Since Obama’s reelection as Commander in Chief there has been a lot of chatter about Mitt Romney finding a place in the next Obama administration. Maybe as Treasury Secretary? Maybe as the first Secretary of Business? In any case, a number of political pundits feel that Romney would have no problem working for the man who just beat him.
Not every Republican could do something like that. Jon Huntsman did back in ‘09 when he got tapped to be the Ambassador to China (and then had to defend his decision). You have to be willing to accept being seen as a traitor by many in your own party and looked at skeptically by many of your new co-workers. But if you’re there for the right reason (i.e. service to your country) and you’re willing to play ball; that should be enough.
Outside of whether or not Romney would accept (or be accepted in) a position with the Obama administration, a more important question is; should Obama extend the offer? Is Romney the kind of individual we want at the helm of the Treasury?
The greatest recession of our lifetime occurred because Wall Street players made oversized and misguided bets that ended up destroying a lot of wealth for regular people. Granted, Romney’s background in private equity means he’s a slightly different animal than the guys that got us into this mess; but still, why should we continue to let the same kids guard the cookie jar?
The mission of the treasury is essentially two-fold; promote a strong economy and maintain the integrity of the financial system. Just because Romney has been a successful business-man doesn’t guarantee he’s capable of accomplishing these goals. And even if he can, it doesn’t mean he’ll look for solutions that work-out best for the American people at large. What about his business background makes you think he’s got soon-to-be retirees or families going through foreclosure as his number one priority?
Stating the obvious, partisan politics plays a huge role in the dysfunction of our government. At every turn, if there’s an opportunity to reach across the aisle and make better policy, we should pursue it. Yes, offering Romney a job would be a nod toward bipartisanship, but I’m not sure a Romney treasury is a nod to better policy.