TIME FOR ROMNEY REDUX
Ex-governor could help Trump in Senate
Donald Trump needs a Mitt Romney.
Mitt Romney needs a comeback.
The solution is clear: Mitt runs for a U.S. Senate seat in Utah, giving him some much-needed redemption and Trump a much-needed grown-up in Congress.
The table is already set for the failed 2012 presidential nominee to re-enter the political arena and launch a 2018 race in Utah. U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch is signaling he’ll give up his seat for Romney, and the former Massachusetts governor is living in Utah.
Romney has said the “door is open” to a possible Senate race, and when Mitt leaves the door open, we here in Massachusetts know what that means: he’s running.
Mitt’s done it before — in reverse. He moved from Utah to Belmont to run for governor in 2002, and within two years was off on an ultimately failed quest for the White House.
Romney then moved to sunny California — it’s hard to keep track of all his home states — before heading back to Utah, where he knew the 82-year-old Hatch was serving his final term. Hatch has since hedged, but seems to be prodding Romney to run for his seat.
For Trump, Romney’s return to Washington couldn’t come soon enough. Who would Trump rather have leading the health care fight in Congress — Romney or Paul Ryan? The House Speaker already botched the Obamacare replacement bill, and it’s questionable whether Trump can get anything through Congress in the next four years.
Enter Mitt. He actually passed a landmark health care reform bill in Massachusetts and would have been a very good governor here if he hadn’t bolted the state two years into his first term.
Romney, who gets along with both moderates and conservatives like Hatch, could be a critical ally for Trump in Washington. The former Bay State governor has good business sense and his personable style would be a muchneeded break from the irascible president.
For Romney, winning a Senate seat would help ease the sting of his two presidential defeats and his failed 1994 Senate race against then-U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.
Mitt needs a win and an image rehab. He was badly tarnished in 2012, with Democrats unfairly vilifying him as a heartless, filthy rich businessman and conservatives frustrated by his wishy-washy stances.
But compared to Trump? Well, Romney looks like a towering leader and sensible do-gooder.
The two clashed in the 2016 race, with Romney calling Trump unfit for office. But after the election, both men sat down to talk about a secretary of state appointment and seemed to get along swimmingly.
Even as a freshman senator, Romney would instantly become a leader in the vapid halls of Capitol Hill. He still has the respect of both moderate and conservative Republicans, and can get along with Democrats.
And if Trump continues down a path of self-destruction, Romney could always break away from the president and help lead the opposition.
And who knows what might happen in 2020? Could the third time be the charm for Mitt?