Out West in Utah there are rumblings that longtime Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) may be leaning towards retirement, particularly if an “outstanding” candidate can be found to replace him. Now, there has been no word on just who would meet Hatch’s definition of “outstanding” but he is known to be a big fan of his fellow Utahn, Mitt Romney.
That could be important because from what the folks at Utah Policy are hearing, Mitt Romney is very interested in becoming the next Senator from the Beehive State.
For his part, Hatch is playing coy because he doesn’t want to walk away if his seat will go to someone outside of his philosophical stream of thought. (Meaning he doesn’t want to see anyone who’s too conservative win his seat.)
UtahPolicy is hearing that Hatch will announce in the fall, perhaps as early as August, that he intends to retire and devote his efforts to the Hatch Foundation – which UtahPolicy.com has discussed previously.
Hatch is now 83. He would be 84 during his 2018 re-election run, and be 90 if he served out another full six-year term.
Hatch is already the longest serving Republican senator in U.S. history, having won his first election in 1976 as a then-underdog candidate…
Romney, however, is exactly the kind of candidate that Hatch wants to hand over the reins of “power” to.
Mitt Romney may be America’s most famous Mormon. His family has deep roots in Utah, Romney currently resides in Utah, he’s a former presidential candidate, he’s a former moderate Governor of one of America’s most influential states, and he has a long track record of being a moderate squish on just about everything. Meaning he’s the ideal candidate for Orrin Hatch.
Romney and Hatch are close, and earlier this year Hatch told the media that he would consider not running again if someone “outstanding” were to seek his seat.
Asked who could be such an “outstanding” candidate, Hatch mentioned Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts and the man who led the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympics out of scandal and into a very successful Games.
Romney attended BYU, is of well-known Mormon stock, and has lived at various times in Utah.
Romney, 70, currently lives in Salt Lake County and is a Utah resident.
Historically, 70 would be a bit old to start a career in the U.S. Senate.
But Romney is clearly in good health – does the guy ever age?
And considering he was the 2012 GOP presidential nominee and former governor of a major U.S. state, if he wins he could enter the Senate with respect and influence well beyond a typical freshman legislator from a small Western state.
In addition, should Romney pledge to serve just two, six-year terms, he would retire at 82, just a year younger than Hatch is now.
I bear no ill will towards either Hatch or Romney. Both men seem to be good, moral men who care deeply about our country. However, both men suffer from the same debilitating political disease that currently infects most of the Congressional GOP caucus. They are weak-kneed moderates who bend whenever the wind blows and cannot be counted upon to make the hard votes needed to change the way our government works. We need fewer Orrin Hatch’s and Mitt Romney’s in government and we need more leaders like the other Senator from Utah, Mike Lee (R-UT). Rock-ribbed conservatives who are willing to stand up and speak out in defense of the Republic and our conservative values.