Why Mitt Romney is the most important man in America

The future of the United States depends on Mitt Romney — but not in the way he imagined when he ran for president in 2012.

The following things are going to happen:

  • More will come out about Trump and Ukraine. None of it will look good for Trump.
  • More will come out about Trump inviting other countries like China to interfere in American politics.
  • Trump’s theory that he can’t be prosecuted while in office will fall apart. The New York Attorney General’s case against him, including the subpoenas for his tax returns, will continue.
  • The Democrats who control the House of Representatives will vote to impeach him, most likely by the end of 2019.

What will happen after that is uncertain, though. If things continue as they are now, there are not 67 votes in the Senate to convict the president and remove him from office.

The current stance of Senate Republicans is mostly along the lines of, “This is no big deal, I have no comment, He was just joking, Look at what Biden did.” Putting aside the truth and logic or lack thereof in these statements, consider them politically.

A Republican in the U.S. Senate who might potentially vote to convict Trump is facing a potential backlash from Trump voters or a primary challenge. They’re also facing the prospect of being in the crosshairs of Trump’s Twitter feed.

Mitt Romney has gone public with his concerns in a tweet that is nothing if not logical.

Any senator considering making a similar statement has to consider how Trump reacted to this. Here’s his response:

Romney is the man for this moment

Mitt Romney was our governor here in Massachusetts. What you know of him from his presidential run is not all there is. What I know about Romney is this: he is very rich, he is a traditional Republican, he is fiscally conservative, he loves America, he is moral, and he loves God. While I didn’t agree with him on everything, I had no serious problems with the way he managed the state — and he got things done in collaboration with the Democrats who dominate the state legislature here.

He even managed to get the first comprehensive health care plan passed here — a plan that very much resembles what Obama and the Democrats in Congress passed nationwide a few years later.

Romney is not worried about reelection because the Republicans who dominate Utah know him (he saved the Salt Lake City Olympics) and respect him. He is Mormon, and that makes a difference in Utah. Regardless of what Trump tweeted, you can’t impeach a Senator, and he’s done nothing illegal or immoral — he just criticized the president. For all we know, he won’t even run again; he’ll be 78 when it’s time for reelection.

And he’s been a Trump critic from the start of Trump’s term.

If another Senator comes out firmly against Trump’s actions, they’ll get strafed just like Romney was. But there are cracks. Rob Portman of Ohio said Trump was wrong to seek help from Ukraine and China on Biden. And Ben Sasse of Nebraska said “American’s don’t look to Chinese Commies for truth” and the whistleblower complaint contained “real troubling things.”

If there is a change here, it’s going to happen all at once, or not at all. Either 20+ Republican Senators (and maybe a few Republican Representatives) will come out for impeachment together, or just one or two will. Consider how different things would feel if 67 Senators voted to remove Trump from office. That’s not nearly the same as if only 48 did (45 Democrats, two independents, and maybe Romney).

I actually read John F. Kennedy’s book Profiles in Courage, which is about Senators who voted their conscience at great political cost. This is Mitt Romney’s moment to be a profile in courage, or not.

There are months between now and when the impeachment vote is held in the Senate. After more information comes out, and assuming Mitt Romney decides impeachment is appropriate, he may begin lobbying Senators to do what he feels is right for the country. Such an effort has to start somewhere — the most likely place is with Romney, the Republicans’ most recent presidential nominee before Trump.

And that is probably the only thing that could change the outcome of the vote.

That is why Mitt Romney is the most important man in America right now. What he decides to do next will make all the difference.

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  1. A somewhat related question. If Trump were impeached and removed from office, do you know if he would be eligible to run for president in the 2020 election? Regardless of whether or not he’d win the Republican nomination, would he be legally eligible? Just curious.


    1. As I understand it, if the House and Senate both vote to impeach, the Senate could also vote to disqualify him from holding a future office. The Constitution itself refers to the Senate’s ability to prevent an impeached official’s ability “to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States.”

  2. Two thoughts:
    Mitt Romney’s share of the popular vote was higher than Trump’s share, I believe.

    Mormons viscerally dislike profanity. Trump’s use of it makes Romney look even more dignified.

    I hope this can make him courageous and persuasive.

  3. This is very interesting Josh. Another friend of mine just painted this same picture for me yesterday. Full transparency: I voted for Romney, for all the merits you mentioned. He would have been a great POTUS in my humble opinion. I now find it ironic that the left (generally speaking – not referring to you personally) sees Romney as a cornerstone in their crusade to oust Trump at all costs. Romney: the candidate who Democrats vilified for being rich, and being a Mormon. Romney: The candidate they ridiculed for citing Russia as the biggest threat to our national security. Romney: The candidate who knew a thing or two about health industry reform. Now he’s a picture of morality, and a profile in courage?

    I have a question. If this plays out the way the Dems want, it would only be because the Republicans in the Senate are ready to nominate someone in Trump’s stead for the 2020 Republican ticket. So who do you think that might be, if not Romney himself? It all seems very “conspiracy theory” to me, and highly unlikely.

    1. Carl, even Democrats who don’t like Romney can respect him. A lot would tell you they prefer Romney over Trump.

      I think somebody like Elizabeth Warren is more likely to beat Trump than to beat Romney in 2020. But I would still prefer to have my choices be Warren or Romney. Why? Because then, even if I didn’t get my first choice, I wouldn’t be worried about the future of everything that matters to me.

  4. While I agree things would feel different if 67 Senators voted to remove Trump from office, conviction in the Senate does NOT require 67 votes. The Constitution says it requires “Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present” (NB “present”). So long as a quorum remains, almost all Republican Senators could vacate the floor just before the vote and the President* could be convicted with fewer than 67 votes.

    Obviously it would feel /better\ if there were 67 votes to convict, and we all know how negatively Fox News and Breitbart would describe this outcome, but legally, we do not need 20+ Republican Senators to take a public stand. They can agree amongst themselves in secret which few will take the risk of showing courage.