Mitt Romney had his chance and failed; time to step aside

Mitt Romney had his chance and failed; time to step aside
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Everyone loves a good old fashioned comeback story: Michael Jordan coming back to the NBA. Winston Churchill becoming Prime Minister in 1940. Napoleon coming back from Elba  — er, scratch the last one.

Actually, there’s a reason why many comeback efforts are not worth the time and most are not remembered. Remember Tommy Thompson’s bid for Senate in 2012? Russ Feingold in 2016? Charlie CristCharles (Charlie) Joseph CristThe Hill's Morning Report: As Trump talks, his lawyers sweat Inviting disaster: Ignoring the lessons learned from Deepwater Horizon Former Florida congressmen mull bipartisan gubernatorial run: report MORE (I feel dirty just typing that out)? Mark SanfordMarshall (Mark) Clement SanfordLawmakers aim to use spending bill to block offshore drilling Trump endorses Gaetz in reelection bid GOP candidate hurt in car crash: 'My children call me the Terminator. You just can't break me' MORE? Chances are really good you can add former Massachusetts Governor Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyGOP lambasts Trump over performance in Helsinki Romney: Trump's remarks at Putin summit 'disgraceful and detrimental to democratic principles' Utah's largest paper compares child separation to war crimes in scathing editorial MORE to that list.

Romney aimed for an announcement Thursday but delayed due to the tragic shooting in Florida. Now he’s in the race, raring to go. Perhaps he stayed in fighting shape from his match with Evander Holyfield. Perhaps he is aiming for White House run number three.
Regardless, a lot of Utahns and outside observers have to be asking themselves … what’s the point? Why is the soon-to-be 71-year-old seeking a new start in politics?

Don’t get me wrong, Mitt Romney isn’t a bad person. But he was — and is — an imperfect vessel for a conservatism of ages past. He’s a patrician statesman more fitting for a 1979 talk with William F. Buckley than the cage fighters the Republican Party needs today.

Why Utah? Well, that’s anyone’s guess. In the 2008 primaries and 2012 election, he touted Michigan, where his father served as governor, as his home state. What about Massachusetts, where he served as chief executive for four years? There’s no way the voters of the Mitten State (heh) or the Bay State would elect him now. So he’s settled on Utah. Except for his leading the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics, his Mormon faith, or his now-infamous 2016 anti-Trump speech, what ties does Romney have to the state?

We need a Republican senator from Utah now that Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchGOP lambasts Trump over performance in Helsinki Senate panel to vote Thursday on Trump's pick to lead IRS Romney: Trump's remarks at Putin summit 'disgraceful and detrimental to democratic principles' MORE is retiring. Mitt Romney’s party membership card has a bright “R” on it but voters have to consider several possibilities.

What are the odds that a Sen. Romney will sponsor or aggressively fight for vital legislation like the repeal and replacement of ObamaCare or funding for the border wall? He was the architect of RomneyCare and one of the most outspoken amnesty advocates.

Romney touted in the 2012 race that he worked with a Democratic-majority legislature during his tenure as governor. Goodness help us if he’s planning something similar if the Democrats somehow win one or both chambers of Congress this fall. What type of Frankenstein’s monster will he dream up with Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiHouse GOP reverses, cancels vote on Dem bill to abolish ICE Pelosi: 'The Russians have something on the president' Schumer: Does Putin have 'damaging information' on Trump? MORE and Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerThis week: GOP mulls vote on ‘abolish ICE’ legislation Red-state Dem tells Schumer to 'kiss my you know what' on Supreme Court vote Dem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick MORE? Is America ready for a “deal” that gives us $20 in border security funding and a half-eaten candy bar in exchange for amnesty? Will working class voters accept Romney voting against tariffs that keep their local factory in business? The veneer of being a billionaire doesn’t go away just by crossing state lines. It’s hard to forget the “47 percent” flub even six years later.

Americans are sick of fake wheeling and dealing. When they say they want bipartisanship, that’s true — they want bipartisanship that furthers their interests, not kumbaya to sell out our nation’s future. They gave the Bob Doles, John McCains, and Mitt Romneys chances. It’s not like Romney didn’t get a fair shot from the GOP base in 2012.

As the Washington Post reports, Romney will likely step into the role ceded by Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainGOP lambasts Trump over performance in Helsinki Trump stuns the world at Putin summit NY Daily News cover following Helsinki summit shows Trump shooting Uncle Sam MORE (R-Ariz.) due to his illness. Romney’s also looking to fill the void that Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeGOP senator: Senate should be 'disgusted' by Helsinki summit Flake to introduce resolution countering Trump's Russia summit rhetoric Senate GOP poised to break record on Trump's court picks MORE (R-Ariz.) will leave in retirement. Between Flake and Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerGOP lambasts Trump over performance in Helsinki Flake to introduce resolution countering Trump's Russia summit rhetoric Corker: Trump made US look 'like a pushover' MORE (R-Tenn.), I thought we were finally getting some of the swamp drained. Instead, we’re simply trading bog creatures.

How can Mitt Romney best serve the GOP and President TrumpDonald John TrumpShocking summit with Putin caps off Trump’s turbulent Europe trip GOP lambasts Trump over performance in Helsinki Trump stuns the world at Putin summit MORE? Probably by stepping aside. Romney is now in the back benches of the modern Republican Party. There’s always a place for him, so long as he realizes that his role is to support the White House in Making America Great Again. But that place is certainly not in the U.S. Senate.

Kristin Tate is author of the upcoming book “How Do I Tax Thee?” and an analyst for Follow her on Twitter @KristinBTate.