Mitt Romney Inc.: The White House That Never Was

Behind the scenes of the Romney administration that might have been

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Romney Readiness Project

In the months before the 2012 election, a group of high-powered consultants and political operatives prepared a secret report for candidate Mitt Romney, explaining how he should take over and restructure the federal government should he win the presidency.

“The White House staff is similar to a holding company” read one PowerPoint slide, which would have been presented to President-elect Romney as part of an expansive briefing on the morning after Election Day. It went on to list three main divisions of the metaphorical firm: “Care & Feeding Offices,” like speechwriting, “Policy Offices,” like the National Security Council, and “Packaging & Selling Offices,” like the office of the press secretary. This was the view of the Presidency Romney would have brought with him to Washington, a glimpse of the White House that never was — and plan that never saw the light of day.

But now the secret is out. On May 29, the Romney Readiness Project, the Republican candidate’s transition organization known as R2P,  published a 138-page report detailing how it prepared for a potential Romney victory. It is the product of a team of nearly 500, who labored in Washington and around the country to be ready to help Romney assume the reins of power on January 20th, 2013, in accordance with the Pre-Election Presidential Transition Act of 2010.

Romney slide

The non-profit R2P, Inc., chaired by former Utah Gov. Michael Leavitt and run by former General Motors chief financial officer Christopher Liddell, benefited from free rent and other federal support, and drew heavily from the business and consulting community Romney, a former consultant and private equity executive, knew so well.

Among the recommendations for the Romney administration:

  • Corporate-style training seminars were planned for appointees and nominees before the inauguration to teach management skills.
  • A plan to restructure White House operations to suit Romney’s corporate management style, with clear deliverables.
  • Detailed flow charts delineating how information and decisions were disseminated through the administration to achieve “unity.”
  • Plans to evaluate Cabinet secretaries’s performance by “systematically assessing the efforts of their departments in contributing to [Romney’s] priorities and objectives, perhaps by a newly created  “deputy chief of staff for Cabinet oversight.”

More than 100 detailed one-page project management sheets were in circulation at R2P headquarters by Election Day, charting the organization’s progress and preparing for the run-up to inauguration. Movements for Romney, his wife Ann, and Vice President-elect Paul Ryan were heavily choreographed for the days following the election, and many campaign staffers were told to prepare to assume roles on the transition immediately following a victory. (All were guaranteed a job on either the transition or the inaugural committee.) A painstakingly prepared seating chart and floor plan was developed for Romney, his aides, and transition staff across three floors of the Mary E. Switzer Building in downtown Washington, ready for the rapid post-election expansion.

R2P also prepared a detailed plan for Romney’s first 200 days in office—a list including preparations to repeal Obamacare, develop a tax reform plan, and roll back federal regulations, all in accordance with the Romney campaign’s policy agenda and his campaign promises.

Even before the election, hundreds of staffers held table-top practice drills to game out how they would parachute into federal agencies to learn the ropes and explore policies and procedures for the new administration to change. Another team would work in “the bunker,” a secure room in the federal office building housing the transition where potential Cabinet and senior staff nominees and appointees were vetted. By Election Day, nearly 20 researchers and lawyers had prepared Romney to select his entire Cabinet and more than 25 senior White House staffers, as well as deputies for key departments and agency heads.

More than 20,000 pages of vetting material had been gathered awaiting Romney’s sign-off—so many documents that they had to be transported to Boston from the transition’s Washington, D.C. headquarters by train since they wouldn’t fit in the overhead compartments on the US Airways shuttle.  (The documents were deemed too sensitive to put in checked luggage).

But ultimately it was all for naught, and the report now only a potential blueprint for the 2016 presidential nominees. A White House spokesman did not respond when asked if Obama’s team had reviewed the transition report for ideas for the second term.

The full slideshow outlining proposed restructuring of the Romney White House follows below:

PHOTOS: On the Campaign Trail with Romney

941 comments
meddevguy
meddevguy

And the point is that it is BAD to have a concise plan with deliverables to administer an Administration? But we don't elect our "leaders" based on whether they actually can do the job, its how divisive and vicious a campaign they run.

The difference between businesses and governments is that if businesses don't give their customers what they need every time right now, then they die -- gone. A government on the other hand just has to SAY they care about SOME of their voters and they get to keep right on going. A business had to act quickly, correctly every time, no excuses, no pretty speeches, no flying into town on Air Force One. We had a chance to get ourselves a guy who knew successful business, who had created hundreds of thousands of jobs, who had executive government experience -- and we blew it. At a time when we needed somebody who knew how to both run a government AND create jobs.

