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Romney at State Would Be Disastrous

Mitt Romney is reportedly being considered for Secretary of State as well:

Vice President-elect Mike Pence confirmed Sunday that Romney is under “active consideration” for secretary of state.

“The President-elect was very grateful that Gov. Mitt Romney came in. They had a good meeting. It was a warm and substantive exchange. I know he is under active consideration to be secretary of state of the United States along with some other distinguished Americans,” Pence said on “Fox News Sunday.”

I doubt that Romney would take the job, and it seems unlikely that Trump would offer it to him. This seems to be more of an effort at repairing intra-party divisions by extending an olive branch to one of the most vocal anti-Trump Republicans. Nonetheless, it is worth saying a few things about the prospect of having Romney in Trump’s Cabinet.

Putting Romney at State would be a poor choice on the merits, though it would certainly be no worse than picking Giuliani. Like Giuliani, Romney has no foreign policy experience to speak of, and he has consistently derided every effort at diplomatic engagement over the last eight years. I can think of few other top positions in government for which Romney is more poorly-suited. Unless Romney completely reinvented himself once again, his foreign policy views would be just as bad as Bolton’s or Giuliani’s, and I have a hard time believing that a Romney-led State Department would pursue improved ties with Russia. Romney would bring with him everything that was and is wrong with conventional Republican foreign policy, and he would presumably be an advocate for all of the confrontational policies that he supported during his last presidential campaign. Neither would be good for U.S. foreign policy. If the choice really is down to Giuliani or Romney, the next administration will have a very aggressive and hawkish Secretary of State, and there will be no point in pretending otherwise.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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