
He’s walked where we honor sacrifice and recognize the great leaders of this country.
But, don’t ask him for a restaurant recommendation.
“I haven’t been to a restaurant in Downtown D.C. in oh, probably 20 years.”
That’s because, above all, there is one place he says he wants to spend his free time.
“Where I spend most of my time is mainly at home here. It’s such a thrill and privilege to get home.”
Senator Hatch announced earlier this year that he would be stepping aside.
His seven-term career is now in its final weeks, and it’s something we may never see duplicated in the state of Utah.