Jumping the Gun or Ready for Day One?Published by Joyce Jones on Monday, June 4, 2012 at 1:39 pm.
By Joyce Jones
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has tapped Mike Leavitt, who served as Health and Human Services secretary and head of the Environmental Protection Agency under former President George W. Bush, to lead his presidential transition team. Like Romney, Leavitt’s a Mormon, businessman and former governor, and he’s also considered to be more moderate than “severely conservative,” as the candidate once described himself. “And already, plugged-in Republicans from Washington to Salt Lake City are buzzing that Leavitt could make his own transition next January into the job of White House chief of staff or as a Valerie Jarrett-like personal counselor to a President Romney,” Politico reports.
It’s a sign of both confidence and of how competitive the contest between Romney and President Obama will be, but also brings to mind old sayings about counting chickens before they hatch.
In a conference call with reporters, David Axelrod, Obama’s senior campaign strategist, said that it is typical for campaigns to try to get a jump-start on its transition to office. But the fact that Romney’s campaign has made the news public is purely political, he told BET.com, and it “will ultimately be part of the dustbin of history.”
“I think we’re going to win that election. People understand that we’ve come through a very hard time, and we have to keep pushing forward. We can’t go back to the policies that so punished the country and the middle class and set us back and exploded our debt and really threatened our future and the future of our children,” Axelrod said. “That’s not the path that they’re going to choose.”