If you thought his failed 2012 presidential bid was the last you would hear from Mitt Romney, prepare for some disappointment. Despite failing to get elected to the nation’s highest office in 2008 and 2012, Romney has reemerged on the American political scene. In fact, Romney was one of the most vocal Republican critics of eventual winner Donald Trump during the 2016 election.
Despite this, there was speculation that Romney might have been in line for a cabinet position in the Trump administration. When Trump and Romney were spotted meeting over dinner one night, many were speculating it was because Trump was getting ready to choose Romney for Secretary of State.
When Romney was passed over for Trump’s cabinet, it looked like he was officially off the scene. However, new reports are circulating that Romney has some big plans to make another run for office.
From The Atlantic:
Republican leaders and high-powered donors in Utah are waging a quiet but concerted campaign to convince 83-year-old incumbent Senator Orrin Hatch not to seek reelection next year—and now, they may have found a successor. 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 does not want to make the move without the support of Hatch, which he appears likely to receive:
Hatch, who has served in the Senate for more than four decades, seemed to signal a willingness to step aside during an interview last week with National Journal’s Alex Rogers. “If I could get a really outstanding person to run for my position, I might very well consider [retiring],” Hatch said, adding, “Mitt Romney would be perfect.”
Despite Romney’s opposition to Trump, he is likely to easily win election in Utah. Although Utah is a deep red state, many conservatives there were lukewarm on Trump’s candidacy. Romney, meanwhile, enjoys a huge base of support in the state, making it almost inevitable that he would win.
While at this point Hatch and Romney are trying to downplay the speculation, their public acknowledgment of the possibility seems to indicate Romney is seriously considering a run. If Hatch does retire, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Romney jump into the fray.
[Note: This post was written by Michael Lee. Follow him on Twitter @UAMichaelLee]