Well, despite the best efforts of President Trump and Steve Bannon, Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah has decided to call it a career after serving out forty years in Washington. While no one is thrilled with the idea of politicians making public service at that level a career, Hatch was a reliable supporter of the MAGA agenda and an important White House ally at a time when backstabbers and Establishment cronies are everywhere. It’s a shame to see him go, even if it now seems that it was always inevitable.
Hatch officially announced his retirement on January 2nd, saying it was important for every fighter to know when it was time to hang up the gloves. “For me,” he said, “that time is soon approaching. After much prayer and discussion with family and friends, I’ve decided to retire at the end of this term. I may be leaving the Senate, but the next chapter in my public service is just beginning.”
We wish Hatch the best of luck and the greatest of fortunes in whatever his life brings to him next, but our focus now turns to that soon-to-be-vacant seat and the man most likely to fill it. Former Massachusetts Governor and former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has made it abundantly clear to friends and associates that he intends to run for Hatch’s seat; his popularity in his home state of Utah makes it almost impossible to imagine that he will not successfully get what he wants. He has the support of many in the GOP donor field and his often combative stance against the president is unlikely to hurt him with Utah voters, many of whom pulled the level reluctantly (or not at all) for Trump in 2016.
Romney’s ascension to the Senate, assuming it comes to pass, is anything but good news for President Trump. No one, least of all the president, is soon to forget Romney’s hourlong Trump-bashing speech from the 2016 primaries, in which he called the real estate magnate a con-man and a fraud and encouraged voters to choose anyone else left in the contest in the hopes of forcing an open convention.
Romney’s distaste for Trump could explain why at least one conservative site, the Washington Free Beacon, is extremely excited about Hatch’s retirement. Upon reporting the news on Tuesday, they posted an embarrassing painting of Romney as a muscular, spear-throwing centaur. The implications are hard to miss, especially when you recall that the Free Beacon funded the infamous Steele dossier before the whole operation was turned over to the Clinton campaign.