A Hill Talk Editorial: Mitt Romney fills anti-Trump void in Senate

The newly-elected U.S. senator from Utah, former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, came hard out of the gate the day before being sworn into office with a blistering Washington Post op-ed ripping into President Trump.

Besides Trump’s moral and ethical issues, Sen. Romney went after the president on a number of policy and management-style mistakes, such as stating America has been a “sucker” in world affairs, the departure of key members of his administration in December which damaged his credibility and signaled his losing of the White House.

Romney also criticized Trump’s move to leave Syria, adding the president “has not risen to the mantle of the office.”

Romney cited polling data from the U.K., Germany, France, Canada and Sweden showing the majority of citizens there have lost confidence in the U.S. president as the basis for his argument America is losing credibility around the world.

We don’t have time to get into France and its current political upheaval and economic crisis, won’t discuss the EU being on the ropes, and definitely should not consider that Canada might be a little upset Trump canceled NAFTA and negotiated a new trade agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.  Bird box blinders on.

What possible motive might Mitt Romney have for swinging on President Trump before he even put his hand on the Bible?  The answer is simple: Romney wanted to solidify his spot as the de facto leader of the Republican-wing of the “Trump resistance”.

Think about Washington, D.C., right now. Romney gets to fill a significant void left by some of the most notorious “Never Trumpers” on the “right”.  With Sens. Jeff Flake, Bob Corker and and the late John McCain all gone, there exists a movement without a leader.

Enter Mitt Romney, a man with an establishment pedigree, a lot of money, high name recognition, a non-abrasive gift for communication and a deep dislike for one Donald Trump.

Mitt is the same guy who the “left” hated when he ran against President Obama, the cruel millionaire who left his dog on the roof of his car while moving, the guy with ”binders full of women” who was anti-gay, anti-immigrant and only cared about the uber wealthy. Same guy.

Washington is a funny place and is notorious for creating strange bed fellows. From this point on, Mitt Romney will largely be portrayed by the liberal mainstream media as the only reasonable Republican in the Senate. He will be lauded by CNN and the Washington Post, all day every day. Why? It is the old axiomatic principle of war, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” and now the Democrats have a friend in the Senate.

This is mainly why the American people hate national politics. In 2016, Romney called Trump a “fraud.” Then he kissed the ring and essentially interviewed for the secretary of state post in 2017.  Trump teased him by dangling the job and ended up selecting someone else.

In his 2018 Senate run, Romney sought Trump’s endorsement and gladly accepted it. Upon his arrival in Washington, he starts in on Trump. Romney even said he is yet to decide who will receive his endorsement for president in 2020.

So, how this will play out? Romney will be the media darling of 2019 and 2020. Conservatives will be annoyed, liberals will be elated, but at the end of the day Mitt will not have the chops to go toe-to-toe with Trump.

Romney has a smaller microphone and a weaker delivery than the president. His “beef” with Trump is a novelty for the media — nothing more and nothing less — just politicians playing politics.  Romney will end up being more a folk hero to the left than a force in the Senate.

Washington is a crazy place. The irony is that both men have a mutually beneficial relationship with the media, but in very different ways: one is a darling, the other a super villain. The media thrives when there’s both. How boring would Superman be without Lex Luther?

Enjoy the show.

 

[Photo courtesy Ethan Miller/Getty Images via Newsmax]

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