IF YOU CAN’T BEAT ‘EM: Mitt Romney Exploring 2018 Senate Run In Utah

This could have so many possible meanings. Is it that Mitt just isn’t ready to leave behind the world of politics? Or does he want to bring the establishment more representation in the senate to knock the knees out from under a Trump administration?

We begin with statements from The Atlantic:

Mitt Romney, the one-time presidential nominee and leading Trump critic, is exploring a run for Hatch’s Senate seat.

According to six sources familiar with the situation, Romney has spent recent weeks actively discussing a potential 2018 Senate bid with a range of high-level Republicans in both Utah and Washington, and has privately signaled a growing interest in the idea. Romney, though, has made clear he would not pursue the seat without Hatch’s blessing.

… Why would Romney, who just turned 70, consider abandoning his pleasant and perfectly Instagram-able retirement to run for office now? People close to him say there are several factors pulling him back toward public life.

The most obvious one is Donald Trump’s presidency. During the 2016 campaign, Romney was among the most high-profile—and persistent—Republican critics of Trump, and one of the few national figures in the party who refused to support him until the end. Though his anti-Trump credentials were tarnished by his post-election pursuit of the secretary of state post, sources who have discussed it with Romney say his views on Trump have not changed—and if he did enter the Senate, he would not be a reliable ally to the White House. “It would be an opportunity for Mitt to represent the Utah style of Republicanism … and present a strong challenge to the president,” said one senior Republican.

The Hill reports that there may be some challenge for Romney, and that it’s not a done deal that Hatch will step down:

Former independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin has said he may mount a 2018 challenge against either Hatch or Rep. Jason Chaffetz(R-Utah).
 
He said he will probably run for elected office again, but not necessarily this year.

“It is likely that I will seek public office again,” McMullin said in a Reddit “ask me anything” chat. “That might be in 2018 or it might be sometime down the road, perhaps very far down the road.

“It is possible that I will challenge Chaffetz or Senator Hatch, but there are a lot of factors that go into that decision. One of the primary factors is what the people of Utah want.”

So, again, it begs the question, is there a larger political agenda, here, or are there just a bunch of overly politically ambitious guys who want to play inside the beltway?

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