So why is Chaffetz doing so?
The most likely answer, theorize Republican strategists watching this play out, is that Chaffetz is just bored with his job. His job as chairman of the oversight panel is to investigate the government, and it probably would have been a lot more fun for this tea party-leaning Republican to investigate Hillary Clinton’s government than President Trump’s.
.. After Trump was inaugurated, Chaffetz rather provocatively suggested that he planned to remain a national figure because of Clinton, not Trump. That hasn’t really materialized now that Congress is investigating Trump’s potential ties to Russia.
.. And in a town full of overly ambitious people, he is especially known for dripping with ambition.
.. Josh Romney, Mitt Romney’s son, said he’s “strongly considering” running, but that wouldn’t preclude Chaffetz from jumping in.
.. maybe he just decided that his name recognition was high enough to do it from the private sector (where in-the-know members of Congress can make millions)
.. Chaffetz’s district isn’t going to suddenly be competitive for Democrats. It’s one of the most Republican districts in the nation.
.. Chaffetz has never been a traditional politician. He makes political calculations slightly differently than the average lawmaker, and he doesn’t really care if he raises eyebrows doing so.
.. Chaffetz famously set a modern record of flip-flopping on Trump.
.. When John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) resigned last year as House speaker, Chaffetz announced a run for speaker. (He dropped out after Rep. Paul D. Ryan entered the race.)
.. But Chaffetz has clearly decided that speaker is no longer a job he wants.