BOSTON (CBS) – The word out of Utah is that former Massachusetts Governor and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney may be gearing up to return to politics, as a candidate for US Senate should the longtime incumbent, Orrin Hatch, decide not to seek re-election next year.
The stars seem lined up on this one – at 83, Hatch has speculated openly about calling it a career, and has publicly identified Romney as someone he’d like to have succeed him.
Early polls show Romney would be a huge favorite to win.
But the question is, which Mitt Romney will show up?
The Senate could use another decent, thoughtful member with an understanding of the value and art of compromise, and Romney fits the bill.
He worked well with Massachusetts Democrats at the state and federal level on issues from health care reform to defense funding. He was a source of good, non-partisan ideas like the establishment of smart-growth zones to encourage housing development near public transit.
And at a time last year when few big-time Republicans were willing to call out Donald Trump and tell the truth about his alleged business acumen, Romney stepped forward, even though there was little to gain from it.
But there’s another, less-attractive side to Mitt Romney – the opportunist who claimed to be pro-choice to get elected governor here, then flip-flopped in order to compete in the GOP primaries, the political panderer who wrote off 47-percent of the voters as hopeless addicts to the welfare state, the naif who thought for a moment Trump might bring him into his cabinet.
Which Romney would a Senator Romney be?
We may be about to find out.