Even before Mitt Romney is officially nominated as the Republican presidential candidate, his top advisers are working on choosing his potential cabinet (Politico), including Robert Zoellick, former World Bank president and Goldman Sachs executive, as a possible secretary of state.
“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,” write Politico’s Jim Vandehei and Mike Allen.
Other names include Jack Gerard, president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, as a possible chief of staff or energy secretary; Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) as possible head of Treasury; and Kerry Healey, who was Romney’s lieutenant governor in Massachusetts and now advises the campaign on foreign policy “could take a similar role in the White House.”
After a Monday pause, the Republican National Convention gets underway today (WashPost) with the formal vote on the nomination of Mitt Romney, a speech by his wife, Ann, and a keynote address from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Speaker of the House John Boehner says regardless of who wins in November, politicians will have to confront the United State’s weak financial position, driven in part by health-care spending (NYT). “I think the American people are going to vote with their wallets on Election Day,” Boehner said at a Monday lunch with reporters.
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama is shifting his campaign trail rhetoric to focus on Medicare (Reuters).
At the Atlantic, James Kitfield looks at how the Republican Party has become “lost and divided” on foreign policy after a history of dominance on the issue, and whether it can reunite under Romney.
“Given his limited foreign-policy experience and counter-puncher’s strategy of defining himself primarily as what his opponent is not, it’s difficult to know just what Romney’s worldview is,” he writes. “His image as a moderate former Republican governor from the Northeast with a successful background in international business suggests a likely comfort level with the liberal-internationalist or moderate realist traditions of the Republican Party. Yet as a candidate courting his party’s conservative base, Romney has issued foreign-policy pronouncements with a harder line.”
At Foreign Policy, Jamie M. Fly writes that Romney should channel his inner Ronald Reagan instead of shying away from an election-year fight on foreign policy.
“Rather than just reading the polls and talking only of jobs and the economy while ceding national security to Obama, Romney should keep up the foreign-policy fight,” Fly says.
— Gayle S. Putrich, Contributing Editor