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What Was Romney Planning?


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what-was-romney-planning-john-fundNational Review:

President Obama is beginning his second term today, and while Democrats are celebrating, there are some Republicans and conservatives who are viewing the festivities with more than the usual regret. Until just after the November election, they were among the 300 Washington-based members of Mitt Romney’s transition team, known internally as the “Readiness Project.”

No, hiring such a large staff to prepare plans for a Romney presidency didn’t represent an egotistical measuring of the drapes by the candidate. It was mandated by a new federal law, the Presidential Transition Act, which a Democratic Congress passed in 2010 to ensure that any newly elected president would be able to use the 77 days between election and inauguration to ensure he’d hit the ground running and have a smooth transition of power.


Michael Leavitt, the former Utah governor and Health and Human Services secretary, headed the Romney transition team. Shortly after the election, he told Time magazine, “Doing things on Day One takes activity on Day minus-90.” He was wistful about the Romney administration that might have been: “We built a great ship, but it just didn’t sail.” In part because the team’s bills were picked up by the federal government (to the final tune of $8.9 million), we can learn a fair bit about what the Romney people were up to, despite the confidentiality agreements all team members had to sign.

The “ship” was indeed impressive. The General Services Administration lent the Romney team three floors of a government office building at the corner of Third Street and C Street SW in Washington. The first staffers moved in at the beginning of September and were issued desks, government e-mails and phone numbers, security clearances, and access badges. Workers were assigned to one of more than 30 federal departments and agencies, each of which had its own office space.Scissors-32x32.png

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Sigh. I still believe he would have been a better president than imagined. That did not change my mind.


As I said during the Race...with Romney, we've got a shot (to get out of this mess with minimum damage), with Obama we got no shot.

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