Under the assumption that former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney will become the Republican Party’s nominee for President in Tampa in June, the Romney campaign staff is growing from 87 to more than 400 to prepare for the national election in November.
A close look at Romney’s expanded staff reveals the same influence of elites that was reflected by the members of his “Foreign Policy and National Security Advisory Team” announced last October. Included in that list were:
- General Michael Hayden: former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and former Director of the National Security Agency (NSA) during its warrantless surveillance efforts to spy on American citizens; also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
- Michael Chertoff: former U.S. Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS); now runs a security consulting company which employs a number of former DHS people as well as Michael Hayden (above).
- Cofer Black: former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) Counterterrorist Center during President George Bush’s first term; chaired Total Intelligence Solutions, a subsidiary of Blackwater Worldwide which was charged with hundreds of violations of federal law following a four-year investigation, was fined $42 million for those violations, but remains approved to receive government security contracts.
- Paula Dobriansky: former undersecretary in the State Department; a graduate of Harvard University where she now serves as a Senior Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government; is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
- Robert Joseph: was Senior Director for Proliferation Strategy, Counterproliferation and Homeland Defense inside the National Security Council where he advised President George Bush on the part of his 2003 State of the Union Address that dealt with intelligence on Iraqi “weapons of mass destruction” which were later proven to be nonexistent.
- Christopher Burnham: served as Under Secretary General of the United Nations under Kofi Annan and then Under Secretary of State under Condoleezza Rice; is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; holds degrees from Georgetown University and Harvard University.
- Eliot Cohen: served as Counselor to the U.S. State Department under Condoleezza Rice; co-founded the Project for the New American Century which declared its purpose to be to “shape a new century favorable to American principles and interests"; holds two degrees from Harvard University; is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
- Kim Holmes: served as Assistant Secretary of State under Colin Powell where he directed the activities of 400 diplomats working closely with the United Nations; is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations where he served as a member of its Washington Advisory Committee; holds two degrees from Georgetown University.
- Mitchell Reiss: served as Director of Policy Planning at the State Department under Colin Powell; worked at the National Security Council under Brent Scowcroft and Colin Powell; worked for the Ford Foundation; is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; holds degrees from Williams College, Tufts University, Columbia University and Oxford University.
- Eric Edelman: was appointed as Undersecretary of Defense via a recess appointment by President George Bush after his nomination had stalled in the Senate; holds degrees from Cornell University and Yale University.
- Dov Zakheim: served as foreign policy advisor to President George W. Bush under Condoleezza Rice and as a consultant to the Secretary of Defense; he served as an advisor to Eliot Cohen (see above) at The Project for the New American Century; is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; holds degrees from Columbia University and Oxford University.
- Richard Williamson: served in two different ambassador positions to the United Nations under President George W. Bush; served as an Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs; is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; holds degrees from the University of Virginia and Princeton University.
- Kerry Healey: served as Lieutenant Governor under Romney from 2003 to 2007; is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations; holds degrees from Harvard University and Trinity College.
- John Lehman: served as Secretary of the Navy under President Ronald Reagan and a member of the 9/11 Commission; worked closely with Eliot Cohen’s Project for the New American Century; served as an advisor to Senator John McCain during his 2008 presidential campaign; holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and Cambridge University; is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; known for his quote: “Power corrupts. Absolute power is kind of neat.”
- Dan Senor: former foreign policy advisor to Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham in the ‘90s; founder of the Foreign Policy Initiative which “promotes continued U.S. engagement — diplomatic, economic, and military — in the world and rejection of policies that would lead us down the path to isolationism”; is an Adjunct Senior Fellow for Middle East Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations; holds degrees from the University of Western Ontario and Harvard University.
- Robert Kagan: writer for the liberal think-tank Brookings Institution; co-founder with Eliot Cohen of the Project for the New American Century; his book The World America Made was recently endorsed by President Barack Obama and referred to in his 2012 State of the Union Address; speechwriter for Secretary of State George Shultz; spent 13 years as a Senior Associate with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; served as foreign policy advisor to John McCain during his 2008 presidential campaign; serves on Hillary Clinton’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board; is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Members of Romney's “Economic Policy Team” include:
- Glenn Hubbard: served as the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors during President George Bush’s first term; currently Dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Business; considered to be a “supply-side” economist who helped design the 2003 “Bush Tax Cuts”; is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; holds degrees from the University of Central Florida and Harvard University.
- Jim Talent: former Republican Senator from Missouri; was an advisor to Romney’s presidential campaign in 2008; holds the position of distinguished fellow at the Heritage Foundation; voted for the Renewable Fuel Standard, an act that provides “incentives” and government loan guarantees to “innovative [read: green] technologies” and mandates for increased ethanol in gasoline and other interventionist measures; supported the Bush Medicare prescription drug benefit — Medicare Part D — as well as increases in the minimum wage; holds degrees from Washington University (St. Louis) and the University of Chicago Law School.
- Vin Weber: former Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Minnesota; retired from Congress in 1992 following a scandal which revealed that the House’s bank repeatedly paid overdrafts for 125 checks on his account; became an advisor to Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich in 1994; appeared regularly on National Public Radio (NPR) concerning health care issues until it was disclosed that he was a paid lobbyist for several large health insurance companies; a member of Eliot Cohen’s Project for the New American Century (see above); is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations where he also serves on the board.
To put it nicely, the Romney campaign is in bed with the establishment elites (and vice versa), including many of his advisors holding membership in the Council on Foreign Relations and being cheerleaders for militarist interventions abroad and economic interventions here at home.
If the remainder of the 400 members of his campaign have the same background and worldview, there is no reason whatsoever to think that anything substantial will change if the former Governor of Massachusetts somehow gets elected President of the United States in November. A vote for Romney will, in effect, be a vote for Obama (and vice versa).
Photo: Then-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, right, and his Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey — a member of the Council of Foreign Relations — arrive for a news conference at the Statehouse in Boston, July 27, 2006: AP Images