America’s Most Hated Politician Retires

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Sen. Mitt Romney from Utah confirmed on Wednesday that he won’t be seeking re-election after his current term in the Senate ends. This news was a setback for moderate Republicans and those who aren’t in favor of the former President, Trump.

In a recent statement, Romney expressed that after 25 years of public service, the time has come for the next generation of political enthusiasts to take the reins. “By the end of another term, I would be in my mid-eighties. It’s essential for the upcoming generation to shape their future,” he said.

The 76-year-old Senator’s decision marks the potential end of a political journey that included a 2012 presidential campaign against former President Obama, a governorship in Massachusetts, and six years in the Senate representing Utah. Romney’s Senate tenure is notably marked by his unique position as the only Senate Republican voting to convict Trump in both impeachment trials.

Although Romney had been considering his re-election decision for a while, insiders from the Senate’s GOP expressed disappointment due to his involvement in significant bipartisan negotiations, especially the 2021 infrastructure law.

Sen. Thom Tillis from North Carolina remarked on the announcement, saying it saddened him.

In 2018, Romney won his Senate seat with a significant 63% majority. However, the upcoming election seemed more challenging. Prominent figures, including Brad Wilson, the Speaker of the Utah state House, and Trent Staggs, the Mayor of Riverton, Utah, have already declared their candidacies.

Additionally, according to a Utah GOP source, Tim Ballard, the founder of the anti-human trafficking group Operation Underground Railroad, might enter the race. Speculations are also rife about potential bids from former Rep. Jason Chaffetz and Robert C. O’Brien, Trump’s previous national security adviser. Chaffetz, however, seems more inclined towards the state’s gubernatorial race.

Despite the flurry of potential replacements, Romney clarified that he would not endorse any candidate. He even downplayed the impact of endorsements, drawing parallels with an old remark about the vice presidency’s significance.

Regarding Utah’s political landscape, Sen. Steve Daines stated the party would ensure Utah remains a Republican stronghold in 2024.

Romney’s decision was influenced by his perception of the upcoming political climate, foreseeing challenges due to House Republicans’ reluctance and perceived lack of leadership from both current and former presidents. He emphasized that he represents a more reasoned part of the Republican Party, which unfortunately constitutes a minor segment of the party.

This unexpected news took several politicians, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, by surprise. Schumer expressed that Romney would be missed. Conversely, Trump celebrated the announcement, labeling it as great news for the nation and the party.

Romney and Trump had previously discussed the possibility of Romney taking up the role of Secretary of State, a position later filled by Rex Tillerson.