Presidential scholars skeptical of Romney 'Day One' promises
May 24th, 2012
05:58 PM ET
2 years ago

Presidential scholars skeptical of Romney 'Day One' promises

Washington (CNN) – If he wins the presidency, Mitt Romney will be a busy man as soon as he arrives at the White House.

In two of his latest ads, both titled "Day One," Romney lays out an ambitious agenda for his first 24 hours in the Oval Office.

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The second "Day One" spot vows a "President Romney" would begin cutting the deficit, "stand up to China" on trade and begin ending what the ad calls "job-killing" regulations on businesses. Add all of that to the promises Romney made in the first ad: approve the Keystone Pipeline, start the push for tax cuts and initiate the end of "Obamacare."

"I really do think he's using 'Day One' metaphorically," said Stephen Hess of the Brookings Institution. A former senior staffer for former Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon and adviser to former Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, Hess said more mundane tasks await a President Romney and his staff.

"You can probably be ready to sign a couple of executive orders," Hess said, noting his "day one" experience in the new Nixon administration was fraught with clerical challenges.

"The problem was we didn't know where there were any presidential pens to sign the documents," Hess said. "When we found them, they leaked all over Pat Moynihan's Irish silk handkerchief."

"With Nixon, I think we were ready on day two," Hess quipped.

Traditionally, presidents are busy with pomp and circumstance in the first couple of days in the White House. Don't forget the inauguration, the parade and the balls. Add to that the cabinet members who have to be sworn in, that is, after they've been confirmed by the Senate.

In his first full day in the Oval Office, President Barack Obama did sign an executive order to freeze the pay of White House staff. Included in the order were new restrictions on the hiring of former lobbyists.

But Obama also had to work in a few minutes to retake the oath of office after it was bungled on inauguration day by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.

Days later, Obama signed an executive order to begin the closure of the terrorist detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. That move was later blocked by Congress.

Larry Sabato, the director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, noted several of the items on Romney's "Day One" agenda would require immediate consultations with Congress, an institution that thinks fast in terms of months, not hours or minutes.

"I can't imagine that they actually believe that he could accomplish all of this within the first 24 hours in office. He could begin the process of doing this, but that's all," Sabato said.

Then there's the matter of sleep. Sabato notes several members of Romney's staff may still be recovering from "hangovers" from inaugural festivities. The Romney transition team, Sabato says, better start loading up on caffeine.

"I don't think coffee would be enough. Probably a full carton of No-Doz," Sabato joked.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Former Republican for President Obama

    Romney On Day One Before Noon: Abolish Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, give the Rich a huge Tax Break, Start a War with--- fill in the blank.

    May 24, 2012 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  2. Tubby the Tuba Texas

    He won't be taking over the worst job losses and major recessions like Obama did. He won't have two wars being fought around the world either. A lot of the mess has been cleaned up by Team Obama....what hasn't is due to our Republican Party who puts Party first and the Country Second!! They made an announcement from the beginning days that the Republican Party wanted Team Obama to fail....and baby they have done everything possible to make it happen to the detriment of our Country. The Party Of NO!! Most Republican states are the states in serious financial trouble....and by firing the professionals in the Private Sector, have managed to lower the unemployment in spite of the four million jobs created by Team Obama!

    May 24, 2012 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  3. Big Al

    These scholars did not offer these assessments when Obama declared what he would do on Day One. I believe Romney will accomplish more than almost any president we've had. His discipline and work habits will turn things upside down. By the way, Romney is a caffeine-free individual.

    May 24, 2012 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  4. gordyb

    If Mittins gets elected, the Senate Democrats have had four years to learn from the Republicans how to block and limit the powers of the president. Let me be the first to say.Our primary goal is to make him a one term president. How does that sound?

    May 24, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    Just like all the other Presidential candidates (past and present) Romney is making promises he will not be able to keep....what else is new?

    May 24, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  6. Grumpy Garrett

    Just like all of the other presidential candidtates (past and present)... Romney is making promises he can't keep... So what else is new?

    May 24, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  7. mike t

    Are these same skeptics that believed barry would cut the deficit in half as he promised.If so wrong before wrong again.

    May 24, 2012 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  8. chelsea

    Romney etch-a-sketch will forget what he promised anyway. why are we even paying attention to his promises? he already changed his promised statistic on unemployment from 4% up to 6%, which is were we will be based on projected current trajectory based on Obama policies according to experts. he is a joke.

    May 24, 2012 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  9. clephas

    Honestly, the optimism of some people... if Romney gets elected, there is a good chance he'll be dealing with a legislature completely controlled by the Dems, with all the stupidity of the recent GOP and its Tea Party affiliates. Even if he signs executive orders like that, there is a really high chance they'll end up being blocked, considering the current political trends.

    May 24, 2012 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  10. Mark

    So he's going to cut taxes and cut the deficit. Gonna be hard when tax cuts will add to the deficit as will the increased military spending he's also planning on. Don't know where he's going to find over a trillion dollars in cuts when he's already promised to increase spending. Fantasy Land I guess.

    May 24, 2012 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  11. Grow up already...

    Doesn't take being a presidential scholar to recognize a crock when one sees it....

    May 24, 2012 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  12. Iamnotfooled

    The gullible will believe anything he says. Like how many jobs he will create, when in reality he will destroy jobs with his cut, cut, cut, mentality. Also cutting 20% taxes across the board, which will mean no new revenue.

    May 24, 2012 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  13. Texas Annie

    More empty talk from Romney...

    May 24, 2012 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  14. Richard Broderick, Jr.

    When you go to a restaurant you can't eat a dinner and then debate whether or not going to raise the money to pay for it.

    We have already spent the money evidenced by our debt. It doesn't matter if we liked what we got or not, we already ate the dinner. The cowardice of our politicians who are afraid to raise the revenue needed to pay for what we have already spent reflects our own irresponsibility. We need more responsibility. And in the face of such debt and account imbalance, it is certainly irresponsible and cowardly to suggest another fat dinner (tax cut) for the most wealthy.

    May 24, 2012 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  15. Clint, Wa.

    NO! He will not win in the 1st place

    May 24, 2012 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  16. maximusvad

    His promise will be kept...even though he won't even be in office.

    May 24, 2012 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  17. Sadie Boyd

    Since I couldn't sound off on Rubio's article, I will sound off here: Rubio is decisive and a major liar...ask Castro...

    May 24, 2012 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  18. Statefields

    Hess the Hessian thinks of bad impromptu events, not good. Get over it.

    May 24, 2012 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  19. Gurgyl

    We are tired of these nonsense...

    May 24, 2012 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  20. DW

    Ah yes! AND a chicken in EVERY pot!!!

    May 24, 2012 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  21. Larry L

    Does Romney know the Democrats can be just as obstructive as Republicans have been for all of President Obama's term? Does he think the filibusters are only a tool for Republican terror in the Senate? How about some "pledges"? Could the Democrats take some pledges to never vote for any budget that doesn't include a fair tax rate for the wealthy? Lucky for America we'll never see Romney flip-flopping through his "first day".

    May 24, 2012 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
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