Trump considering Mitt Romney for secretary of state -NBC News

President-elect Donald Trump greets former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in February. Romney could be Trump's new ...
STEVE MARCUS

President-elect Donald Trump greets former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in February. Romney could be Trump's new secretary of state, NBC reports.

ANALYSIS: The news, as always, came via Twitter:

"NBC News: Source close to Trump with direct knowledge of his thinking confirms Sunday's meeting with Romney is to discuss Secretary of State"

Mitt Romney, the face - and voice - of the resistance to Donald Trump in the Republican primary and the general election will huddle with the president-elect over the weekend to talk about possibly serving as the nation's top diplomat.

It's uniquely possible, of course, that this meeting is solely for show. After all, Trump isn't exactly someone who forgives and forgets. And Romney has significant policy disagreements with the president-elect - most notably in how they view Russia. (Romney has said Russia is "our No. 1 geopolitical foe". Trump has, umm, not.)

Plus, the Trump transition team seems committed to floating literally every person who has ever been a Republican of any renown as a potential Cabinet appointee.

So, yes, this could all be just a giant feint in the ongoing reality show that is "Donald Trump, President".

But, what if it isn't?

If Trump is willing to actually offer Romney the Secretary of State job and Romney is actually willing to take it, it would represent a major coup for the president-elect. Why?

1) Romney is a serious and highly respected, card-carrying member of the Republican establishment.

2) Per above, Romney has made no secret of his disagreements - both personally and on policy matters - with Trump.

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3) It would settle the nerves of millions of people who didn't vote for Trump as to what sort of president he might be.

The biggest question mark - for all of official Washington - is whether Trump can get beyond his own personal grievances and loyalty pledges to actually focus on doing the best thing for the country over the next four years. Who he picks for his key Cabinet posts - and secretary of state is one of the most critical - is a key early indicator of where Trump's mind is.

Picking Romney - or even South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, another prominent critic whom Trump met with on Thursday - would show something that was sorely lacking in Donald Trump the candidate: Magnanimity. A willingness to pick the person he believes is best for the job, not just someone who was unfailingly loyal to him during the campaign. Someone who might challenge his assumptions or opinions from time to time. An equal, not a lackey.

Again, this would, largely, run counter to how Trump ran his presidential campaign. But that would also make picking Romney all the more powerful as a symbol. Campaigns are one thing, it would be Trump saying, but being president is another. I want to be surrounded by the best people for the job - no matter what we said about each other in the past.

This is, of course, the whole "Team of Rivals" concept that garnered President Barack Obama so much good press in his own transition period back in late 2008. Trump has further to go - a lot further to go - than Obama did to heal the rifts within his own party and answer doubts about his readiness to do the job to which he was elected. But, the Romney meeting is a step in the right direction. Getting Romney to sign on would be an even bigger one.

Here are the contenders for the top jobs: 

TREASURY SECRETARY

* Steven Mnuchin, former Goldman Sachs Group Inc executive and Trump's campaign finance chairman

* Jeb Hensarling, US representative from Texas and chairman of the House Financial Services Committee

* Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase & Co chief executive officer

* Tom Barrack, founder and chairman of Colony Capital Inc

SECRETARY OF STATE

* Mitt Romney, 2012 presidential nominee and former Massachusetts governor

* Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York City

* Nikki Haley, governor of South Carolina

* Jeff Sessions, US senator from Alabama and early Trump supporter, member of the Senate Armed Services Committee

* John Bolton, former US ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush

* Bob Corker, US senator from Tennessee and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee

* Newt Gingrich, former US House of Representatives speaker

* Zalmay Khalilzad, former US ambassador to Iraq

DEFENSE SECRETARY

* Jeff Sessions, US senator from Alabama and early Trump supporter, member of the Senate Armed Services Committee

* Tom Cotton, US senator from Arkansas

* Michael Flynn, retired lieutenant general and former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency

* Jon Kyl, former US senator from Arizona

* Duncan Hunter, US representative from California and early Trump supporter, member of the House Armed Services Committee

* Jim Talent, former US senator from Missouri who was on the Senate Armed Services Committee

* Kelly Ayotte, outgoing US senator from New Hampshire and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee

ATTORNEY GENERAL

* Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York City

* Ted Cruz, US senator from Texas

* Jeff Sessions, senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee who takes a hard line on immigration

* Kris Kobach, Kansas secretary of state, architect of anti-immigration efforts who says he is advising Trump on immigration issues

* Pam Bondi, Florida attorney general

* Trey Gowdy, US representative from South Carolina who headed the House committee that investigated the 2012 attacks on the US mission in Benghazi, Libya

* Henry McMaster, lieutenant governor of South Carolina

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY

* Tom Price, US representative from Georgia who is an orthopedic surgeon

* Newt Gingrich, former US House of Representatives speaker

* Rick Scott, Florida governor

* Rich Bagger, former pharmaceutical executive and former top aide to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

* Bobby Jindal, former Louisiana governor

HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY

* Michael McCaul, US representative from Texas and chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee

* David Clarke, Milwaukee county sheriff and vocal Trump supporter

* Joe Arpaio, outgoing Maricopa County, Arizona, sheriff who campaigned for Trump

HEAD OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

* Jeff Holmstead, energy lawyer, former EPA official during George W. Bush administration

* Mike Catanzaro, energy lobbyist, former EPA official during George W. Bush administration

* Robert Grady, venture capitalist, partner in private equity firm Gryphon Investors

* Leslie Rutledge, Arkansas attorney general

* Carol Comer, commissioner of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management

ENERGY SECRETARY

* Harold Hamm, Oklahoma oil and gas mogul, chief executive of Continental Resources Inc

* Kevin Cramer, US Representative from North Dakota

* Robert Grady, venture capitalist, partner in private equity firm Gryphon Investors

* Larry Nichols, co-founder of Devon Energy Corp

* James Connaughton, chief executive of Nautilus Data Technologies and a former environmental adviser to President George W. Bush

INTERIOR SECRETARY

* Sarah Palin, former Alaska governor, 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee

* Jan Brewer, former Arizona governor

* Forrest Lucas, founder of oil products company Lucas Oil

* Harold Hamm, Oklahoma oil and gas mogul, chief executive of Continental Resources Inc

* Robert Grady, venture capitalist, partner in private equity firm Gryphon Investors

COMMERCE SECRETARY

* Wilbur Ross, billionaire investor, chairman of Invesco Ltd subsidiary WL Ross & Co

* Linda McMahon, former world Wrestling Entertainment executive and two-time Senate candidate

DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE

* Ronald Burgess, retired lieutenant general and former Defense Intelligence Agency chief

* Robert Cardillo, director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

* Pete Hoekstra, former US representative from Michigan

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY DIRECTOR

* Michael Flynn, retired lieutenant general and former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency

* Pete Hoekstra, former US representative from Michigan

NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER

* Michael Flynn, retired lieutenant general and former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency

* Stephen Hadley, former national security adviser under President George W. Bush

UNITED NATIONS AMBASSADOR

* Kelly Ayotte, outgoing US senator from New Hampshire and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee

* Richard Grenell, former spokesman for the United States at the United Nations

* Peter King, US representative from New York

US TRADE REPRESENTATIVE

* Dan DiMicco, former chief executive of steel producer Nucor Corp

SUPREME COURT VACANCY

The Trump transition team confirmed he would choose from the list of 21 names he drew up during his campaign, including US Senator Mike Lee of Utah, and William Pryor, a federal judge with the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals.

 - Reuters

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