Romney Jumped The Gun With Transition Team, Website

Thursday, 08 Nov 2012 02:13 PM

By Stephen Feller

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Mitt Romney’s web team accidentally let a transition website go live Wednesday morning, offering a view of what could have been if votes were cast differently across the country.

In the weeks and days leading up to the election, information about Romney’s transition team also was leaked out to the public, including details of sweeping plans to be ready to hit the ground running on day one had he been elected.

Before it was taken down, Political Wire published screenshots of a home page, inauguration information, “Join The Administration” jobs page, and one dedicated to nominees for key positions in a Romney administration.

“I’m excited about our prospects as a nation. My priority is putting people back to work,” said a quote next to an optimistically forward-looking picture of Romney.

In addition to the website, information about “The Readiness Project,” the name given to Romney’s transition team, has been slowly seeping into the media since mid-September.

A week before the election, the team had grown to include 100 people who were compiling lists of nominees and preparing documents for the first 100 to 200 days in office which were in line with what Romney had promised on the campaign trail to tackle first.

According to Politico, the team was formed when Romney was down in many polls across the country, but as he caught up in most polls the planning became more serious. Mike Leavitt, who was head of the EPA and Department of Health and Human Services, was meeting with the candidate at least once a week to go over planning and decisions.

“Now, we’re shooting with real bullets,” a Romney adviser said. “We’re already ready to merge the campaign with the transition.”

Romney aides wanted to be ready to move quickly with his social and foreign policy plans.

They said they were attempting to avoid problems experienced both by George W. Bush and President Barack Obama during their transitions, including having established contacts around Congress and Washington to get moving on initiatives.

"The project moved pretty well," Rich Williamson, chair of Romney’s national security transition team, told Foreign Policy. "Governor [Mike] Leavitt did a good job of structurally organizing it. He set in course a process of identifying key issues and trying to develop 100-day plans so that if Romney became president he could start on day one to move the things he was committed to. It was further advanced than any other transition efforts I've seen."

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