Mitt Romney, who was last seen groveling to President Trump over frog legs, has spent weeks exploring the possibility of a Senate run from Utah, The Atlantic reports. But the former Massachusetts governor would only take a crack at the seat if Senator Orrin Hatch, the 83-year-old 40-year veteran of the Senate, retired and gave Romney his support.
Hatch has already suggested he might do as much. In an interview with National Journal published last week, the second-longest-serving Senator said he would step aside if he could get “a really outstanding person” to run for the seat. “Mitt Romney would be perfect,” he added.
Romney, who was surprised that Hatch name-checked him, has been laying the groundwork for his run in both Utah and Washington, The Atlantic’s McKay Coppins writes. That includes a phone call with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who “encouraged Romney to run if Hatch’s seat opens up, and sought to assure the former GOP presidential nominee that he would have more influence in the chamber than a typical junior senator.”
Ever since his time as governor ended, Romney has had his eye on the White House. Even after his failed 2012 bid for the presidency, he continued to consider running for a third time. And even after he decided not to run, it appeared he might try to finagle his way into the nomination.
Turns out, the unavailability of the White House is what might finally get him to Washington. Because if Romney does run for the Senate, he’d be doing so with the explicit intention of being a thorn in the pale, fleshy side of President Trump, a man he once called a “phony” and a “fraud” who gets by on “absurd third-grade theatrics.”