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John Fetterman Endorses Mitt Romney To Become Harvard’s Next President

Mitt Romney is an American politician who has served as senator of Utah since 2019. Democratic Senator John Fetterman endorsed Romney, a Republican, to serve as Harvard's next president.
Mitt Romney is an American politician who has served as senator of Utah since 2019. Democratic Senator John Fetterman endorsed Romney, a Republican, to serve as Harvard's next president. By Emily L. Ding
By Emma H. Haidar and Cam E. Kettles, Crimson Staff Writers

Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) endorsed an unlikely candidate to serve as the 31st president of Harvard University: his colleague, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah).

There is no indication that Romney, who ran for the U.S. presidency in 2012, is actually a candidate to become president of Harvard, but the idea gained traction after American Jewish Congress President Daniel J. Rosen ’96 recommended Romney for the role in an op-ed for the Washington Post.

Fetterman, a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School, posted Rosen’s article on X and wrote in a caption that he agreed that Romney would be a good fit for his alma mater.

“I co-sign,” Fetterman wrote. “This former Governor of Massachusetts doesn’t need a paycheck, but Harvard and its academic peers needs to recalibrate from far-left orthodoxy,” he added.

A Harvard spokesperson declined to comment on the endorsement.

Romney, who is an alumnus of Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School, jokingly responded to the rumors Tuesday and said his potential candidacy would cause “mayhem.”

“One way of ending the demonstrations on Gaza would be to name me president of Harvard because then the demonstrations would all be about getting rid of President Romney,” said Romney, who will not be running for re-election this fall.

As neither a tenured professor nor a University administrator, Romney is almost certainly not a viable candidate for the position. However, he is not the first politician to be heavily suggested for the job.

Former U.S. President Barack Obama was widely rumored to be a candidate to succeed former University President Claudine Gay, but The Crimson reported in February that Obama was not in the running.

While Romney is unlikely to become Harvard’s next president, Fetterman’s comments demonstrate that even some Democratic lawmakers are concerned that elite universities like Harvard have become too left-wing.

Shortly after Gay’s abrupt Jan. 2 resignation, the Harvard Corporation – the University’s highest governing body – said information about an upcoming presidential search would come in “due course.”

But four months later, the Corporation has not released any new information about the state of the process.

Interim Harvard President Alan M. Garber ’76 has emerged as a potential front-runner to permanently succeed Gay.

In an interview with The Crimson on Monday, Garber said he had agreed to stay in the role beyond June 2024, but declined to further discuss the presidential search.

—Staff writer Emma H. Haidar can be reached at emma.haidar@thecrimson.com. Follow her on X @HaidarEmma.

—Staff writer Cam E. Kettles can be reached at cam.kettles@thecrimson.com. Follow her on X @cam_kettles or on Threads @camkettles.

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