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 CristPelosi says she'll no longer address anything Barr says GOP scores procedural win by securing more funding to enforce Iran sanctions Biz groups target Florida voters ahead of Democratic debates in Miami MORE (I feel dirty just typing that out)? Mark SanfordMarshall (Mark) Clement SanfordPoll: Bill Weld leads among Trump GOP challengers with 5 percent support Mark Sanford debates cardboard cutout of Trump to protest South Carolina canceling its GOP primary Joe Walsh: GOP is a 'cult' and Trump a 'would-be dictator' MORE? Chances are really good you can add former Massachusetts Governor Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyFormer Bush staffer urges 'fellow Latinos' to vote Trump 'out of office' Lobbying World Republicans wary of US action on Iran 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 HatchTrump to award racing legend Roger Penske with Presidential Medal of Freedom Trump awards Presidential Medal of Freedom to economist, former Reagan adviser Arthur Laffer Second ex-Senate staffer charged in aiding doxxing of GOP senators 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 PelosiPelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' Democrats bicker over strategy on impeachment Overnight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi set to unveil drug price plan | Abortion rate in US hits lowest level since Roe v. Wade | Dems threaten to subpoena Juul MORE and Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer, Pelosi push Trump to back universal background check bill Sinema says she would back Kennedy in race against Markey Democrats threaten to withhold defense votes over wall 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 McCainCan the presidential candidates please talk about our debt crisis? Michelle Malkin knocks Cokie Roberts shortly after her death: 'One of the first guilty culprits of fake news' Arizona Democratic Party will hold vote to censure Sinema MORE (R-Ariz.) due to his illness. Romney’s also looking to fill the void that Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeFlake donates to Democratic sheriff being challenged by Arpaio in Arizona The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says US-China trade talks to resume, hails potential trade with Japan, UK Joe Arpaio to run for Maricopa County sheriff in 2020  MORE (R-Ariz.) will leave in retirement. Between Flake and Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerTrump announces, endorses ambassador to Japan's Tennessee Senate bid Meet the key Senate player in GOP fight over Saudi Arabia Trump says he's 'very happy' some GOP senators have 'gone on to greener pastures' 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 conversation with foreign leader part of complaint that led to standoff between intel chief, Congress: report Pelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' Trump to withdraw FEMA chief nominee: report 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.