It isn’t often that I disagree with Don Surber but this take on Mitt Romney is less that what it seems.

While Romney is running for the Senate in a Republican state, he is more popular than Trump so he really does not need to kiss up.

But he is one Never Trumper giving the president his due.

“Romney, who harshly criticized Trump over the years, said he supports much of what the president has done such as cutting taxes, rolling back business regulations and reducing the size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments in southern Utah,” the newspaper reported.

I have to disagree, he in fact IS making it a point to kiss up to Trump and making sure everyone sees it.

This serves several purposes.

First of all while it is unlikely, even in the year of a blue wave that Mitt’s Democrat opponent would get enough traction to win, Anything resembling a close race in Utah, a state where he beat Barack Obama by 48 points in 2012, would be a real embarrassment. What would it say about the credibility or popularity of most prominent Mormon in the United States if his margin of victory in the state is under 10 points?

Second Romney understands that if (most likely when) elected he will be the most prominent nevertrumper in the US Senate. He understands that this is the same dynamic as the 2012 GOP primaries where he will become the default goto GOP member for the entire MSM. He will of course have to be able to defend GOP priorities, Tax Cuts, Regulatory Cuts et all, but even so he knows that as long as he is willing to hit the president he will always have the seat of honor at the MSM table and will unlike Ted Cruz, unlikely to be shadowbanned on social media.

Finally lets not forget Mitt still considers himself the smartest man in the room and when it comes time for 2020 there is the prospect that he will decide to carry the Nevertrump banner himself, promising all the economic benefits with none of the drama and betting that he can beat Trump in Iowa where Ted Cruz won and in NH where he still has strength. He’ll have a year of positive press coverage behind him and unending series accolades from establishment GOP members hungry for the power that they consider their birthright. But he can’t promise the Trump economy without the Trump in 2020 if he isn’t backing the policies that made it in 2018.

Now to you and me all of this might sound ridiculous. Not only is Romney unlikely to draw the “deplorable” vote in the general election necessary to win Michigan, Pennsylvania or Wisconsin (which is why the MSM will be happy to back him in the primaries) but he certainly not going to be able to counter whoever the Democrats put up against him but that’s not the message of the political consultant class dying to get a piece of their lucrative pie once again.

You can bet those fellows have been telling him that he is the voice of reason in a sea of nasty tweets. The person of character for a #metoo era that rejects a thrice married lech who cheats on his wife with porn starts. He is the man who is going to save the GOP from Trump and all he stand for, and they will be proud guide him to that destiny…for their usual fee of course.

Maybe Mitt is old and wise enough to eventually figure out the con before he embarrasses himself come 2020 but until them it costs him nothing to play nice now and keep his options open.

That’s why it’s effective

They left out the unwillingness to fight against gay marriage which even in Massachusetts only survived by a single supreme court vote and the unwillingness of Mitt to fight to get it on the ballot.

Mitt is a good family man, a smart fellow and he’s deserves a lot of credit for the Scott Brown victory that started the tea party movement going. If nominated in Utah he would be better than any Democrat without question but political courage have never been one of his strong points. He’s been much more willing to fight against Donald Trump than any Democrat

That’s just the truth, which, as I said is why this ad works.

It’s not going to be enough to beat him in a primary but one has to walk before you run.

Daniels via Wikipedia Mitt via my 2012 campaign coverage

…Then the media offensive might have a prayer of doing what they want it to do, bring down a GOP president.

You see Mitt Romney has a history of an image of a good family man, a man of high (personal NOT POLITICAL) moral standards and character so if it turned out that he had been boinking “A” or even “B” list porn stars on the side it would be real John Edwards Class Scandal that the MSM would pursue with much more vigor than they did the Edwards tale.

But alas for the MSM Donald Trump is not Mitt Romney.

If 30 years ago, 20 years ago, 10 years ago, hell even 5 years ago somebody told you that thrice married and twice divorced billionaire Donald Trump had banged a porn star and had arranged a side agreement to prevent it from coming out would any of you have been surprised or interested? I mean there is a reason why InTouch magazine didn’t bother to run that story way back when.

Who Donald Trump was before he ran was baked into voters, including evangelical voters, calculations when they voted for him. As I said at the time of my lonely re-endorsement when the billy Bush tape came out

To those who have endorsed Donald Trump, the idea that he is both boastful and vulgar has been a given, it has been factored into the equation concerning him. Furthermore his public persona has been out there for decades and he has never pretended to be anything other than what he is. I further suspect the voting public has already factored this into their image of Trump and it is unlikely that this revelation is going to move those who haven’t made up their minds one way or the other despite the shocked faces at CNN.

That the MSM hasn’t figured this out yet amazes me, that the NYT is selling this as a scandal that could bring down President Trump is laughable, that Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski have gone so far as to claim that the potential Kim negotiations are a ploy to distract from this story stupefies me and causes fellow never Trumper and Stormy Daniels story enthusiast Allahpundit at Hotair to suggest he has brain damage.

But by all means MSM do keep playing this card and convince voters of the left that this will bring down Trump any day now. The resulting disappointment should have laudable effects in disheartening your base.

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Of all of Donald Trump’s cabinet decisions, Secretary of State has been the most contentious. All of the four or five remaining candidates have been attacked to some degree, including a barrage of attacks on Mitt Romney from within the Trump camp itself. All of the four or five candidates have long histories of political experience, though only John Bolton has extensive experience talking to foreign leaders (General David Petraeus interacted with foreign military leaders, but that’s not the same thing and partially irrelevant for Secretary of State).

Is it possible to hit the reset button? One of the best things about Donald Trump being President is that the old rules no longer apply. He can select someone outside of the DC inner circle and justify it. Secretary of State more than any other major cabinet decision can benefit from selecting an outsider. The co-author of The Art of the Deal should know this better than anyone. It’s easier to train a great negotiator on the nuances of foreign affairs than to train a politician in the skills of negotiating. After all, we’re the United States. We should be working towards making the best possible deals that benefit everyone, especially us.

All of the current considerations for Secretary of State come with major baggage while having minimal upsides. Romney has the most negotiating experience and has seen this put to great use during his careers in both public and private circles, but he’s scorned by a large chunk of the people who helped get Trump elected in the first place. Bolton is very old school, and while he’s known as a free-thinker, he’s also known to go off the rails from time to time. That’s a trait that Trump doesn’t need in his top diplomat. Petraeus made some horrendous decisions in his days in public life. He should not be rewarded with more responsibility just because he’s done with probation for releasing secret government information carelessly. Rudy Giuliani showed signs throughout the campaign of being well beyond his prime. He wasn’t sharp in many of his speeches and does not appear to be physically capable of the grueling travel schedule a Secretary of State requires. Bob Corker is a Democrat.

While any of these choices would be upgrades from John Kerry, they don’t quite enter the same arena as Alexander Haig, for example. In today’s geo-political maelstrom, we need an Alexander Haig.

Certainly there’s someone else within Trump’s vision who can meet all the criteria. The Secretary of State must be able to communicate the message and act in lieu of the President of the United States in foreign affairs. They need to be easily respected by foreign leaders. They need the negotiating skills that can prevent Iran Nuclear deals from even reaching a point of agreement until it’s clear that the benefits are not lopsided against us. Most importantly, they need to see the world from a perspective that aligns with the President’s vision. None of the current candidates cover all of these criteria well.

I’m not going to throw out names, though I have several in mind. If I had Trump’s ear, I would, but there’s no point in speculating for the sake of speculating. At this point, the best we can hope for is that the President-elect continues his search and is presented with better options than the four or five finalists being discussed today. They are all B-listers at best.