Mitt Romney is quietly plotting to move into the White House in January.
Deep inside the Romney campaign, six weeks before Election Day, Romney’s transition to the Oval Office is being called “The Readiness Project,” which is designed to assemble a list of candidates for top White House jobs and offer a blueprint for Romney’s first 200 days in office.
The transition is being led by former Bush Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt, a Mormon, like Romney, who is also major player in Romney’s campaign, according to POLITCO.
It seems that Romney’s people have been conducting low-key meetings in Washington, D.C. to review potential candidates to serve as Romney’s advisors and begin the transition from candidate Romney to a Romney administration.
The Romney campaign didn’t want to telegraph this news because Romney’s advisors don’t want the public to think Romney is overconfident in the final stretch of the campaign.
So much for secrecy.
But if national polls are any indication, Romney, the Republican nominee for president, may want to slow his roll and not appear too eager to start measuring the drapes at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
A new Politico-George Washington University Battleground Poll of likely voters shows that President Barack Obama now has a national lead in his close presidential race with Mitt Romney. He leads 50 percent to 47 percent, with a 50 percent job-approval rating, Politico reports.
And according to a new Washington Post poll, Obama now has a significant lead over Romney in Ohio and holds a slight edge in Florida, which puts great pressure on Romney to focus his vision for America during the first presidential debate on Oct. 3.
Obama also has history on his side: No Republican has won the White House without winning Ohio and Florida.
“The window is narrowing for Romney, and he’s in deep, deep trouble,” Democratic pollster Celinda Lake told reporters. “Ultimately, people don’t like this guy. If they don’t like someone, it’s hard to get people to vote for him, particularly to fire someone they do like.”
Romney, the billionaire candidate, is in trouble for several reasons: Polls show that voters are skeptical of Romney because of his clandestine overseas bank accounts, his arrogant and out-of-touch persona, and his failure to release all of his federal tax returns. Many voters correctly believe that Romney acts as if he has something to hide.
But there’s more: Aside from Romney’s flawed domestic policy ideas, Romney often makes comments that are just plain thoughtless and raises serious questions about his intelligence.
This week, for example, when Romney was asked about his wife’s plane making an emergency landing in Denver after the cabin filled with smoke, Romney made a startling admission.
“When you have a fire in an aircraft, there’s no place to go, exactly, there’s no — and you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem,” Romney said.
So Romney doesn’t know why airplane windows don’t open? He actually thinks it’s fine to crack a window to get a little fresh air at 32,000 feet?
This goes beyond his “not elegantly stated” excuse after Romney tried to explain away his remarks last week when he was caught on a secret video telling wealthy donors that “47 percent” of Obama’s supporters think of themselves as “victims” who are “dependent on government” and don’t take personal responsibility for their lives.
“(My) job is not to worry about those people,” Romney said. “I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”
That was the real Romney – an arrogant billionaire who is only concerned about tax breaks for the rich.
But the bizarre airplane window comment is something altogether different: It highlights Romney’s blatant stupidity and further demonstrates that Romney has no business in the White House making critical decisions that will impact the lives of millions of Americans.
Rachel Maddow, the MSNBC talk show host, said Romney has hit a new low.
“It’s a real problem that the windows don’t roll down on airplanes? Is it also a problem that guns don’t shoot backwards through the barrel this way? Or that diving boards are only really ever mounted over very deep water? Why don’t the windows roll down?” Maddow asked. “I don’t think he was joking because he couldn’t possibly be joking about his wife almost being in a plane crash. You can’t joke about that, especially with her standing right there.”
Maddow is right. And I’m not sure what’s worse, that Romney truly wonders why airplane windows don’t open or that he was dumb enough to ponder it out loud.