Romney fan Katherine Jean-Lopez steps up to the defense of Mitt Romney's "No Muslims Need Apply" cabinet policy:
After reading both Geraghty and Mike Allen it seems like he was responding to an Ijaz Muslim mandate idea. We no more NEED a Muslim than we NEED a Catholic or (dare I?) a Mormon in the Cabinet...is what I assume Romney was saying. The Cabinet should have people who are qualified for the agencies they're assigned to.
This is more reasonable, but it's not really consistent with Mansour Ijaz's account in which he says he asked Romney if he would "consider including qualified Americans of the Islamic faith in his cabinet as advisers on national security matters." Romney's response was that, no, he wouldn't consider qualified American Muslims as candidates for those jobs which isn't at all the same as saying he was opposed to a specific Muslim set-aside. Indeed, Ijaz's account of Romney's answer makes it seem as if Romney has no problem in principle with the idea of a Muslim quota:
[B]ased on the numbers of American Muslims [as a percentage] in our population, I cannot see that a cabinet position would be justified. But of course, I would imagine that Muslims could serve at lower levels of my administration.
Romney just doesn't think there are enough American Muslims to justify a cabinet post.
As I said previously, though, we should make this more concrete. UN Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad is exactly the sort of person who I'd expect to see on short lists for cabinet jobs in the next Republican administration. He's been loyal to the Bush administration, is respected by the establishment, is currently serving in an important subcabinet job, etc. Would Romney consider him? Based on Ijaz's account, the answer is no.