by Josh Orton, Tue Feb 03, 2009 at 02:25:17 PM EST
Marc Ambinder, without sourcing, speculates about Romney:
President Obama could do worse. Romney has a bad reputation among Congressional Democrats, so I can't imagine they'd cotton to this. In fact, it's highly unlikely. But what Romney, in a bipartisan fashion, was able to do in Massachusetts -- even with caveats -- is pretty much the same as what Obama wants to do on a national level. Karen Tumulty notes that Romney is the only American who can claim the provision of universal health care as a resume line. Didn't help him in the GOP too much, but that's another discussion. If Obama wanted to bring Romney into the cabinet, he'd have to balance him by appointing a pro-choicer to a top HHS post because there are so many controversial, sexuality-related programs in that department that apportion money. The thinking here is that Romney would be the White House health care czar and that a Democrat -- Gov. Kitzhaber of Oregon, maybe -- would move over to Health and Human Services.
The notion that Obama would replace Daschle's White House spot with a Republican is a complete non-starter. Dead. Impossible.
Gregg at Commerce (a relatively benign spot) toed the line. But there's absolutely no way Democratic groups, Congressmen, voters, political-button salesmen, or domestic furry pets would stand for this.
The fact that a Washington political reporter like Ambinder would even float the idea, however, really helps distill the Beltway's near-fetishistic obsession with theatrical bipartisanship. I don't mean to get all David Sirota here, but wow. Romney? Seriously?