News & Politics

Mr. Establishment Mitt Romney Plans Senate Run if Orrin Hatch Retires

at Jean Georges Restaurant in New York City. U.S. President-elect Donald Trump spent the afternoon holding meetings at Trump Tower as he continues to fill in key positions in his new administration. Donald Trump transition meetings, New York, USA - 29 Nov 2016 (Rex Features via AP Images)

Mitt Romney isn’t quite done yet with national politics. The loser of the election that couldn’t have been lost — the 2012 presidential election — is eyeing a run for the Senate:

Sources tell UtahPolicy.com that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is preparing to run for Senate in 2018 if Sen. Orrin Hatch decides to retire.

Sources close to Romney say the two-time presidential candidate will jump into the 2018 Utah Senate scrum if Hatch opts not to.

Considering that Romney has been extremely vocal in his criticism of Trump, this will effectively mean that Romney will try to serve as some kind of “internal opposition” to the president. He rather obviously wants to prevent a Trump supporter from getting this seat and thereby being able to support the president against the establishment.

Because, yes, that battle is taking shape:

President Donald Trump’s closest allies are planning a slate of primary challenges against Republican senators, potentially undermining the party’s prospects in 2018 and further inflaming tensions between GOP leaders and the White House.

The effort is being led by Steve Bannon, Trump’s bomb-throwing former chief strategist, who is launching an all-out war against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Republican establishment. Bannon has begun holding private meetings with insurgent challengers, vowing his support. He’s coordinating with conservative mega-donor Robert Mercer, who is prepared to pour millions of dollars into attacks on GOP incumbents. Bannon has also installed a confidant at an outside group that is expected to target Republican lawmakers and push the Trump agenda.

In other words, while Romney is gearing up to become the establishment’s poster boy in their war on Trump, Trump allies like Steve Bannon are prepping to take out the establishment.

Oh, yes. This is going to be fascinating.