Skip to comments.Who’s on the inside track for a Romney Cabinet
Posted on 08/28/2012 1:51:46 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
Mitt Romney said his Cabinet and White House staff will be stacked with men and women from the business world, but his top advisers sketched out for POLITICO a team composed of many familiar faces in Washington.
Already on the inside track: several veterans of George W. Bushs administration and a number of women but not necessarily a single Democrat.
The choices are still months off and behind in the polls, Romney is hardly preoccupied with his transition just yet but it is possible to chart a more detailed early look at a potential Romney Cabinet than was possible for Bush or Barack Obama at this stage of their campaigns.
And one name advisers return to time and again is a person little-known to most Americans: Mike Leavitt, a fellow Mormon who is creating a government-in-waiting plan for Romney. Leavitt is the prototypical Romney Cabinet pick loyal, low-key and diligent, just the kind of person Romney likes to surround himself with.
Leavitt did two jobs for Bush: ran the Environmental Protection Agency and the Health and Human Services Department and is a lock for one of the most important jobs if he wants it White House chief of staff or Treasury secretary, the advisers said.
Glenn Hubbard, an economic adviser to the campaign, would be a likely Romney appointee as Federal Reserve chairman or Treasury secretary. He served as Bushs top economic adviser for a time as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.
And Dan Senor, a senior adviser to Paul Ryan, would likely get a top West Wing job, perhaps deputy chief of staff or even national security adviser. Senor was a spokesman for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq immediately after the war. Kevin Madden, traveling spokesman on the campaign plane, would be expected to be named White House spokesman.
Rounding out the Bush veterans: Senior Romney adviser Ed Gillespie, former counselor to Bush and former Republican National Committee chairman, is very well-positioned for a top counselor job given his bigger-than-most-realize role in whipping the current operation into shape, the advisers said.
In his last interview before heading to his lakefront New Hampshire home to prepare his acceptance speech for this weeks Republican National Convention, Romney sketched for POLITICO several of the criteria he will use in picking his Cabinet:
The qualification that is uppermost in his mind is private-sector experience: My focus is going to be on the economy, getting us strong again. So having people who have actually run things in the private sector or have been actively involved in the private sector will be of real interest to me.
Romney said he expects that his Cabinet will have a representative form of diversity that mirrors our society at large, including women, African-Americans and Hispanics. He mentioned Debra Lee, an African-American who runs Black Entertainment Television, as someone who has caught his eye.
Interestingly, he would not commit to putting a Democrat in his Cabinet, although he noted that he had in Massachusetts. If he decided to include one, former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell would be one possibility, perhaps as Transportation secretary.
Romney also said he would empower his Cabinet more than Obama has. I do not look to bring someone in to run an agency and say, Hey, go do a good job, and let me know how it goes. I look, instead, to come in and say, Here is what I want to have done. These are the things I believe need to be done in this agency, and Im the guy that got elected, not you. So, it is my goals, not your goals, that are first and foremost. To lure any CEOs into his Cabinet, Romney would need to make plain they would have more power than under Obama or Bush.
Romney boasted of how, as governor, he had more women in power than any other leader in the country. He said he asked womens groups at the time to give him a list of women who should get jobs, and many did. Romney said Meg Whitman of Hewlett-Packard is the type of woman he would love to have work for him, but her spokesman told POLITICO she wouldnt leave the company for government.
One woman certain for a top role, probably as a senior adviser, is Beth Myers, who helps run his campaign and ran his life as governor. She made sure that every important issue followed a timetable and that things were brought to me on a timely basis and that we had sufficient time to deal with them, Romney said.
She would be the new Valerie Jarrett trusted as the keeper of the legacy.
Officially, Romney is focused on the campaign and is not wasting any time debating, even internally, who might join his Cabinet and senior staff. But behind the scenes, operatives wired into the Romney campaign have gotten scads of clues and have developed an extremely specific sense of the direction he would probably head.
So with the caveat that informed speculation is still speculation, here are the top names who have an inside track to the White House, according to people close to Romney:
* Jack Gerard, president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute who worked in the House and Senate earlier in his career, gets mentioned as a possible chief of staff or Energy secretary.
* One Hispanic official who is liked and trusted in the Romney campaign is Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuño, whose wife, Luce Vela Fortuño, is scheduled to introduce Ann Romney at this weeks convention. Commerce or Interior are possibilities.
* Ben Ginsberg has handled the campaigns most sensitive legal matters including Romneys tax returns, the vetting of vice presidential candidates and debate negotiations and would be the most obvious choice for White House counsel.
* Others likely to be named to such a broad strategic role as Myers include Peter Flaherty, a top aide since the governors office, and Bob White, a boyhood friend who went on to work with Romney at Bain Capital.
* Kerry Healey, who was Romneys lieutenant governor, advises the campaign on foreign policy and could take a similar role in the White House.
* Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who worked in the White House for both George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who is popular around the Boston headquarters for his loyalty, could well get a top nomination as a consolation prize for not being picked for vice president. They would be in the mix for top Cabinet jobs, with Portman considered Treasury material and Pawlenty something smaller, perhaps Education.
* Secretary of State: Robert Zoellick, former World Bank president and Goldman Sachs executive who was deputy secretary of state, could get the top job. In diplomatic circles, this is seen as very likely.
* Health and Human Services secretary: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal would be considered and would likely take it as more experience to run for president down the road.
* Energy secretary: In addition to the buzz about being chief of staff, Gerard would be looked at for this. Others include oil billionaire Harold Hamm, a top Romney energy campaign adviser, and several veterans of the George W. Bush administration, including former White House environmental adviser James Connaughton.
