Romney said he's not thinking much about what voter reaction to his religion would be in Massachusetts as he makes his decision. "I don't think it figures in prominently," he said. "I'm already known for who I am in Massachusetts."
If Romney doesn't return to Massachusetts for the 2002 governor's race, all types of political opportunities lie down the road.
The Times of London has already quoted Bush administration officials as saying the president likes Romney and "would love to have him" in the administration in some post. There's speculation Romney could even be a vice presidential pick should Vice President Dick Cheney not want on the ticket in 2004 for health reasons.
Romney said his own political future did not come up during Bush's recent trip to Salt Lake City for the opening ceremonies of the Games. Cheney is expected to be here for Sunday's closing ceremonies.
A U.S. Senate run from Utah is possible, although Sens. Orrin Hatch and Bob Bennett, both R-Utah, don't seem likely to retire at the end of their terms in 2006 and 2004, respectively. Unseating either of them is unlikely.
Leavitt's term is up in 2004. But a number of home-grown Republicans are awaiting and Romney would be considered a moderate Republican by Utah standards. He clearly is aware of his political future here, however, vehemently denying press reports last year that he was pro-choice on abortion during his 1994 U.S. Senate campaign.
Romney makes it clear he has other options, including public service. He suggested he could be named the head of the Points of Light foundation started by former President George Bush. Right now, he's vice chairman of the organization.He has declined to say when he'll announce his intentions or even where he'll call home, Deer Valley or Belmont, Mass. "I can keep working here for three years," Romney said. "Or I can be gone the day after the Games are over."
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