If things had gone differently last November when President Obama soundly secured a second term over Republican nominee Mitt Romney, had Romney come away the victor, the White House would have received a massive Bain-ification day 1 makeover. Time's Zeke Miller reports the Republican commissioned the Romney Readiness Project, a 138-page report preparing the specific changes Romney would have exacted when he took over office from Obama on Inauguration Day had he succeeded. A team of around 500 worked for R2P, Inc., the official company name for his transition team. Romney didn't put any slouches at the head of this organization, either. Former Utah Gov. Michael Leavitt was chair and former General Motors chief financial officer Christopher Liddell ran operations.
In a morning-after-election-day briefing prepared for a victorious Romney, the group was going to recommend dividing the White House into three teams: "'Care & Feeding Offices,' like speechwriting, 'Policy Offices,' like the National Security Council, and 'Packaging & Selling Offices,' like the office of the press secretary," Miller explains. The slide show breaking down the White House in business terms Romney, the former financial executive, could understand gets even more hilarious: "The White House is a lot like a holding firm," one slide says. Three times. They also planned to turn the White House into a corporate-structured monolith instead of the muddled bureaucracy Washington is known for. Per Miller:
Among the recommendations for the Romney administration:
- Corporate-style training seminars were planned for appointees and nominees before the inauguration to teach management skills.
- A plan to restructure White House operations to suit Romney’s corporate management style, with clear deliverables.
- Detailed flow charts delineating how information and decisions were disseminated through the administration to achieve “unity.”
- Plans to evaluate Cabinet secretaries’s performance by “systematically assessing the efforts of their departments in contributing to [Romney's] priorities and objectives, perhaps by a newly created ”deputy chief of staff for Cabinet oversight.”
And after lunch, there would have been trust falls.
Some think this report is embarrassing, but we don't see why:
Seriously, this is an embarrassment. It's like the Romney administration was going to be one big Learning Annex. swampland.time.com/2013/06/02/mit…— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) June 2, 2013
Romney transition plan or undergrad entrepreneurs club? You decide. My god.swampland.time.com/2013/06/02/mit…— kolbykuwitzky (@kolbykuwitzky) June 2, 2013
But none of it is going to happen now because Romney didn't come through on his end of the bargain. In order to exact these changes, you need to win the election. Instead, Romney went on to become an executive at his son's company and eat cupcakes. He still gets to hold summer mixers with deep-pocketed donors mingling with 2016 presidential hopefuls in some effort to play kingmaker. Despite the fact that, you know, he failed miserably.
Read Miller's entire report, that has the entire presentation -- flow charts and all! -- as prepared for Romney, because it really is a marvellous thing to behold.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.