Still describing himself as "the son of a carpenter" and a "fighter," today self-appointed pugilistic Jesus figure and elected GOP Senator Orrin Hatch announced his plans to retire at the end of 2018.
The New York Times reminds us that Hatch is the longest-serving Republican Senator (42 years), and that Trump has been begging Hatch to run for office again for fear of the political resurgence of this man:
Romney is expected to run for the seat now that Hatch has retired.
Trump is reportedly still sore on Romney for leading the Never Trump "movement," and for continuing to criticize him to this day.
However, Romney also praises the president when Trump agrees with him. And though he talks a big game, Romney was also quick to make nice when Trump was holding interviews for Secretary of State:
From Tina Nguyen at Vanity Fair:
“It’s not easy winning. I know that myself,” Romney, who lost to President Barack Obama in 2012, admitted. “[Trump] did something I tried to do and was unsuccessful in accomplishing. He won the general election, and he continues with a message of inclusion and bringing people together, and his vision is something which obviously connected with the American people in a very powerful way.”
It would be marginally better to have a Republican Senator who publicly criticizes Trump than a Republican Senator who is constantly openly obsequious to him, as Hatch was. But functionally, Romney is just as bad as Hatch on immigration and earned benefits (the two issues where some Republicans can be reasoned with, this last bill notwithstanding), he's just as enthusiastic about pushing "religious freedom" and cutting funds for Planned Parenthood, and he clearly doesn't maintain the cowardice of his convictions when it comes to standing up against Trump. This move is good for Romney and no one else.
Incidentally, now would be a good time to donate to the Democratic candidate in the race, Jenny Wilson. She's a Salt Lake City Councilmember and former congressional aide who will need as much help as she can get when Romney inevitably jumps in.