Senator Orrin Hatch announced Tuesday he will be retiring, opting not to seek re-election in 2018. The octogenarian declared on social media, “After much prayer and discussion with family and friends I’ve decided to retire at the end of this term.”
This paves the way for thorn-in-Trump’s-ass Mitt Romney to run for the Utah Senate seat.
Hatch, who is the Senate’s longest-serving Republican, has hemmed and hawed all year about when and if he would retire. Trump has been pressuring him to seek re-election for an eighth term. Hatch was present last month at an event at the Capitol in Salt Lake City staged to tout the Trump administration’s evil decision to shrink the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments. Trump ran off his mouth during the propaganda photo-op, fluffing the ego of the 83-year-old Senator by describing Hatch as “a true fighter.”
“I’ve always been a fighter. I was an amateur boxer in my youth, and I brought that fighting spirit with me to Washington,” Hatch said in a video announcing his retirement. “But every good fighter knows when to hang up the gloves.”
Hatch has recently stated he would like to see Romney—currently very popular in Utah—take his place in the Senate. Now that the GOP wet dream of tax reform for corporations has come true, Hatch can step away having satisfied that burning itch.
The senior Utah Senator has come under criticism within his own state as recently as last week. In an editorial, The Salt Lake Tribune facetiously named him “The Tribune’s Utahn of the Year” for “His utter lack of integrity that rises from his unquenchable thirst for power,” and called for him to step down. Hatch tweeted in response that he was “grateful for this great Christmas honor from The Salt Lake Tribune,” proving to his constituents that he is truly out of touch.
Romney, who was the 2012 GOP presidential nominee, just posted the following Facebook message:
“I join the people of Utah in thanking my friend, Senator Orrin Hatch for his more than forty years of service to our great state and nation. As Chairman of the Senate Finance and Judiciary Committees and as the longest-serving Republican Senator in U.S. history, Senator Hatch has represented the interests of Utah with distinction and honor. Ann and I wish Senator Orrin Hatch and his loving wife Elaine all the best in their future endeavors.”
Although Romney has shown himself to be quite the asshole, Flagrant readers have no doubt been pleasantly (is it a trick?) surprised with his latter-day public opinions, like his support of sexual assault victims and criticism of icky Roy Moore, who was the (defeated) Republican Senate candidate in the Alabama special election endorsed by fellow pussy-grabber Trump. Romney’s connections to Utah are hollow: he is Mormon; his mother was born in Logan, Utah; he attended Brigham Young University. His political tenure is highlighted by serving as Governor of Massachusetts 2003 to 2007, where he instituted “near-universal health coverage” for the state, a program dubbed Romneycare! After losing the 2012 election, he and his family had been residing in the tony coastal town of La Jolla, California, but it seems his political ambitions have landed him in the Beehive State.
Meanwhile, we can snack on popcorn and watch Orange Face blow his top again.