Utah and America, get ready for Senator Mitt Romney. With the announcement of Orrin Hatch’s retirement, the former Massachusetts governor and GOP presidential nominee is almost certain to run. If he runs, he’s almost certain to win.
— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) January 2, 2018
President Trump and Steve Bannon have both met with Hatch urging him to stay despite being 83-years-old and far from a conservative favorite. Compared to Romney, Trump and Bannon would rather keep Hatch in place.
The Senator has been a supporter of the President’s agenda. After four decades in the Senate, Hatch finally called it quits.
No word from the Romney camp, but expect an announcement soon.
Orrin Hatch is a moderate. The 82-year-old Senator has made a career in the ideological middle, starting well before the Establishment made moves to push to the left. He’s not the kind of guy Breitbart’s Steve Bannon would normally support, but the alternative appears to be Mitt Romney. In that scenario, Bannon would rather see Hatch stay on than have another Trump opponent in the Senate.
Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, is extremely popular in Utah. He would be almost impossible for Bannon to beat in the primary with anyone short of Karl Malone. Given the choice between a moderate who has been relatively supportive of President Trump or a moderate who has openly opposed Trump, Bannon will go with the former.
In the Christmas Day addition of the Salt Lake Tribune, Sen. Orrin Hatch was recognized as Utahn of the Year. While it appears to be complimentary, the honor was actually the exact opposite. As explained in an editorial by the paper, the award goes to “the Utahn who, over the past 12 months, has done the most. Has made the most news. Has had the biggest impact. For good or ill.”
In Hatch’s case, it was for ill, mainly due to his lies about making his current term in office his last and his “utter lack of integrity that rises from his unquenchable thirst for power.”