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 Democrat introduces bill to recognize Puerto Rico statehood referendum Anna Paulina Luna wins Florida GOP primary in bid to unseat Charlie Crist The feds should not spend taxpayer dollars in states that have legalized weed MORE (I feel dirty just typing that out)? Mark SanfordMark SanfordOn The Money: Business world braces for blue sweep | Federal Reserve chief to outline plans for inflation, economy | Meadows 'not optimistic' about stalemate on coronavirus deal Trump critic Sanford forms anti-debt advocacy group Republicans officially renominate Trump for president MORE? Chances are really good you can add former Massachusetts Governor Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyPresident Trump faces Herculean task in first debate HBO's Oliver laments 'dark week' after Barrett nomination: 'Hopeless' The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by JobsOhio - Trump's tax return bombshell 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 HatchBottom line Bottom line Senate GOP divided over whether they'd fill Supreme Court vacancy  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 PelosiAirline industry applauds Democrats for including aid in coronavirus relief package Democrats unveil scaled-down .2T coronavirus relief package Trump tax reveal roils presidential race MORE and Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerDemocrats blast Trump after report reveals he avoided income taxes for 10 years: 'Disgusting' Biden refuses to say whether he would support expanding Supreme Court Schumer says Trump tweet shows court pick meant to kill off ObamaCare 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 McCainCindy McCain joins board of Biden's presidential transition team Meet the first woman to run for president Jill Biden shuts down Jake Tapper's question about husband's 'occasional gaffe' MORE (R-Ariz.) due to his illness. Romney’s also looking to fill the void that Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeHow fast population growth made Arizona a swing state Jeff Flake: Republicans 'should hold the same position' on SCOTUS vacancy as 2016 Republican former Michigan governor says he's voting for Biden MORE (R-Ariz.) will leave in retirement. Between Flake and Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerHas Congress captured Russia policy? Tennessee primary battle turns nasty for Republicans Cheney clashes with Trump 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 TrumpCensus Bureau intends to wrap up count on Oct. 5 despite judge's order Top House Republican calls for probe of source of NYT Trump tax documents New Yorkers report receiving ballots with wrong name, voter addresses 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.