All eyes are on the Trump Tower elevators to see who’s going up and down, as the Trump transition team works to fill key roles in the new administration.
Most of the folks Trump’s considering look to be solid picks, including Sen. Ted Cruz, who is rumored to be a potential attorney general. He’d be an excellent pick for that position, or for the Supreme Court, but that’s just one opinion.
One of the positions folks seem to be the most interested in is secretary of state. So far, Trump’s list consists of John Bolton, former NY mayor Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, and possibly, maybe, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.
Well, now there’s another name that might make the list, and it’s a shocker.
NBC News: Source close to Trump with direct knowledge of his thinking confirms Sunday's meeting with Romney is to discuss Secretary of State— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) November 17, 2016
CNBC has more:
Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will meet with Donald Trump this weekend to discuss the secretary of state position, a source close to the president-elect with direct knowledge of his thinking told NBC News.
In March, the former Massachusetts governor called Trump “a phony” and “a fraud” when discussing the then-candidate. Trump, who endorsed Romney in 2012, has called him a loser, adding that Romney begged for his endorsement and “would’ve dropped to his knees” for it. He has also said that he “choked like a dog” during his 2012 presidential campaign against President Barack Obama.
If this is true, the reaction to this choice is going to be very mixed, particularly since Romney viciously attacked Donald Trump during the election. Some will say there’s no way he should be involved in the administration because he’s the poster boy for the establishment, which is precisely what The Donald was elected to destroy.
Others may see this as proof Trump’s selling out and abandoning his platform and the base that supports him. Still others might see this as Trump’s willingness to build a “team of rivals,” as Abraham Lincoln famously did.
Allah pundit at Hotair offers these thoughts on Romney’s forthcoming meeting with President-elect Trump:
For which position might Romney plausibly be considered, though? It’s tempting to say “Treasury” because of his business experience, but it looks like Trump’s campaign finance chairman, Steve Mnuchin, is lined up for that. State? I think Romney could be quite good in that job and he does have a little diplomatic experience, I guess, from his time managing the Salt Lake Olympics. But it would be odd to have the guy who famously once called Russia “our number-one geopolitical foe” running diplomacy for Vladimir Putin’s favorite Republican. There’s always Defense, but … what qualifications does Romney have for the Pentagon, exactly? Maybe Trump is lining him up for something more minor like an ambassadorship, a sinecure that he could point to as evidence of his magnanimity towards a vanquished foe.
Or maybe Drew McCoy’s right and this is just a mega-troll by Trump:
Mitt for a cabinet spots seems more like something Trump would float so he could knock down and humiliate Romney in the process.
— Drew McCoy (@_Drew_McCoy_) November 17, 2016
Invite him to Trump Tower, make him kneel before Zod in private, then tell the press how positive and encouraging your chat was and that you might consider him for a position down the road. Even though you never will.
A friend emailed me after this news broke to say that it’s masterful strategy by Trump insofar as he seems to be trying to coopt all of his biggest potential threats in the party. Cruz, Haley, now Romney — they’re all people who could pose problems for him as fierce critics if Trump strays too far off the conservative reservation, and he’s building bridges to all of them this week. Whether they end up inside the administration or not, that should make them think twice about joining in the inevitable attacks from the left and their media friends once President Trump starts indulging some of his strongman instincts in office. That point is well taken, but Romney’s in a different position from Cruz and Haley in that his career’s over and he has nothing to lose by turning on Trump again. If Cruz and Haley step out of line, it could alienate enough Republicans to sink their presidential chances in 2024. If Romney gives Trump the benefit of the doubt after their meeting and next year Trump is bro-hugging Putin at international summits, Romney could always say that the probation period is over and that Trump turned out to be who he thought he was. And another thing: Why would Trump need to coopt Romney, exactly? Mitt has a national profile, true, but his criticism of Trump during the campaign didn’t even cost Trump Utah. If anything, attacks from Romney on Trump during his presidency might help shore up Trump’s support among the populist right. I’m not sure Trump needs to coopt him. It might just be a straightforward goodwill gesture.
Whatever the case is, we shall more than likely find out soon.
[This article was written by Michael Cantrell]