Have fun knowing what we could have had. But something bad -- Romney probably would not have used his immense Presidential power on a local case in Florida.

ManuelNoriega
ManuelNoriega

Yep pretty much, way to go USA  you elected a petulant child instead of an experienced businessman

SallyMJ
SallyMJ

Nice to know that at least the guy who DIDN'T win the presidency had a detailed plan for governing.

(Crickets) 

jamiekarpenter
jamiekarpenter

I like how people found Romeny style of organization chilling. Mean while we have an unemployment rate of 7.6%. The IRS is running around persecuting people at the behest of managers because they have a personal agenda. Let’s not forget  a government who is mining data and eaves dropping on citizens. All of this and more is going on and people are upset that Romeny’s  style of organization. if some of you read the plan, you would have seen in his first 200 days he was going to get to work on this economy; not gay marriage or other silly agendas but things like that don't matter. But his organizational style is chilling….So how do you like the current administrations organizational style?

RichardSRussell
RichardSRussell

Well, shoot, of COURSE you plan for something like this. Who wouldn't? Only somebody completely and utterly irresponsible and scatter-brained (like, say, Michele Bachmann), and it would be a sorry state of affairs if either major party ended up running somebody like that for the nation's highest office.

RobinHernandez
RobinHernandez

This is chilling and not even remotely surprising.

MarieBillanoStratas
MarieBillanoStratas

Not interested in reading document since Romney lost. It's irrelevant.

uncommonsense
uncommonsense

What is so offensive about this document is that it demonstrates, in a chilling way, how the Romney Corporate Machine would bastardize Democracy, the greatest historic achievement of the Founders, into something so ignoble. Democracy is government "of the people, for the people, and by the people"; not a corporation for Romney to dominate and mold into his own image. The Romneyites have a kind of mental illness, driven by greed,  that reduces the significance of human endeavors to a business model with devotion to The Bottom Line. Romney showed us over and over again that he coveted the Presidency, not as the Free World's highest office of public service, but the World's Biggest Boss Man. Today's GOP doesn't like Democracy because it's about more than just capitalism, it's about people and people are messy. They want Plutocracy with a Romney or Ryan as Oligarch-in-Chief, and people reduced to "units" on a balance sheet.

TimKr
TimKr

This is a lively little comment section, though I must admit it seems a little misguided.  Everyone appears to be rushing to put on their blue jersey with the 'D' on the helmet or their red jersey with the 'R' on the helmet and join the fray on behalf of "their team".  Political thinking subsumed into a zero sum, us versus them, mentality with the 'players' happily self-identifying into their little groups.  The home team vs. the away team.  Meanwhile, the powers that be are playing the real game in town and it is not R vs. D kiddos...its government vs. the people:  the politically connected few vs. the disconnected many.  Sure delude yourselves into thinking that 'my party' or 'my politician' really cares about me; meanwhile your delusion of connectedness to 'the game' allows the leviathan grow unabated by feeding upon the deluded masses for the benefit of the truly politically connected.  Ask yourselves, does anything REALLY change when Democrats are in power compared with the Republicans other than the payee name on the sweetheart checks written on Uncle Sam's account (which btw, is your money after all).  

Ask yourselves, under Obama how many banksters and malinvestors have gone to prison or even been brought up on charges despite committing fraud on a mass scale including, without limitation, forging and/or automating signatures on evidences of debt, filing false documents in court, lying in court, conspiring with appraisers to juice property values, issuing force placed insurance at usurious rates, hiding poor or under-performing assets into tranches to maintain a false credit worthiness rating, receiving and issuing underwriting insurance with knowledge of the falsity of the information backing the insurance, etc., to the cost of tens of trillions of dollars to the worldwide financial market and detriment (though the loss of home/nest egg, etc.) of the masses?  Before the red team gets too apoplectic about the inevitable conclusion resulting therefrom, they need to ask themselves how would things have been any different under a Republican presidency?  (short answer:  no difference).

But since the only game in town appears to be Red v. Blue, I just have one question:  Shirts or Skins?

