Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) is reportedly giving strong consideration to retiring at the end of his current term. Hatch, now 83, has served Utah as a U.S. Senator since 1977, and looks to be ready to finally hang it up.
Hatch’s age and length of time in the Senate are perfectly understandable justifications as to why he would want to step down. That said, it’s also a distinct possibility that Hatch is eager to avoid the growing movement of populist conservatives within his own party, a movement that has managed to drive out other mainstream Republican legislators, including Jeff Flake and Bob Corker.
So none of this is really a surprise, except for maybe one part of it: Hatch is also reportedly making it clear to select persons behind the scenes that he would like Mitt Romney to succeed him. Indeed, according to a recent article in The Atlantic, Romney has already been planning to make a bid for Hatch’s seat.
The title of the article is pretty straightforward: “Orrin Hatch Tells Friends He Plans to Retire.” Staff writer McKay Coppins notes in the piece that Hatch “has privately told allies in Utah that he is planning to retire at the end of his term next year.”
Coppins goes on to validate that claim, but perhaps even more interesting than the prospect of Hatch stepping down is the likelihood of Mitt Romney going after the seat, something on which Coppins also solidly reports.
Writing that “Mitt Romney intends to run for his seat” if Hatch retires, Coppins goes on to say, “Sources close to both men said plans have already been set in motion for Hatch to retire and for Romney to run, but they cautioned that the timing of the announcements has not yet been finalized, and that either man could still change his mind. They spoke on condition of anonymity, because the plans are not yet public, and the subject is sensitive to Hatch.”
RINO Mitt – still very much alive and well.
By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large