I am definitely not an expert on the politics of Utah, but I suspect that if Sen. Orrin Hatch retires, as is now being predicted, and Mitt Romney runs to replace him, we’ll have a Senator Mitt Romney to contend with. I’m sure that Steve Bannon will have something to say about it, but I doubt Romney can be defeated in either the state Republican convention (that’s how the Utah GOP picks its candidates) or in a general election.
For my part, Mitt Romney is the least honest politician I have ever encountered, as was ably documented by Steve Benen both here at Political Animal and at MSNBC during the 2012 election.
On the other hand, he delivered one of the most impassioned anti-Trump speeches of 2016 before he reversed course after the election and sat down with Trump over a course of frogs legs to apply for a cabinet position in the president-elect’s administration.
I wouldn’t expect Romney to be a positive addition to Congress, but he wouldn’t be a rubber-stamp for Trump, either. He’d probably be somewhere between the principled and outraged man who railed against Trump in a March 2016 speech and the complete suck-up who dined with Trump late last November.
I think that would place him as slightly above average for a Republican senator, and that’s about how I’d currently rate Orrin Hatch.