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 CristFlorida’s lost summers: Toxic algae ‘emergency’ decades in the making Bill Nelson gears up campaigning as he seeks to prove naysayers wrong The Hill's Morning Report: As Trump talks, his lawyers sweat MORE (I feel dirty just typing that out)? Mark SanfordMarshall (Mark) Clement SanfordMulvaney: Trump regularly asks why Roy Moore lost Dems vow to grab Trump tax returns upon taking majority Insurgency shakes up Democratic establishment MORE? Chances are really good you can add former Massachusetts Governor Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyPoll: House GOP candidate leads in California swing district Super PACs spend big in high-stakes midterms Kavanaugh and the 'boys will be boys' sentiment is a poor excuse for bad behavior 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 HatchGrand Staircase-Escalante: A conservation triumph is headed for future as playground for industry McConnell tamps down any talk of Kavanaugh withdrawal GOP offers to ban cameras from testimony of Kavanaugh accuser 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 PelosiDem lawmakers slam Trump’s declassification of Russia documents as ‘brazen abuse of power’ Russia probe accelerates political prospects for House Intel Dems Pelosi calls on Ryan to bring long-term Violence Against Women Act to floor MORE and Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerHouse Dems push to delay Kavanaugh vote for investigation Democrats should end their hypocrisy when it comes to Kavanaugh and the judiciary Celebrities back both Cuomo and Nixon as New Yorkers head to primary vote 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 McCainTrump administration weakens methane pollution standards for drilling on public lands Another recession could hit US in 2019, says credit union association chief R-E-S-P-E-C-T: One legacy of Franklin and McCain is up to us MORE (R-Ariz.) due to his illness. Romney’s also looking to fill the void that Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeGrassley: No reason to delay Kavanaugh hearing Dem senators back Kavanaugh accuser's call for FBI investigation Kavanaugh accuser says FBI should investigate before she testifies MORE (R-Ariz.) will leave in retirement. Between Flake and Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerGrassley: No reason to delay Kavanaugh hearing The Memo: Kavanaugh firestorm consumes political world Murkowski echoes calls for Kavanaugh, accuser to testify 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 TrumpTrump: I hope voters pay attention to Dem tactics amid Kavanaugh fight South Korea leader: North Korea agrees to take steps toward denuclearization Graham calls handling of Kavanaugh allegations 'a drive-by shooting' 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.