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

I ask again where do all these ignorant people come from? Does Fox News and the Drudge Report perform mandatory lobotomies on their audience?

erikwdc
erikwdc

Looks like they had a really detailed plan for going after Al Qaeda -- that they forgot to mention entirely. 

nano56
nano56

now this is something that is chilling 

EricVanBezooijen
EricVanBezooijen

So Romney would govern America as if it was just another company to hollow out for the benefit of .1%? I'm shocked!

roknsteve
roknsteve

@jamiekarpenter The IRS is persecuting people?  Burned at the stake?  Tortured to death?  Or just doing there jobs?  

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@jamiekarpenter Meanwhile we have added 6.8 million private sector jobs which coincidentally is the same number that Romney wanted to claim credit for in his political speeches.

LenSimpson
LenSimpson

@TimKr  As a very senior citizen & a student of the political process based on greed , I admire the clarity of your presentation.

Since the fallability of human nature is set in stone, history will continue to repeat itself daily.

MarieBillanoStratas
MarieBillanoStratas

@TimKr conflating Ds with Rs is incorrect. There is a difference that's why the Rs lost. You're trying to console yourself. Banksters will soon be tried just as Bin Laden was eventually killed.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@TimKr You make some valid points, but if you think the Ds and the Rs are interchangeable you are deluding yourself. A great white and a dolphin are both apex ocean predators and yet only one I would consider swimming with. The current political parties are much the same. The biggest challenge is the GOP has swung so far to the right and paranoia that only one mainstream party is even partially acceptable. I for one would love to see the rise of a viable third party or even better a viable third party and a saner alternative to today's GOP. But can that really happen with the massive infusion of corporate money into politics unleashed by the "Citizens United Decision"?

skyr1mmer5
skyr1mmer5

@mantisdragon91  that's not what it said. How any times have you been though a corporate change of email systems? I went though 3 in ten years in semiconductor plant. There is always an adjustment period and you are always going to force people out of their comfort zone with the old tools. We went from Lotus notes to Gmail and the scheduling tools in Gmail at the time sucked in comparison. The initial switchover had a negative impact on productivity. And if you read the article completely part of the issue was incompatibility between the two systems this would include transferring folders and address books. If you wish to say they weren't  internet people then no they weren't. But then again the story does say that it wasn't everybody. You can tell by  phrase "sizable portion of employees who were Gmail users". The fact that they didn't set out early what the standard was and force it onto all desktops and train people for the transition was the issue. And it shows poor research and planning. But your take on it is just the standard  "Republicans are stupid" argument that the facts as written don't support.

jb1111
jb1111

@EricVanBezooijen 

Coporate America does a far better job than This Current Government is doing by a WHOLE LOT !!

Lies, Graft, Fraud, Intimidation, Waste Beyond Belief, Cronyism, Total Lack of Knowledge, Complete Ineptitude, ..........

Scandal after Scandal.

Heaven help us all!!    What a DISASTER.

tom.litton
tom.litton

@mantisdragon91 @TimKr The system produces the politicians as much as the politicians produce the system.  

If you want a sane republican party, then you have to fix the system.

 If you want a viable third party, the solution is obvious.  Vote only for 3rd parties.  You won't though, because you are more interested in beating the other side.  

Granted, you have very good reasons for wanting to beat the other side.  But you know where that path will lead: more of the same.  If you want something different, you will have to fight for something different.

TimKr
TimKr

@mantisdragon91@TimKr

"The biggest challenge is the Democrat Party has swung so far to the left and paranoia that only one mainstream party is even partially acceptable. I for one would love to see the rise of a viable third party or even better a viable third party and a saner alternative to today's Democrat Party. But can that really happen with the massive infusion of insurance money into politics unleashed by the "Sebilius" decision?"

You see, the same points can be made (and are being made) by ones wearing their 'red' helmet as opposed to your 'blue' one.  This manner of 'true belief' serves only to further entrench the current system. You cannot change the system by merely changing the team that wield the levers of power of the system when both teams are the ones who have created the current system...for their own benefit.  The current patronage system itself (though not necessarily the government) needs to be dismantled bit by bit; starting with the IRS and the Tax Code which, along with other regulations, allows the current system to feed itself off of the sale of influence, manipulation and exemption.  We need more intellectual curiosity amongst the citizenry and fewer 'true believers'...and yes, anything, even politics, can be turned into a religious belief system.


BTW, dolphins are not apex ocean predators as they are routinely hunted down and killed by killer whales.

reallife
reallife

"And if you read the article completely..."

Woah! Woah!, this was a 7 page article, and you expect this mantis "guy" to read it? 

Have you read any of his posts?

