It is reported that Mitt Romney is having dinner tonight in Trump Tower with the President-Elect. This is the stuff of which history is made.
On March 4 of this year, under the heading “Romney v Trump”, I posted this comment:
“I watched with profound sadness as Mitt Romney delivered a speech which will be in every history book in the twenty second century. It was a great speech; sincere, thoughtful, courageous. Clearly Romney felt he had to say what he said. And he meant every word of it.
“What he did, of course, without realizing it, was to persuade millions of Americans that Donald Trump is the true anti-establishment candidate.
“What he did was to confirm Trump’s theme that he is the only candidate who is not a part of the same-old--same-old Washington D.C. oligarchy of career politicians that so many Americans are sick and tired of.”
Now the pundits and commentators are buzzing with the improbable story that Donald Trump might just ask Mitt Romney to serve in his administration as Secretary of State.
Trump loyalists are buzzing. Kellyanne Conway. Trump’s principal campaign strategist, has taken to the airways to protest. She says that she speaks for the rank and file who voted for the President-Elect.
No doubt she does. No doubt there are a lot of people who simply cannot fathom how Donald Trump could offer the top cabinet post to a man who publicly and emphatically denounced him during the campaign.
I think they don’t know Donald Trump. If nothing else, DJT is an executive. Whatever else can be said about him, the President-Elect has prospered in a career which involves choosing the right people to do the job.
Trump has been quoted as saying that Romney looks like a Secretary of State; that he would be picked for the part by Central Casting. Say what you will about Mitt Romney, no one has seriously suggested that he is not qualified to represent the United States around the world.
Donald Trump has made reference, more than once, to Doris Kearns Goodwin’s masterful biography of Abraham Lincoln, “A Team of Rivals.” As an outsider, not beholden to a political party, Trump is free to tap anyone for any job in his administration.
The President-Elect is known as a man who expects and rewards loyalty from the people who work for him.
But he is also a man who has enough ego to think that he can win over those who are skeptical or even hostile.
He is not likely to be dissuaded by campaign loyalists. Indeed, some have suggested that Trump knew about Kellyanne’s intention to ‘go rogue’ and made no effort to stop it.
Indeed, I suspect that he enjoys dazzling the media with his unpredictable decisions. In truth, by considering Romney, the President – Elect shows that he is above the pettiness associated with hurt feelings and bruised egos.
In the hurley burley of selecting his cabinet, Donald Trump has met face to face with dozens of hopefuls and prospects. Tonight’s dinner with Mitt Romney is the first and only such personal and extended contact. I believe it is significant.
Whatever may come of it, I would give a lot to be a mouse in that dining room. My guess is that those two men will find much about themselves and their relationship to laugh about.
And unless I am very mistaken, Mitt Romney is a good enough American and a big enough man to call Donald Trump “Mr. President” and mean it.