Former Massachusetts governor and failed presidential candidate Mitt Romney said he would announce on February 15 if he is running for the Utah Senate seat being vacated by longtime statesman Orrin Hatch (R-UT).
But if you visit the website he links to on his Twitter account, you will most likely conclude he’s already decided. “Join Team Mitt,” the home page says.
“Looking forward to making an announcement on February 15th about the Utah Senate race,” Romney said in a tweet that includes this link.
Looking forward to making an announcement on February 15th about the Utah Senate race. https://t.co/OLXWZWREEK
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) February 1, 2018
It may be a coincidence that Romney is making his announcement in the middle of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, an event he is credited with “saving” in 2002.
“I’ve been given an enormous responsibility, and an entire country and the Olympic team from the United States and the world, to a certain extent, expect me to do the job well,” Romney told NPR in an interview before those games. “And I want to fulfill that responsibility.”
The media, however, is giving Romney the benefit of the doubt and speculating on whether or not he will run.
The Salt Lake Tribune reported:
Mitt Romney has always been an adopted Utahn.
Although a graduate of Brigham Young University, a Mormon and, to some, the revered savior of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Romney wasn’t born in the state and spent most of his life living elsewhere. But he now resides in Holladay where he built his dream house.
And he could be Utah’s next senator.
“I think he’s in,” Jason Perry, executive director of the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics told the Tribune. “The way this tweet was put out and the message that was delivered seems to indicate that he has a big announcement.”
“You don’t usually send out a tweet to say ‘I’m not interested,” Perry said.
At least once conservative doesn’t see the race between Romney, who has lived in Utah since 2013, and his would-be challenger, Democrat and Salt Lake County Councilwoman Jenny Wilson, as a typical contest.
“Utah State Auditor John Dougall, a conservative Republican, lamented on Facebook that Romney is virtually guaranteed the seat, not because of merit or hard work ‘but because the press and the UT Republican Party will help ensure his coronation,” the Tribune reported.
Romney, 70, has been making public appearances, the Associated Press reported. But he has not officially said whether or not he will run to replace Hatch, who has served in the U.S. Senate since 1977.