LOL

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@skyr1mmer5 @mantisdragon91 Thanks for jumping to conclusions. My point is that venture capitalists frequently tout themselves as the smartest guys in the room. To create 20000 pages of transition planning while ignoring the possibility of a platform transition issues points to lack of common sense and awareness of real world technologies.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@jb1111 @EricVanBezooijen The people who just died in the Fertilizer plant explosion as well as the people who lost their life savings to the Wall Street meltdown would strong disagree with you.

TimKr
TimKr

@mantisdragon91 @tom.litton @TimKr  

Actually the extremely wide berth of the IRS scrutiny into the Tea Party groups and affiliated entities would seem to discredit your claim that they were astroturfed fronts for the Koch Brothers, et al.  After all, if they were just front groups for a common source, the source would have been located by the IRS quickly and through a more directed inquiry.  That the IRS has to expend so much effort and time and resources into the effort shows that they were swatting flies as opposed to cutting marionette strings.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@tom.litton @mantisdragon91 @TimKr You are correct, at this point I am more concerned with keeping an extreme pro business, anti science, quasi theological agenda out of office. Long term I would love to have multiple viable choices to consider. Keep in mind that with the advent of so much dark money into politics it is really hard to tell what is an isn't a legitimate third party. Even the Tea Party is turning out to be nothing more than an asto turfed creation of the Koch Brothers who are the money behind guys like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul.

roknsteve
roknsteve

@TimKr @mantisdragon91 To bring you up to date, the Gee-O-Pee want to spend 46 billion to protect the US/Mexico border.  Nothing conservative about them.

tom.litton
tom.litton

@TimKr @mantisdragon91  

I believe ALL politicians (ok most)  get into politics to make the country and/or world better.  They all have a small set of issues that they really care about, and the rest they use to get elected, so that they can effect those issues.  

That is the problem.  For any given issue, there are a handful of politicians that truly care about it, and the rest are using it to either manipulate the voters and/or selling it to raise money (to manipulate the voters).  

This applies also to the people you mentioned.  Some of them have a wider base of issues they care about (Ron Paul) and therefore appear to be more "independent".  Some of them have a narrower set of issues, and therefore appear to be just following the party line.  


mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@TimKr @mantisdragon91 Stop with the word salad. The Tea party supported a Democrat where they knew they had no chance of winning with a Republican. And yes in this instance it would make that democrat bought and paid for by the Koch Brothers.

TimKr
TimKr

@mantisdragon91 @TimKr  

So if the Tea Party supported a democrat (as they are in Illinois, see Wanda Rohl) does that make the democrat 'bought and paid for' by the Kock brothers, et al?

Again, your arguments of false attribution are nothing more than post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacies. 

TimKr
TimKr

@mantisdragon91 @TimKr  

Belief that something is true does not necessarily make it true.  You would need to provide proof of purchase for your claim.  And even if you could, I wouldn't necessarily care so long as they continue to argue for dismantling the current system of patronage.    

I am not avoiding any discussion of Citizens United...I simply pointed out that it was the logical progeny of some other cause.  That other cause being Congress's use of the Tax Code to carry favor with privileged groups which, itself, was caused by something else; and on and on ad infinitum.  That and pointing out that Obama was the first to reject your proposed solution of public financing which, by the way, already exists for the presidency.

Look 'dark' money doesn't flow into politics in a vacuum.  Politicians receive such money because those who choose to pay for favor understand that the return on investment is extremely high when the person bought and paid for have the ability to employ their benefactors' whims through the use of force.  See the RIAA, Disney, etc. and copyright law; Monsanto, Microsoft, Google, etc. and patent law; Mattel and lead paint inspections, Bank of America etc. and Dodd-Frank.  It simply does not matter if the money flows in through Citizens United or some other mechanism...the money will still get there and the politicians, under the current paradigm, will still peddle influence. 

Now, if you were to dismantle the tax code, gut the IRS, and implement a flat tax (or something like it) without any exemptions to be exploited, you would take away one (though definitely not all) of the larger mechanisms by which the politicians and the politically connected can exploit the current system.  That would go further to abating special influence than retraction of Citizens United ever could.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@TimKr @mantisdragon91 Ted Cruz and Rand Paul are bought and paid for puppets for the Koch Brothers. Out of curiosity why are you so adamant in avoiding all discussion regarding Citizens United and the flood of "dark" money buying our politicians?

