barking up the wrong tree
If Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) had an ulterior motive for his decision to vote to convict President Trump for abuse of power, he's doing a good job of hiding it.
In an interview with The Atlantic, Romney was asked about a speculative story published by The Washington Examiner, which suggested his bipartisan behavior during the Senate impeachment trial was part of a plan to run for president in 2024. Romney, people told the Examiner, was trying to establish himself as the star of the Republican old guard should Trump fail in the 2020 election.
That apparently got Romney right in the gut, but not because his feelings were hurt. Instead, per The Atlantic, Romney cracked up at the idea. "Yes! That's it!," he reportedly jokingly exclaimed. "Look at the base I have! It's going to be at least 2 or 3 percent of the Republican Party. As goes Utah, so goes the nation!"
Romney said the trial took a toll on him, and he also expects some rough days ahead since he assumes his party won't treat him too kindly over the conviction vote, so he probably didn't mind having the chance to chuckle. Read more about how Romney came to his decision at The Atlantic.