SALT LAKE CITY — Mitt Romney is back in the game.
The former Massachusetts governor will now head to Washington as a U.S. senator for the state of Utah. He defeated Jenny Wilson Tuesday night in a race that was called by The Associated Press and CNN mere seconds after polls closed.
National media outlets wrote about Romney and his victory in the hours after he secured his spot in Congress for the foreseeable future. We’ve collected snippets from those articles and shared them below.
David Holland, a professor of religion at Harvard Divinity School, wrote for The New York Times that Romney will need to decide when and how to make common cause with President Donald Trump.
- “Assuming Mr. Romney wins a seat in the United States Senate, he will have to decide when and how to make common cause with the leader of his party. Will he draw on his experience as a missionary in France to resist isolationism and xenophobia? Will he utilize his memories as a lay church leader in Boston, where he devoted untold hours of ministry to vulnerable individuals and communities, to temper the president’s brutalizing rhetoric of winners and losers? Will he let a distinctly Latter-day Saint reverence for the United States Constitution embolden him to check abuses of executive power?
- “If he wants to counteract the man to whom he once attributed the potential ‘unraveling of our national fabric,’ he will have plenty of religious resources to bring to bear. Whether he will use them is up to him.”
David S. Bernstein, a writer for WGBH in Boston, explained to Utah what they’ll get from the former Massachusetts governor. Bernstein wrote that Romney won’t be overly controversial, but he will often put politics first in much of what he does.
- “You won’t need to worry about your new senator being on the take. He won’t put up with scandal or misbehavior around him, either. His political calculations are always, in his mind, to advance himself to a position where he can serve people even better.”
- “Besides, if it doesn’t work out, he’ll probably just move on to another place and forget all about you. At least, that was our experience with Mitt Romney."
Alexander Bolton of The Hill wrote that Romney could become “a conservative conscience” to Trump’s more controversial statements.13 comments on this story
- “GOP senators say they expect Romney to become a leading voice on international issues and believe he may wind up taking a seat on the Foreign Relations Committee, which (Bob) Corker and (Jeff) Flake will be leaving.”
- “During the 2012 presidential campaign, Romney called Russia the nation’s biggest geopolitical foe, and could put pressure on Trump to take a tougher stance on Russian President Vladimir Putin.”
- “Romney could also emerge as an influential voice on health care. As governor of Massachusetts, he helped implement a universal health care system in the state that later became the template for Obamacare.”
Roll Call's Stephanie Akin wrote that "the lack of a real challenge during Romney’s campaign has left questions about his willingness to take on the role of the Senate’s conscience."
- "He will still be a freshman senator, last in line to pick committee assignments, desk location and office space, and responsible for time-consuming duties like presiding over the chamber."
- Romney has already begun distancing himself from Trump, Akin wrote. But how long will that last?