Sen. Jeff Sessions testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for attorney general, testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee for his confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill, in Washington, on Tuesday, Jan. 10. 

Four reasons why Jeff Sessions will challenge U.S. Sen. Doug Jones, D-Birmingham, in 2020:

-- That Senate seat was his for two decades, and he wants it back.

-- He’s a Republican who’s still popular in Alabama, so campaigning would be a cinch.

-- The Republican Party is keen on removing Jones and putting a conservative back in that seat, and Sessions would be the natural fit.

-- He wants to spit out the lingering distaste from nearly two years as U.S. attorney general under President Trump and again prove his Washington worthiness.

And, four reasons why Jeff Sessions won’t do that:

-- He’s 71. He’d be well into his mid- to late-70s if he’s elected. It’s time to slow down.

-- The Senate isn’t his only option -- or, at least, shouldn’t be, given his political resume.

-- Alabama has other capable Republican possibilities, state Sen. Del Marsh, R-Anniston, and U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Mobile, among them.

-- Nearly two years of verbal and political abuse from Trump have beaten him down, and retirement sounds good.

Truth is, no one outside of the former attorney general’s tight circle knows what Sessions may do. This week, however, Sessions spoke to a reporter and offered some of his most expansive public comments thus far about his future.

Among them:

“I've been clearing my brain. I think that's a fair statement.”

“I’ll go to Alabama, do some things and then that will clarify things a little more before I worry about making a statement.”

“I could go back and spend time in the woods. I’ve got 10 grandchildren, oldest is 11.”

Granted, that’s weak insight, so questions about his future plans remain intact. When asked if he missed serving in the Senate, Sessions said, “No. I mean, no.” Nevertheless, the mind of this 71-year-old former U.S. senator -- once it’s “cleared,” as he says -- will still shape the Alabama Republican Party’s path in 2020. That hasn’t changed.