When rumors first started floating around about Mitt Romney being a possible pick for Donald Trump’s secretary of state, many people could hardly believe it, especially given the acrimonious history between the 2012 and 2016 Republican Party presidential nominees.
However, for those of you who couldn’t fathom the news, Vice President-elect Mike Pence has a bit of advice: Believe it.
In an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” Pence said that the former Massachusetts governor and 2012 GOP standard-bearer was under “active consideration” for the position of secretary of state.
Romney had met privately with the president-elect and his aides the day before in New Jersey. In spite of their rhetorical pugilism in the past, Pence described the meeting as “a warm and substantive exchange.”
“The president-elect was very grateful that Gov. Mitt Romney came in,” Pence said. “I know he’s under active consideration to be the secretary of state of the United States, along with some other very distinguished Americans.”
While Romney has been pilloried as a RINO and many may be wondering what Trump is thinking, there are several reasons to believe that Romney would be a winning secretary of state.
Firstly, Romney’s liberal leanings have mostly been in domestic policy, particularly healthcare. Nobody has ever questioned Romney’s dedication to American exceptionalism or to a vigorous foreign policy, which means that the position could be right up his alley.
Secondly, putting a former enemy in the most important cabinet position in his administration would prove that Trump is willing to mend the fences in the Republican Party.
Perhaps most importantly, if the establishment decided to launch a primary attack on Trump in four years — something akin to what Ted Kennedy did to President Carter in 1980 — Romney would be one of the most likely candidates to run. By putting him at secretary of state, Trump would likely neutralize that threat.
Of course, there are other candidates for the position — we’ve heard Rudy Giuliani, Nikki Haley, John Bolton and Bob Corker — but Romney is the one making the big headlines right now. Will that get him the job? We’ll see.
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