Senator Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, the longest-serving Senate Republican, plans to announce on Tuesday he will retire at the end of the year, rebuffing the pleas of President Trump to seek an eighth term and paving the way for Mitt Romney to run for the seat.
Mr. Hatch intends to announce his decision Tuesday afternoon via a video announcement, according to two Republican officials briefed on the plans.
Mr. Hatch, 83, was under heavy pressure from Mr. Trump to seek re-election and block Mr. Romney, who has been harshly critical of the president. But Mr. Hatch, who emerged as one of the president’s most avid loyalists in the Senate, decided to retire after discussing the matter with his family over the holidays. The veteran senator was also facing harsh poll numbers in Utah, where 75 percent of voters indicated in a survey last fall that they did not want him to run again.
Wait — Mitt Romney? Isn’t this violating the longstanding ironclad rule (est. Nov. 2016) that losing presidential candidates refuse to ever again appear in public? How will Republicans ever find candidates to run for any elections again with Romney CONSUMING OXYGEN?
Anyway, this is sure to be major political development. A Republican senator who is a lockstep vote for Trump’s agenda and appointments and a lockstep vote against any attempt to investigate him will be replaced by a Republican senator who is a lockstep vote for Trump’s agenda and appointments and a lockstep vote against any attempt to investigate him but occasionally gives quotes to the media suggesting that he finds Trump vaguely distasteful. No more will civility be thrown under the bus! It will be a game changer on steroids!