TimKr
TimKr

@mantisdragon91 @TimKr  

You are ascribing (falsely, btw) adherence to the 'GOP dogma' to Ted Cruz and Rand Paul because you disagree with their policy positions.  The cause is righteous (you are free to disagree with their policy beliefs) but the effect is incorrect.  They may have a more conservative bent to their ideology but that does not mean they adhere to GOP dogma any more than Dennis Kucinich adhered to Democrat dogma.

We have a system of public financing for the presidency and Obama was the first to refuse it.  And if you think that special interests will be eliminated by public financing of elections, you are deluding yourself.  There are still laws and regulations along with their concomitant exemptions and exclusions to be written (or bought as the case made be).  Would you also ascribe to removing the government's role in forming and executing the law to stifle special interest as well?  If so, what then is the basis for government at all.  If not, please inform me how special interests will be "eliminate[d]" by public financing of elections.   

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@TimKr @mantisdragon91 Ted Cruz, Rand Paul? Please these guys play the game better than anyone else does. The game being to get you to think they are different while still adhering to the GOP dogma as much as possible.

More importantly Citizens United illustrates and even deeper problem, why do we have money in elections at all? Why not have a system of public financing for elections and eliminate special interests all together?

BTW, My response is accurate. Great Whites and Dolphins are Apex predators in many parts of the world. However they are preyed on occasionally by Killer Whales. More importantly the underlying analogy is no less valid.

TimKr
TimKr

@mantisdragon91 @TimKr 

You seem to be laboring under the delusion that I care anything at all about Republicans vs. Democrats or post hoc ergo propert hoc fallacies.  I do not.  What I do care about are individual politicians who refuse to 'play the game':  Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Dennis Kucinich (formerly), etc.  

Employ some intellectual curiosity...the Citizen United decision that you seem to loathe has a pro-genitive cause:  perhaps it stems from the IRS and the Tax Code deciding political participation which, itself has a pro-genitive cause:  Congress creating a law to limit political participation so as to grant exemptions to that law in exchange for 'campaign contributions'.  And so on and so on.  Each law and regulation built upon the backs of those proceeding it to a point where only the politically disconnected or disfavored are actually affected, and only the powers that be and the politically connected are benefited thereby.  

BTW, your response serves to discredit your entire analogy (as opposed to only half).

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@TimKr @mantisdragon91 How can you make that claim when many of Obama's policies such as his use of drones would actually be to the right of Reagan? When even Bob Dole makes the claim that Reagan would not have survived in today's GOP what else is there to say. And like I said previously the first thing that would need to be dismantled would be the "Citizens United ruling" which allows hidden money into our electoral process.


BTW, Great Whites are routinely hunted down and killed by Killer Whales as well, so my analogy still stands.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@jb1111 @reallife Lazy son of a gun? This is rich coming from a guys that shouts things at random with no substance behind them.

jb1111
jb1111

@reallife  

Mantis is just a lazy son-a-gun!!

Do your HOMEWORK, Kid. and stop the compaining.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@reallife More importantly has any one read any of yours? I've seen parrots string together more coherent trains of thought.

JDHere
JDHere

@mantisdragon91 @jb1111 @EricVanBezooijen Waiting to hear from some idiot right winger wanting to Blame Obama for this screwed up weather we're having.  I'm sure some nut out there thinks he manipulating the weather for his global warming stance.

jb1111
jb1111

@mantisdragon91@jb1111@EricVanBezooijen 

Oh, did Obama blow that plant up also?


Billy BOB Clinton signed away the Banking Act of 1933 and made all Banks Gambling Joints.  And his Community Banking Act Bullied Banks to give loans to people who had no means what-so-ever to pay back their loans.  He set the wheels turning toward the Wall Street and Housing Down Fall.

Bush tried hard to correct the Situation but the lame brain Dems in Congress stopped his attempts.

GROW UP, Kiddies.

EDUCATE YOURSELVES  !!!


No Sympathy for Whiners and Thumb Suckers and Blood Suckers.


***


The elements of Alexander Tyler’s oft-quoted “fatal sequence” postulates that great democracies naturally evolve from initial virtue toward eventual corruption and final failure, as follows:

From bondage to spiritual faith;
from spiritual faith to great courage;
from courage to liberty;
from liberty to abundance;
from abundance to selfishness;
from selfishness to complacency;
from complacency to apathy;
from apathy to dependency;
from dependency back again to bondage.

Seems the United States is at the “dependency” stage.

****


The famous "why democracies fail" quotation is

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy."