Bob Bernick’s notebook: All I want for Christmas is Mitt Romney

Dear Santa:

On behalf of many Utahns, I’d like to ask you for something special for Christmas this year:

Gov. Mitt Romney.

You see, Santa, we need Gov. Romney to save us again.

Remember when the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympics were mired in scandal, and we worried that we couldn’t raise the tens of millions of dollars that would make it profitable?

Well, many of us in Utah do.

And then-GOP Gov. Mike Leavitt called upon Mitt Romney to step in and get us out of that mess?

Well, Santa, he did.

Now Utah needs the same gift again.

This time around it would be much messier.

Probably much less enjoyable for Gov. Romney and his immediate family.

He’d likely make some folks around here unhappy.

Maybe even make some enemies.

I can certainly think of one: U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch.

You see, Santa, many of us want Gov. Romney to run for the U.S. Senate in 2018.

Even if Sen. Hatch decides (unfortunately) to run again, also.

The senator, now 83, promised in 2012 that if Utahns gave him THEIR (not his) seat once again, he would retire in 2018.

It was a promise that he now appears to be going back on.

Gov. Romney, you can really help him keep it.

If you, Gov. Romney, were to announce that you are indeed running for the Utah U.S. Senate seat up in 2018, it’s unlikely Sen. Hatch would get in the race.

Our polling (along with other public opinion surveys) shows the senator isn’t doing very well among Utahns.

The latest survey by Dan Jones & Associates finds the populace split on Sen. Hatch – 48 percent approve of him, 48 percent disapprove.

That’s not very good.

In fact, historically, that is really quite bad for the senator.

But now President Donald Trump wants the senator to run again.

And a bunch of lobbyists wants him, too.

But Utah – and even the nation – needs a change.

I realize that you are 70, Gov. Romney.

But 70 is still a lot younger than 83.

In fact, 70 may be the new 60, which is the new 50, and so on.

You, Gov. Romney, are certainly much younger than Santa, who has been around, well, a really long time.

It certainly is fun to play with the grandchildren, isn’t it Gov. Romney?

And relaxing is nice, also.

But now is the time for all good men – or at least one good man – to come to the aid of his country.

Or state.

Or something like what was previously written so long ago.

Sen. Hatch has served us, by and large, well.

But no man is essential to our democracy.

Even one who is chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

There will always be important work to be done in the halls of Congress.

There will always be turnover among its members.

To paraphrase a 1976 Senate candidate: “What do you call a senator who has served 18 (or 42) years?”

“You call him home.”

(With warm thanks and a shiny, bright, well-funded Hatch Foundation gift under the University of Utah tree.)

So, Gov. Romney, please step up to the plate again.

For Utah.

For us.

Thanks, Santa.

And have a good Christmas.