Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney will likely become the next U.S. Senator from Utah with the retirement of Orrin Hatch this year. The 83-year-old Hatch, the longest-serving Republican Senator in U.S. History says he will not seek re-election this Fall.
Romney is well liked by Utah Republicans but leaves a somewhat mixed legacy in Massachusetts and elsewhere. As governor, his biggest accomplishment was universal health care which many saw as the framework for Obamacare and complicated his run for president in 2012 against Democrat Barrack Obama. Romney's inability to forge alliances in a commonwealth dominated by Democrats made governing during his single term difficult. Many in Massachusetts felt as though Romney was simply using his time in office to prepare for a run for the presidency.
Nationally he was just never very well liked.
Then, of course, there was the ferocious public attack on then-candidate Donald Trump in March of 2016. Had Romney showed half as much passion in his race against Obama he might have been elected president. And how about the most bizarre way that Romney crawled back to Trump after the election in search of a position.
While Romney has not indicated that he will seek Hatch's Senate seat, most believe that he will.
Romney is a "never Trumper" to the core and despises the man. Should Romney be elected to the Senate from Utah he would most likely seek to challenge Trump in a Republican primary in 2020.
Mitt Romney is as slippery as an oil slick and I don't trust him. I don't think he could defeat Trump in a primary but, he could aid a Democrat challenger by weakening Trump before the general election.
Mitt Romney is and has always been about Mitt Romney and Mitt Romney alone. Period.
Editor's Note: Barry Richard is the afternoon host on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from Noon-3pm. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.