Remember Mitt Romney? He was the Republican nominee for president in 2012, back when the GOP still favored cartoonish patricians over bullying authoritarians.
Now, reports the website utahpolicy.com, Romney is considering a run for Senate in his native Utah — that is, if Senator Orrin Hatch, who is 83, retires.
Hatch, a Republican who was elected in 1976, had previously said that Romney “would be perfect” for the seat if he decided to call it a career.
But a Hatch spokesman pushed back on Monday’s report, telling HuffPost that the senator would decide on his future plans at the end of the year, and that “as much as we love to support our local media outlets, this is the 3rd or 4th time we have seen this same report without any new sources or any new information.”
Romney remains broadly popular in Utah, and would be well-positioned to win in a reliably Republican state.
The former Massachusetts governor, who sheepishly sought Donald Trump’s endorsement for president five years ago, gave a genuinely impressive speech condemning him in early 2016. But after Trump prevailed in November, Romney was briefly considered for secretary of State, appearing in a haunting photo that seemed to sum up the Faustian bargain he made by once again consorting with the man he’d called a “phony” and “fraud.”
Needless to say, Trump passed over Romney for the job, and was probably dangling it in front of him as a form of emotional abuse.
More recently, Romney called on Trump to apologize over his response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
If Romney did end up in the Senate in 2019, it would be interesting to see if he defies his old frenemy Trump in substantial ways — or, more likely, becomes another tough-talking lawmaker whose words speak louder than his actions.