Mitt Romney might be re-entering politics. Six sources tell the Atlantic Romney, former Massachusetts governor and US presidential candidate, is "actively discussing" a Senate run in Utah. Republican leaders and donors, sources say, want 83-year-old incumbent Sen. Orrin Hatch to decline to seek re-election in 2018 and Romney to take his place. The sources say Romney would not move forward with the plan unless Hatch approves. It seems like he might: Hatch, who has served in the Senate for more than 40 years, said in a recent interview that he would consider retiring if he "could get a really outstanding person to run" for his position, adding, "Mitt Romney would be perfect." But Hatch has since said he hasn't yet decided whether to run again, calling the buzz that surrounded his comment about Romney "premature speculation" and "overhyped intrigue."
Sources say Romney has discussed the idea with Hatch and other party leaders both in Utah and Washington DC. Breitbart notes that Romney has "strong links" to Utah, including a vacation home there. The Atlantic says that should he decide to run, winning the seat "would likely be a cakewalk." The opinion editor of the Deseret News agrees, saying it would be "the easiest Senate bid in the history of the United States of America." Even the CEO of Utah's World Trade Center, who is considering his own run, says he'd opt out if Romney ran. As for why Romney might get back into politics now, his longstanding opposition to President Trump is one reason; the Washington Post thinks Trump should worry if he runs, because "Romney would come in to the Senate with almost unimpeachable power to say whatever he wanted about Trump, should he choose to do so." Another reason, per a friend: Romney is "bored" in retirement.