— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) January 2, 2018
Months after rumors first began spreading toward the end of 2017, the New York Times reports that Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) will officially retire from the United States Senate at the end of his current term. Currently the longest-serving Republican senator, the 83-year-old politician made the announcement via a pre-taped video posted to Twitter. Hatch spends most of the two-minute clip reviewing his numerous accomplishments from a whopping 40 years spent in office. Yet he ultimately revealed that he would retire after the end of his current term in 2018, when midterm elections will be held across the country.
Interestingly, the Utahn politico’s decision to retire flies in the face of reports that President Trump was pressuring him to run again in 2018. Why? Because Mitt Romney, a former supporter turned critic of the current president, was rumored to be considering a run for Hatch’s Senate seat should he retire. Since the pair’s apparent falling out during the 2016 election, Romney has publicly decried Trump and his various endeavors — including Roy Moore’s Senate campaign in Alabama — whenever the chance presented itself. If Hatch were to remain in office, these reports read, Trump would effectively win one against Romney.
Hatch’s retirement also comes a month after the president made a highly publicized visit to his state (which he apparently can’t pronounce). Trump has yet to comment publicly on the news, but considering his efforts to avoid it while simultaneously cheating Romney out of a political redux, he’s bound to say something on Twitter, at press conference, or in private (and later reported elsewhere).
(Via New York Times)