Orrin Hatch, the longest-serving active Republican senator, is making plans to retire, The Atlantic reports, citing sources close to him. And who else will try to replace him but Mitt Romney, the failed presidential candidate himself.
Hatch, 83, has been Utah’s senator since 1977. He is currently best known for being incredibly passionate about tax reform, the GOP’s big plan to make rich people richer. Some sources close to him said that he wouldn’t retire until he saw that goal through.
But for the most part, it seems that it was pressure from the Republican establishment that pushed Hatch to retire, including polls showing that a majority of Utah citizens think it’s time.
Of course, if Romney runs to replace Hatch (as everyone close to him says he will), he’ll likely win in a landslide. He’s extremely popular in Utah due to all the Mormons that live there, and even if sentient gout Steve Bannon sponsors some dork from a conservative thinktank named Boyd Matheson, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to dent Romney’s base.
But what will Romney do if he becomes a senator? Experts are divided, The Atlantic says. He could replace Jeff Flake and Bob Corker as the main voices of Republican criticism of Trump while voting along with his policies anyway. Or maybe he won’t even do that—maybe he’ll just quietly work to make sure horrible conservative legislative goals, like tax breaks for wealthy people or taking healthcare away from poor people, actually happen instead of failing in Congress. Who knows?