Others include Linda Stuntz, a Romney campaign surrogate who was a former deputy Energy secretary under George H.W. Bush, and Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.), who formerly chaired the Energy and Commerce Committee and shepherded major energy legislation to passage.
* Transportation secretary: Possibilities include Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, which would let Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, Romneys Virginia chairman, run as an incumbent and avoid an ugly primary; Marion Blakey, former head of the Federal Aviation Administration and chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board; and Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, who will be term-limited out of his gavel at the end of the year.
-- Alexander Burns, Darius Dixon, Reid Epstein, Darren Goode, Maggie Haberman, James Hohmann, Bob King, Jonathan Martin, Andrew Restuccia, Lois Romano, Jedd Rosche and Kathryn Wolfe contributed to this report.
“Leavitt is the prototypical Romney Cabinet pick loyal, low-key and diligent, just the kind of person Romney likes to surround himself with.”
Sure sign of something nefarious...loyal, low key, diligent...the bastard!
Mr. RomneyCARE will surround himself with Democrats.
The GOP is finished.
I hope he asks Ryan to serve as head of OMB as well as VP
“I hope he asks Ryan to serve as head of OMB as well as VP”
Heh heh heh ... I hope he also gets to cast the deciding vote in the Senate in case of a tie...but never has to because of a 61 vote majority by mostly Tea Party newbies...
RINOmeny will play “que es mas RINO?” in order to pick his staff.
I hope and pray I’m wrong.
But I’m not.
I thought Obama was going to win in another landslide, so why did Politico bother writing this?
Is there something the MSM doesn’t want us to know? Hmm?
I would prefer Jindal as Energy Secretary rather than HHS.
I was sure hoping to see John Bolton’s name in the mix for SOS!
I don’t know exactly who they’ll be, but they will be the 15 biggest RINOs in the country. Identify who those individuals are and you could win a very handsome sum in Las Vegas.
Bolton - State
Richard Fisher - Fed chairman
Gingrich - Defense
Palin - Energy
RE: I would prefer Jindal as Energy Secretary rather than HHS.
I would really prefer the closing down of the Department of Energy altogether. That was a Carter era boondoggle that has become a total waste of money, never meeting its stated objective.
This country’s energy needs were fine before the existence of this Department. It will be better without it.
Let me add to your list:
Ron Paul — Fed Chairman
Steve Forbes — Treasury Secretary
Ken Cuccinelli — Attorney general
Allen West — Homeland Security
I will be very surprised if any of those four get any kind of a position out of Romney.
Dole will be heading up the new Department of Viagra and Mccain will be heading up the new Department of Emergency Meetings of Onset Dementia.
Fantasy Team ???
John Bolton @ State.
Sarah Palin @ Energy.
Liz Cheney @ Nat’l Security
Meg Whitman @ Commerce
Chris Christie @ Press Secretary (unless Newt wants it)
David Petraeus @ Sec Def
Marc Levin @ AG
Petreaus cannot SecDef by law until Sept 2018
I believe Debra Lee and Romney served on the Marriott board together from 2009-2011, though he tried to make it sound like he didn’t know her personally.
Leavitt’s a fellow Mormon who has been cashing in big time Obamacare.
People who have not arrived on earth yet.
Just kidding. They aren’t actually people as such.
Just kidding. Dave Romney, Fred Romney, Hank Romney, Steve Romney, Dan Romney, Ezekiel Romney, Tripp Romney, Paul Ryan (in-joke if you were watching CNN), Rodney Romney, would that be enough?
Yawn. ZZZZzzzz ....
You are not likely to see Bolton hanging around this guy's regime ~ ever~
Then this guy is probably the Mittbot equivalent of Tony Wiener ~ the Democrat’s most knowledgeable guy when it comes to ObamaKKKare.
Alan West - Sec of Defense....please!
Newt as SOS
Romney needs to soft-pedal his picks and positions now; that’s politics.
I see that many freepers are telling the democrats they have nothing to fear; it may work out well.
How about no one for Energy Sectretary? Eliminate the department. Ditto for the EPA, Dept of Education, etc.
He ought to be—he’s at the trough making millions from it!
ANN COULTER would make a fine fine SEC. of DEFENSE....
it’d be the end of the jihadi threat that’s for sure...i believe she once advised ...’We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.’ That kind of intimidation pretty much settles our enemys stew. Bush paid attn. to it...it’s exactly what he did....SEC of STATE goes to the inestimable MICHELLE MALKIN...tough as nails takes no crap off anybody. We need a penny pincher for SEC OF TREASURY...wonder who we should give that job to....
Anybody else care to make more suggestions....?
I know he recently stated that he didn’t want to leave New Jersey, but I’m surprised Gov. Chris Christie’s name hasn’t surfaced as a possible candidate for the AG spot. As a former Federal prosecutor who doesn’t give a damn what anyone thinks about him, he might be the ideal pick.
Chief trade negotiator: Donald Trump
Secretary of Energy, if you feel you must keep this agency: Sarah Palin
Speaking of NJ, age aside, (admittedly don’t know about his health) How about “Stormin’ Norman” as either SECDEF or SecState.
He definitely won’t take any guff from anyone so an R led Congress/Senate probably wouldn’t want him as SECDEF, where they would have to deal with him almost daily.
Of course ‘assuming’ we have basically the same Gen Schwarzkopf we all ‘knew and loved’.
How about Fast and Furious Special Prosecutor?
Sheriff Joe Arpaio: Homeland Security
Sounds like the "Mormon Mafia" that Howard Hughes surrounded himself with, not that that's such a bad idea.
I like to tell my schoolteacher niece that Christie’s going to be the Secretary of Education - fun to watch her turn different colors.....