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 CristDemocrats gear up for State of the Union protests as impeachment lingers The most expensive congressional races of the last decade The biggest political upsets of the decade MORE (I feel dirty just typing that out)? Mark SanfordMark SanfordTrump challenger Bill Weld rules out 2020 independent bid Judge throws out lawsuit against South Carolina GOP for canceling 2020 primary The Hill's Campaign Report: Late bids surprise 2020 Democratic field MORE? Chances are really good you can add former Massachusetts Governor Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyDemocratic Senate campaign arm raised more than .5 million in January On the Trail: Senate GOP hopefuls tie themselves to Trump Trump looms as flashpoint in Alabama Senate battle 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 administration backs Oracle in Supreme Court battle against Google Timeline: Trump and Romney's rocky relationship Key Republicans say Biden can break Washington gridlock 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 PelosiBloomberg faces criticism for tweet showing altered debate moment Trump knocks Democrats at rally: Bloomberg 'getting pounded' Biden earns endorsement from former House impeachment manager MORE and Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocratic senators urge Trump administration to request emergency funding for coronavirus response Barr to testify before House Judiciary panel Graham won't call Barr to testify over Roger Stone sentencing recommendation 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 McCainMeghan McCain after Gaetz says Trump should pardon Roger Stone: 'Oh come on' Advice for fellow Democrats: Don't count out Biden, don't fear a brokered convention McSally ties Democratic rival Kelly to Sanders in new ad MORE (R-Ariz.) due to his illness. Romney’s also looking to fill the void that Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeMcSally ties Democratic rival Kelly to Sanders in new ad McSally launches 2020 campaign Sinema will vote to convict Trump MORE (R-Ariz.) will leave in retirement. Between Flake and Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerMcConnell, Romney vie for influence over Trump's trial RNC says ex-Trump ambassador nominee's efforts 'to link future contributions to an official action' were 'inappropriate' Lindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight 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 TrumpChasten Buttigieg: 'I've been dealing with the likes of Rush Limbaugh my entire life' Lawmakers paint different pictures of Trump's 'opportunity zone' program We must not turn our heads from the effects of traumatic brain injuries 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.