Sen. Orrin Hatch passes on Australian ambassadorship, longs for buffets and Costco visits

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Retiring seven-term Sen. Orrin Hatch was honored at the Utah Republican Nominating Convention Saturday, April 21, 2018 at the Maverik Center.

Washington • Sen. Orrin Hatch won’t be going Down Under.

The Trump administration reportedly considered tapping the Utah Republican as America’s ambassador to Australia but Hatch’s office says there were no serious discussions and Hatch plans to retire from his 42-year Senate career in style.

Senator Hatch has not had any conversations about an ambassadorship, but looks forward to a well-deserved retirement filled with early bird specials at all-you-can-eat buffets and long walks through Costco,” spokesman Matt Whitlock said Monday.

The Australian Financial Review reported Monday that Hatch was under consideration for the post after President Donald Trump had diverted its original nominee, Navy Admiral Harry Harris, to be the ambassador to South Korea.

Hatch, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, who is not running for re-election and will end his Senate career in January, was not the only one the Trump administration was looking at as a possibly ambassador to Australia.

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker of Tennessee told The Tennessean newspaper that he had discussed the ambassadorship but passed.

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