BOSTON (CBS) – Just a guess, but given his turbulent presidency, checkered past and interesting diet, President Donald Trump might occasionally have some interesting nightmares. But could Mitt Romney be his worst nightmare yet?
The former Massachusetts governor is considered odds-on favorite to win the seat being vacated by the retirement at year’s end of Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch. And to say the least, there’s no love lost between Romney and the president.
During the campaign, Trump repeatedly disparaged Romney, claiming at one point that the 2012 GOP presidential nominee had “choked like a dog.”
“Fraud” was one of the tamer adjectives Romney used to describe Trump.
And after the 2016 election, Trump gratuitously humiliated Romney by summoning him to New York to be interviewed for secretary of state before snubbing him. Since then, Romney hasn’t hesitated to express his low opinion of Trump’s leadership.
But the DC landscape Romney may enter a year from now could have a very different balance of power. If the Republicans do retain control of the Senate, it will likely be by a narrow margin; Romney’s vote could be instantly pivotal.
And while Romney is unlikely to be adversarial to most of the conservative GOP agenda, he might well be a more reliable vote against Trumpism than the outgoing likes of Bob Corker and Jeff Flake.
Plus, should Trump’s approval ratings continue to flounder in negative territory, is it impossible to imagine Romney, only a vigorous 73 years old by 2020, emerging as a top challenger to a Trump second term?
What goes around comes around, and Trump may come to regret his attacks on Romney. And for all of his Midwestern aw-shucks-ness, don’t forget that Romney spent most of his adult life living in Massachusetts, where there are three major pastimes: sports, politics and revenge.