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Why not Romney?

November 29, 2016

Most of the time, you can kind of figure out what’s affecting President-elect Trump’s mood of the moment by remembering that (A) he is not a politician, he’s a businessman and (B) he’s not short on ego.

For instance the flap over Mitt Romney for Secretary of State (SoS).

At first blush that seems just plain weird. Why in the name of all that is holy would you pick a man who hates your policies and actions to represent and enforce your foreign policy?

Obviously business people as well as politicians know the principle of mutual back-scratching, but rewarding someone for doing everything short of condoning physical violence to derail your presidential bid leaves room for a lot of another kind of scratching.

So why even float the man’s name, much less invite him back for a dinner interview (or meeting)?

How about the good old motive of intimidation?  By inviting Romney to re-interview, Trump is essentially reinforcing his status as alpha dog. Just a none-too-subtle way of saying “challenge me again at your peril.”

Also at play is that Mr. Romney came close to being elected President. If the President-elect is of a mind to make being President a managerial exercise, Mr. Romney has the skills to take up a lot of the slack.

There is the distinct possibility that it is a serious offer.  After having been seen as maybe a little too friendly toward Russia, what better way for the President-elect to allay fears than to pick someone who sees Russia as a real threat?

That’s the old adage of keeping your friends close and your enemies closer. Eliminating as much of the incoming GOP flack as possible is certainly in both the presidential and national interest.

There is also the purely business angle.

Only stupid business people surround themselves with yes-men. The good ones have a person or cadre that functions as the devil’s advocate. The job description requires the ability to stand up to the boss without any hint of toadying or flinching.

Also from a business standpoint, there is nothing to be gained by proposing someone that the Senate has to vet from scratch. Romney’s prior presidential run leaves only four years to dig through. After all, the guy did release 550 pages of tax information. .

As for the leaks and insider opposition, who knows?

It seems a bit more than odd that Kellyanne Conway would come out so forcefully  against Romney unless she was either told to do it, or she already knows that she will have no place in the administration and thus has nothing to lose.

With the second Petraeus interview now in the books, it’s probably just as well to kick back and chill. The finale will get here when it gets here.

From → op-ed

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