Romney impeachment vote turns tables on Trump
Two words leaped to mind just before Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, announced that he would vote to convict President Donald Trump on one article of impeachment: frog's legs.
Frog's legs were on the menu as then-president-elect and Romney dined at Jean-Georges, a high-ticket eatery inside the (where else?) Trump Hotel in November 2016. After having refused to endorse Trump and calling him unworthy of the Oval Office, Romney nonetheless publicly auditioned for the prestigious secretary of state post.
It was a public humiliation for Romney, the GOP 2012 nominee, who had to eat swamp meat and his own words while cameras and social media captured the humbling moment for all the world.
The frog's legs supper let some of the air out of Romney's sanctimony tires.
Trump had reason to want to bring the former Massachusetts governor down a notch. In February 2012, Trump kindly endorsed Romney, who was a bit ambivalent about the whole exercise. At the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas, Romney offered, "There are some things that you can't just imagine happening in your life."
Four years later, Romney refused to repay the favor. In March 2016, he tried to stop Trump in an address that labeled the frontrunner "a phony and a fraud." Romney even tweeted, "If Trump had said four years ago the things he says today about the KKK, Muslims, Mexicans, disabled, I would NOT have accepted his endorsement."
Not only was Romney willing to forget Trump's unworthiness after Trump won in 2016, but also he accepted Trump's endorsement in 2018 when he ran for Senate in Utah.
There are those who say Romney turned on Trump out of envy because the one-time reality TV star succeeded in 2016 where the former Massachusetts governor failed four years earlier. But I suspect a big factor may have been that Trump made Romney tap dance in front of the world -- that he could forgive Trump winning but not Trump playing him for a position Romney would never get.
As conservative author Arthur Brooks noted at the National Prayer Breakfast Thursday, "When you are treated with contempt, you never forget it."
Ironically, Brooks made that remark mere minutes before Trump used the annual prayer event to denounce his "enemies."