Skip to comments.Eleanor Clift: Predicting How Romney Might Govern Requires Multiple Scenarios
Posted on 10/27/2012 3:05:54 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
If he wins the presidency, will Romney drag his party toward the center or become a doormat for the arch-conservative wing?
Planning for a possible Romney presidency is well underway with a transition office open in Washington and the FBI doing background checks on likely appointees. House Republican leaders regularly convene two scenarios meetings to calibrate the tone and tenor of their response depending on the election outcome. One thing we dont know, says a Republican leadership aide, is whether a victorious Romney-elect transition would say clear the decks, this is your problem, staying on the sidelines and letting the defeated incumbent president and lame-duck Congress stew in their partisan juices. That would buy time and deflect the political heat.
A Romney victory would likely mean the countrys looming budget problems would be put off until after the new president took office in January. It would also mean an explosion of expectations among the Republican faithful. A lot of people are going to want to go full bore, says the aide. That includes everything from an overhaul of the tax code to a social agenda that many Americans find extreme, and that Romney has tried to distance himself from. Our members think if we win, well thats itnow well be able to really enact our agenda, and we want to temper that, inject some reality.
Senate candidate Richard Mourdocks comment that pregnancies resulting from rape are Gods will is the latest cautionary note for voters wondering what a GOP sweep in November might mean. The next president faces a host of problems, and solving them will require finding or creating a vital center in Washington. Romney in the last month has moved toward the political center, adopting a more dovish and internationalist stance on foreign policy and moderating his opposition to abortion, shifts that six months ago would have inflamed his conservative base. Polling and political analyst Bill Schneider sums up the rights silence in the face of such apostasy this way: that with Republicans likely to control both chambers of Congress if Romney wins, We want Romney in the White House to sign our legislation. Hell be there to sign our bills.
The Obama campaign is a victim of its own success: it turned Romney into such a cartoon of an unfeeling, rich guy that it was relatively easy for him to shed his extremist image. But how would he govern? Would he bring his party with him to the center? Or would he capitulate to the right, a repeat of the George H.W. Bush presidency, an ongoing exercise in navigating the ideological strains within the party, symbolized by Bushs broken no new taxes pledge, the Supreme Court appointment of conservative justice Clarence Thomas, and then a failed reelection bid because the right never trusted him.
The rights confidence that Romney would do their bidding is based on the expectations that Republicans will hold the power on Capitol Hill, and that Romney would not stand up in any meaningful way to his partys right wing. He is a lot like (George) H.W. Bush in many respectsthe moderate background, the move to the right, the persistent accusation that hes a rich guy out of touch, says Jack Pitney, a professor of government at Claremont McKenna College. Where the analogy breaks down, says Pitney, is the absence of moderates in todays GOP and the growing dominance of conservatives, along with a far more daunting fiscal picture than Bush faced.
I dont think H.W. (Bush) felt nearly as indebted as Romney does now, says former Democratic Senate leader Tom Daschle. Romney won the primaries if not with the blessing, with the consent of, the far right. He will be under enormous pressure to appoint people as ideologically pure as they are, and there wont be any pushback because the moderates dont exist. He will make W. (Bush) look like a moderate.
Any grand bargain on the budget would require compromise across party lines. Obama has been faulted for not schmoozing lawmakers, and Romney seems just as reserved when it comes to establishing political intimacy. When he was governor of Massachusetts, he reserved an elevator for his exclusive use rather than rub elbows with legislators. Pitney thinks if theres going to be a grand compromise it will not be because of Romneys skill, but because of economic necessity. To use the presidents phrase, its arithmetic.
Daschle expects a Republican Senate to push the rules to pass legislation with a simple majority (a process called reconciliation) but he also anticipates that Democrats, who have more of an inclination to want to govern, would cooperate with the new president. I dont think I know of a single Democrat who says entitlements are off the table, he says, contrasting that with GOP insistence there be no new taxes.
