The Trickle Down is Salute Magazine‘s weekly column by Political Writer Amanda Godula. The Trickle Down is a weekly look into what’s need-to-know, fresh takes on trends, and the inevitable controversies from the political arena. Let’s dig in and see what’s happening this week.
Two Democrats are sworn into the Senate, but we’re focused on Republican Mitt Romney.
Wednesday, January 3, welcomed two new Democrats to the Senate: newly elected Doug Jones from Alabama and newly appointed Tina Smith from Minnesota. With the two new Senators, Democrats are closer to having a voting balance between the two major parties: now 49 (including independents) to 51 Republicans.
Jones won a hotly contested race against Roy Moore, an alleged sexual abuser. The election shifted a red state to blue for the first time in newarly three decades. And, with Smith, her appointment will last until November, when a special election will elect a permanent replacement for Al Franken’s vacated seat. Smith has already vocalized her intent to run.
But, with all the buzz around Democrats, one Republican is drawing attention away. Mitt Romney.
As two Democrats join the Senate, one Republican is retiring. Goodbye Orrin Hatch – the longest serving Republican Senator in United States history – and, hello moderate Mitt Romney. The Utahn is rumored to be Hatch’s replacement.
This would signify a change in the Republican party, shifting from Trumpian politics. Romney has been vocal in reprimanding President Donald Trump on his policies and statements.
A disqualifying & disgusting response by @realDonaldTrump to the KKK. His coddling of repugnant bigotry is not in the character of America.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) February 29, 2016
A Romney resurgence isn’t out of the question. There was 2015 commentary on Romney saving the 2016 election, Republicans expressing love for the former Governor, and an entire community sympathizing with Romney’s cringeworthy encounter with The Donald.
For the first time in his life, Mitt Romney is All Of Us. pic.twitter.com/e8TyFgmtDl
— John Green (@johngreen) November 30, 2016
you can actually see the "how y'all let this mans in the white house and not me" in Mitt Romney's eyes pic.twitter.com/x9Iua7dRJU
— nathan zed 🥀 (@NathanZed) November 30, 2016
In fact, Romney created a precursor to Obamacare in Massachusetts, playfully titled Romneycare. A health care fix that had positive outcomes for his state through bipartisan solutions to a large problem.
“I am very proud of what we did, and the fact that we helped women and men and children in our state. And we did it without cutting Medicare,” Romney said in an interview with Chris Wallace.
Medicare is very popular, with a majority supporting expanding Medicare in a July 2017 Quinnipiac poll. Republicans do not instill confidence in the public when it comes to health care. A poll showed 80% of Americans disapproved the GOP’s handling of health care last summer.
If Romney is elected, it presents a harder challenge for red states to turn blue, like in Jones’s election.
Politico even theorized, “Democrats’ Secret Weapon: Romney Voters”; meaning Romney voters could rivalwhat Republicans had in the Reagan Democrats. With his possible Senate bid, this could significantly shake up forward momentum Democrats have.
Smart on the part of the GOP. But, it raises the question of how much momentum Democrats are carrying if one Republican changes the conversation?
If Romney is weaponized, what is left in the Democrat arsenal? Thanks to people like Al Franken, they’re left with fewer big names, but open roads for newbies like Jones and Smith.
New year, new shake-ups, new situations to go through. Welcome Doug Jones and Tina Smith! (…And, maybe Mitt Romney, too.)