Mitt Taps Transition Chief ... But Advises Himself?

Former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt picked to help, should Romney win

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 4, 2012 11:41 AM CDT | Updated Jun 4, 2012 2:02 PM CDT

(Newser) – Someone's looking confident: Mitt Romney has picked the leader of his team to guide the transition into the White House. Mike Leavitt was Utah governor for 10 years and chose Romney to run the 2002 Olympics. He also served as EPA administrator and then health secretary under George W. Bush, CNN reports. But Salon notes that Leavitt may be an odd choice, given that his consultancy, Leavitt Partners, has won contracts to help establish ObamaCare—including a $1 million deal two weeks ago.

And the confidence doesn't end there, per Maggie Haberman. Writing for Politico, she notes that Romney has thus far opted not to team up with an "all-seeing adviser" a la Karl Rove. Instead, sources tell her the man behind the man is ... Romney himself. Supporter/former Sen. Jim Talent explains that the candidate "likes a pretty horizontal organization where there's a number of different inputs into him." Haberman reports of a "CEO-structure" to Romney's campaign, which relies on input from a core group: campaign manager Matt Rhoades, ad-maker Stuart Stevens, and longtime advisers Beth Myers and Eric Fehrnstrom. Some tell Haberman that the group approach is better than appointing an "overlord," but she notes that 'nomination narratives are full of cautionary tales about candidates who couldn’t see the proverbial strategic forest because they obsessed over every decision, creating a leadership vacuum."

Mike Leavitt in 2008.
Mike Leavitt in 2008.   (Getty Images)
Mitt Romney speaks during news conference in front the shuttered Solyndra solar power company's manufacturing facility May 31, 2012 in Fremont, California.
Mitt Romney speaks during news conference in front the shuttered Solyndra solar power company's manufacturing facility May 31, 2012 in Fremont, California.   (Getty Images)
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