No new taxes doesnt mean no new revenue, says a Capitol Hill hand, and the expectation is that Romney will find a way to get around the antitax pledge. If the two parties agree on tax reform and close loopholes, Daschle expects they will look for tax-loophole offsets, the kind of wordplay that policymakers used during the Reagan era when tax increases were called revenue enhancements. Daschle is skeptical about extensive tax reform. When all is said and done, he predicts, more will be said than done.
Most analysts think that Romney, left to his own devices, would govern moderately, a Republican version of Clinton, someone who can make deals, thats what he does, says one, adding, the Tea Party will be upset. But not for long, he adds, because the most important thing Romney will do as president is nominate a rock-solid conservative to the Supreme Court, insuring the rights values and priorities carry the day for the foreseeable future. The pickings were kind of slim for Reagan, recalls Pitney. Sandra Day OConnor would never be a top-tier pick today. Whatever Romneys core beliefsand theyre hard to determinea conservative movement is fired up and ready to go should he win.
BTW, did anyone else realize this old woman was still alive?
What does Clift consider is arch-conservative?..
Must be anything to the right of Arlen Spector..
She no doubt considers Lindsey Graham and Juan McLaim right wing..
I ‘d pay to see an interview of her by MArk Levin or Ann COulter..
Would like to know which covert Commie Cell Group she belongs to..
You know... one of the ones that meet at PBS and NPR meetings..
Mourdock's comment has no connection whatsoever to the upcoming GOP sweep, unless you are liberal weenie Eleanor Cliff or her ilk.
WOW...She’s still alive...????
Best thing the Romney team can do when he is elected is to clean house across the board. Justice, State and any other high level department.
Next thing the Romney team needs to do is have a come home to Jesus meeting with the media. Tell them that lies about the administration, after being told the truth about the policy discussed will be met with a loss of credentials and to senior executives the threat of audit.
Romney should also take the last 3 rows of the press room, move them to the front and move the front 3 rows to the back.
Sadly, I see her perched on her chair on McLaughlin Group. Saw her this morning. I won't swear she'a alive, but she talks.
That show is still on? Seriously? On what channel? I miss the prince of darkness, if you know who I mean...
Another ugly Democrat woman heard from. On the bright side, a number of them are getting very long in the tooth.
..she reminds me of the old Home Ec teacher who we knew was a dyke that couldn’t bake and notoriously hated males. Wouldn’t even say good morning or respond audibly to any question someone (male) might have as far as a school function.
I made my first impression with her by trying to hold a door for her and a gust of wind took the door right out of my grip and the door smacked her right elbow so hard she spun around like she was on ice and almost followed her briefcase down the flight of stairs. I was so stunned, I didn’t say a word and just went to class. I avoided her for weeks afterwards...
As Rush would say, “Right on, right on”. If Mitt doesn’t clean house, all of his and our work will be for nothing. Please take strict measures and hold the media’s feet to the fire, or the country will not have any peace.
Not to mention sore knees from kneeling down while servicing our fearless leader.....
PBS. I swear Eleanor’s neck is gonna snap under the weight of her head.
I don't think that her head weighs much.
No, but she’s perched like a buzzard. Her back is against her chair but her head is way out over her feet. Creepy.
Do I sense a sigh of relief in the tone of her piece?
Possibly she is secretly looking forward to no longer having to come up with excuses for her fearless leader, to cover his sorry behind, which is about all she tries to do these days.
While we all know that the Left will do its best to destroy Mitt when he wins, I have a feeling that they have built themselves on so many lies that he may be able to neuter them
The article leaves out something that is a real possibility: that he will govern as a leftist.
If Mitt doesnt clean house, all of his and our work will be for nothing.
I've seen nothing to indicate that he is not a statist; as a statist, the thought that the government can do no wrong is a reality in their minds, and if that is the case then he cannot clean house because, by definition, the government can do no wrong.