Mitt Romney might be falling behind in the polls, but that doesn’t mean that he’s not preparing for the win, and frankly, it would be irresponsible if he didn’t. From Politico:
The GOP presidential candidate’s Washington team is intensifying its efforts, moving into official office space and holding meetings on Capitol Hill. The team has also begun reaching out to K Streeters and former Republican administration officials to get guidance on the Senate confirmation process and recommendations for jobs in a possible Romney White House.
Dubbed “The Readiness Project” inside Romneyworld, the effort began in earnest after the Republican National Convention and is not only focused on compiling a list of job candidates, but also designed to create a 200-day roadmap for congressional relations during the post-election lame duck session and beyond.
Romney’s campaign is not doing well. Polling composites are giving the GOP nominee only a 22% chance of winning the race. His campaign has also been very light on policy specifics, but can his choice in transition team give us a glimpse into Romney’s true policy agenda? Possibly.
His team is headed up by former Utah Governor, former Bush Secretary of Health and Human Services and fellow Mormon, Mike Leavitt. Ironically, Leavitt is making a lot of money from Obamacare. Also from Politico:
News over the weekend of Leavitt’s involvement in a would-be Romney administration sent some on the right into near apoplectic shock that Romney would pick someone who’s profiting from ACA implementation. Leavitt’s firm is making millions advising states on how to design exchanges, the ACA’s state-based marketplaces that will deliver federal subsidies to purchase insurance and enable about half of the law’s coverage expansion.
Romney has presented conflicting messages about what he would do with Obamacare. At first, he advocated overturning every bit of it, then he said he would keep the parts that people like. Presumably, Leavitt has every incentive to keep the controversial mandate, although ultimately, it would be Romney’s administration. Leavitt is not a Grover Norquist anti-tax purist. In fact, he is adamantly for taxing online retailers. Of course, taxing internet purchases is typically a tax on the middle class.
The other name that has been announced is former lobbyist, Drew Maloney, whose biggest clients were Chevron and hedge funds.
In addition, there are,
an implementation group, which is headed by former World Bank chief Robert Zoellick on the national security side and Bush National Economic Council director Al Hubbard on domestic affairs.
And there’s a group of individuals tasked with focusing on appointments in a potential Romney administration. Former Massachusetts Lt. Gov Kerry Healey is leading the search for appointees to domestic posts, longtime Romney adviser Kent Lucken is handling national security appointments and former Bush HHS official Suzy DeFrancis and Bush Housing and Urban Development Secretary Steve Preston are focused on White House appointments.
With the number of Bush administration officials on Romney’s team, it’s easy to imagine that a Romney administration would be Bush 2.0. On the other hand, all new administrations need people who know their way around Washington.
Most telling perhaps, are the meetings the team is having with Congressional members such as Eric Cantor. The Romney campaign seems to be signaling that should he be elected, Republicans in Congress will finally unlock the handcuffs they have had around the democratic process, which of course, isn’t democracy – it’s extortion.