According to sources inside both the Donald Trump camp and the Mitt Romney camp, the president-elect is meeting with the former Massachusetts governor this weekend at Trump Tower. On the agenda: Romney is being considered for the position of secretary of state!
The only way this could be more surprising is if Trump was considering Hillary Clinton for the job.
There was no more prominent Republican face of the NeverTrump movement than Romney. His blistering takedown of Trump in the primaries was extraordinary. He hammered Trump on his business record, his foreign policy ideas, his morality, and his fitness for the presidency. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say he laid out a more thorough denunciation of Trump than we ever heard from Clinton or Obama.
Romney did not keep up that level of vitriol, but he never wavered on his opposition to Trump, either.
This would suggest that he would want no part of a Trump administration.
As for Trump, a man who prizes loyalty, it’s hard to imagine why he would want one of his biggest detractors in the State Department.
Then again, it could be a genius move. By appointment Romney to the head of the State Department, he’s effectively neutering what’s left of the NeverTrump resistance. His best, most eloquent, most respected Republican opposition will have been neutralized. Furthermore, it will be seen as an olive branch to the establishment, which is freaking out about Steve Bannon and Jeff Sessions and Trump himself.
And the earliest indication – naming Reince Priebus as his chief of staff while simultaneously naming Bannon his chief strategist – suggests that this is the path Trump wants to follow. Name an insider, name an outsider. Name a “friendly face,” name a “revolutionary.” He relishes unpredictability, but he may also be building a very sensible, logical cabinet of opposites.
For now, we’ll assume that this isn’t going to happen. Too much has been said, too many grudges remain. It’s…hard to imagine.
If it does, though, it will go a long way towards proving that Trump is the “deal-maker” he claimed to be.