President-Elect Donald Trump today met with former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, one of Trump’s most vocal opponents during the GOP primary. The move could signal that Trump and Romney – who have repeatedly butt heads on policy matters – are ready to set aside their differences.
As Trump’s transition team continues the process of filling out his cabinet-in-waiting, the meeting suggests that the president-elect may offer Romney a key position in his administration. The choice would presumably help to quell concerns that Trump plans to exclusively populate his inner circle with close allies.
A Romney pick would also represent Trump extending an olive branch to the Republican establishment, a group that he publicly alienated throughout his campaign. To voters who shied away from Trump’s lone-wolf attitude, making nice with Romney and the establishment may restore confidence in the state of the GOP.
Some have compared Trump’s approach to President Barack Obama’s “Team of Rivals” strategy that he employed in 2008, when he appointed several of his harshest critics to serve in his cabinet. Unlike Obama, though, Trump will assume the presidency amidst a deeply divided Republican party that was nearly torn asunder during the primary.
As for what position Romney would fill in the Trump administration, sources close to the matter have hinted that the former Massachusetts governor might be offered the role of Secretary of State. Given that Romney once called Russia “our number one geopolitical foe,” Trump’s welcoming attitude toward Russia could become a point of contention if Romney does indeed get the job.