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Report: Mitt Romney Is Exploring Another Run

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who now resides in Utah, is being urged to replace Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) in the 2018 election. (Reuters photo)

You haven't seen nor heard the last of Mitt Romney.

The former governor of Massachusetts and two-time Republican presidential candidate is looking at making another political run. No, he's not looking to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020; rather, he's looking for a job a little closer to home.

According to The Atlantic:

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.

That blessing came this week in the form of an interview with National Journal in which Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said:

If I could get a really outstanding person to run for my position, I might very well consider [retiring]. Mitt Romney would be perfect.

Indeed, in Utah—where membership in the Republican Party is almost secondary to one's status within the LDS Church to gauge likely political success—the former governor might very well be perfect. And, no, he wouldn't have to take on a "carpetbagger" label in order to run: he's already a resident of the state, owning a home outside Salt Lake City.

One of the problems for Republicans with the intense focus on Senate proceedings in the early days of the Trump administration so far has been that it has exposed just how elderly their senior leadership has become.

Frailty is seen as weakness, which is to politics as blood in the water is to a pack of sharks.

Among the seemingly most frail is the GOP's most senior senator, Hatch, who is the current Senate President pro tempore. During key votes earlier this week over the confirmation of soon-to-be Associate Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, he struggled to keep up with basic parliamentary procedure, prompting his colleagues to frequently take over the role of presiding officer in his stead.

Even before the Gorsuch nomination dominated the Senate's activities, there was word that Hatch—who faces re-election in 2018—would face a primary challenge from former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. Now that the governor is likely to be the next ambassador to Russia, however, there is the danger that a "young upstart" might attempt to primary Hatch.

That opened the door for Romney, a favorite son of a favorite son in the heavily Mormon state.

And while the governor is hardly a spring chicken himself, he's always exuded a sense of vitality that made him seem at least half a generation younger than his actual age. And with a personal wealth that allows himself to immediately start out with a large campaign war chest, it's easy to see why GOP bigwigs desperately want him to take the job.

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