To say that the state of Utah is excited about the prospect of Mitt Romney filling the state’s soon-to-be-open U.S. Senate seat is a massive understatement. GOP voters in the state have been standing behind Romney through thick and thin since he “lit the fire within” the state’s presentation of the Olympics in 2002. According to the New York Times Presidential Election Poll, in 2012, Mitt won over 70 percent of the state’s vote. Now, having shown off his leadership capacity and established a powerful following, Romney is ready. In the next few weeks, Utah voters will watch to see if their beloved Mitt rises once again to the occasion, and announces his candidacy.
Mitt has always been a powerful political candidate, running twice for president, serving as governor of Massachusetts, and even launching a previous Senate campaign in 1994. As a stalwart leader, he has risen to the top in many occasions and held firm in times of trial. Should he elect to run again in pursuit of Orrin Hatch’s soon-to-be-open Senate seat, he will face perhaps the most auspicious political opportunity he has ever seen, but what will he have to offer?
In the October 2012 presidential debate, Romney stated that his financial plan in Washington would be “tax relief for the middle class … balancing our budget … [and] helping small businesses.” With Utah’s powerful small business owners playing a key role in the vote, Mitt will target them first. As he wins them over, his efforts will yield commanding authority in D.C., just what he needs to disrupt the current GOP standards that are in many ways an aberration from his more moderate ideals.
Regarding health care, Romney brings a world of experience to the table. Again, in the October 2012 presidential debate he said, “The federal government taking over health care for the entire nation and whisking aside the 10th Amendment, which gives states the rights for these kinds of things, is not the course for America to have a stronger, more vibrant economy.” Health care is a sacred topic to Romney. Having had success with his policies as governor of Massachusetts, he will have to choose whether to fight to let Utah constituents battle it out at the state level, or push to have his ideas implemented at the national level by the all-powerful force of Congress. Either way, his health care proposals will be an upgrade from what most Americans have had to deal with over the past few years.
In Washington, Romney will push for efficiency and fight to stop the government from engaging in its recently prevalent profligate behavior. To accomplish such an end, he will cut back on the number of government employees and by so doing, bring the budget back into balance. Attempting to “combine some agencies and departments,” as he said in 2012, he will use all the power that the people of Utah want to give him to make American government efficient again. Following in the steps of Jeff Flake and Bob Corker, he will keep President Trump in line and point the U.S. moral and political compasses in the direction they need to go.
Without a doubt, Utahns are tuned in and anxious to watch the Romney name take center stage once again. Images of Romney T-shirts, street signs and TV commercials still dance joyfully in their election memories. The people want him in office, and an election win may be as easy as just announcing it. Only time will tell whether he opens the election door or not, but this is, for many Utahans, a very happy, very anxious time. Voters stand at the ready chanting the same old tune, “Run Romney, run!”
Robert is a Brigham Young University student raised in Holladay, UT.