You gotta love the rumor mill. Earlier this week, a story about Mitt Romney running for Senate in 2018 made the rounds, even hitting national outlets. The story came from “inside sources” while Mitt himself will neither confirm nor deny. Here’s the funny thing: It’s not a new rumor and it’s not exactly “breaking news.”
In April, The Atlantic published on a piece on Mitt Romney running for the Senate and said: “Ever since Romney’s 2012 defeat, journalists and pundits have made a parlor game of speculating about his political future, and loyalists in his orbit have long yearned for him to re-enter the fray.”
In June, former Vice President Joe Biden spoke at Romney’s E2 Summit, saying Romney was a man of integrity and adding, “By the way, you should run for Senate.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has publicly said he has spoken to Romney about a run - more than five months ago and of course Sen. Orrin Hatch himself has plugged Romney as someone he might be willing to step aside for.
If Romney does run, he will likely clear the deck of all other potential opponents except maybe the alt-right candidate or candidates. Even though some Utahns have “Romney-fatigue,” and others who are Trump supporters resent Romney’s strong words against candidate Trump, Mitt Romney continues to enjoy wide support from Utahns.
Unlike Hatch in 2012, Romney won’t even need to stack the caucuses. In fact, he doesn’t need to go through the caucus/convention system and why would he? That small vocal faction contains probably the only Utahns who would boo a Mitt Romney.
It is not unheard of for governors to become senators, or in the case of one Appalachian-trail-hiking governor, a representative. The question, then, is does he want to become the junior senator from a relatively small state? We shall see soon enough.
So while some “inside sources” believe Romney will run, other “inside sources” seem to be quite certain Romney will not run. One of them will be right.
Holly Richardson has popped some popcorn and is just waiting for the 2018 races to start.