Is Mitt Romney gearing up for a Senate run in 2018?

Right now, it’s a toss-up. But comments made by Romney recently coupled with a report from The Atlantic on Thursday lead many to believe he is strongly considering a run for the Utah Senate in 2018.

The Atlantic’s McKay Coppins reports:

According to six sources familiar with the situation, Romney has spent recent weeks actively discussing a potential 2018 Senate bid with a range of high-level Republicans in both Utah and Washington, and has privately signaled a growing interest in the idea. Romney, though, has made clear he would not pursue the seat without Hatch’s blessing.

Hatch signaled in an interview last month that he would consider retiring if Romney ran to take his seat.

“If I could get a really outstanding person to run for my position, I might very well consider it,” said Hatch when discussing his retirement.

Hatch indicated that he was “giving careful consideration as to whether I will seek reelection.”

“While it’s no secret that I hold Mitt Romney in extraordinarily high esteem, my musing aloud on the subject has apparently snowballed into a frenzy of premature speculation,” he said.

“[The] overhyped intrigue … doesn’t reflect the reality of the situation, especially this soon after the last election.”

Hatch has been in office since 1977, making him the most senior Republican Senator and second-most senior Senator overall.

Romney said “all doors are open” when it comes to future political opportunities during an interview he gave in February.

Many originally thought that meant he would be selected by President Trump for Secretary of State, but that ultimately did not happen as he was passed over for Rex Tillerson.

Romney would be an interesting voice in the Senate when it comes to president Trump’s administration, policies, and agenda’s going forward.

Romney was a very vocal critic against Trump during the campaign, and his voice in the Senate could prove to be crucial as Republicans cannot afford to lose any votes with Democrats obstructing everything.

Here are just a few comments from Romney on Trump:

  1. “If we Republicans choose Donald Trump as our nominee, the prospects for a safe and prosperous future are greatly diminished.”
  2. “Now, Donald Trump tells us that he is very, very smart. I’m afraid that when it comes to foreign policy he is very, very not smart.”
  3. “Think of Donald Trump’s personal qualities: The bullying, the greed, the showing off, the misogyny, the absurd third grade theatrics.”

While there are Republican Senators like John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Ben Sasse that have been critical of Trump, none have delivered as many zingers as Mitt Romney.

Should Romney run and win the Senate race in 2018, he would be one of the strongest voices in Congress unafraid of challenging the Trump administration.

That could make for some must-see political excitement.