Presidential scholars skeptical of Romney 'Day One' promises
May 24th, 2012
05:58 PM ET
11 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. chris Omu

    This guy can say anything just to win an election...unfortunately for him, he is not fooling anyone.

    May 24, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  2. Woman In California

    Well if the American people turn out and vote Willard won't get to Day One and this will be just another pack of lies for him to sleep on.

    Good night Willard.

    May 24, 2012 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  3. Rickster

    "A group of Democratic female senators on Wednesday declared war on the so-called “gender pay gap,” urging their colleagues to pass the aptly named Paycheck Fairness Act when Congress returns from recess next month. However, a substantial gender pay gap exists in their own offices, a Washington Free Beacon analysis of Senate salary data reveals. Of the five senators who participated in Wednesday’s press conference—Barbara Mikulski (D., Md.), Patty Murray (D., Wash.), Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.), Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) and Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.)—three pay their female staff members significantly less than male staffers.

    Murray, who has repeatedly accused Republicans of waging a “war a women,” is one of the worst offenders. Female members of Murray’s staff made about $21,000 less per year than male staffers in 2011, a difference of 35.2 percent."
    Once again democrat hypocrisy on full never ends. I guess we now know where the real "war on women" is taking place.

    May 24, 2012 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  4. dagoberto

    I'd like better Ron Paul's 1 trillion cut

    May 24, 2012 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  5. Blindersoff

    Romney is a charlatan windbag, the republican party deserves what they get. A big fat phony.

    May 24, 2012 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  6. Biotechdev

    Were they skeptical of Obama in 2008 when he promised: to end earmarks (and his FIRST bill had 9000 of them), to post stimulus spending on the Internet so we could see where the money was being spent, to stop the reckless spending of the Bush administration (but then he deficit spent at TWICE the rate of Bush), that healthcare negotiations would be broadcast on CSPAn, that he would heal America and be post-partisan, and on and on...all lies

    May 24, 2012 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  7. Jess Sayin

    Why start telling the truth now? His day one accomplishments simply pander to the nobama crowd, who haven't a clue how government works anyway.

    May 24, 2012 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  8. Sue

    Of course Romney knows that he will be busy. He is a financial/economic/business genius and success, just like his father. Romney will definitely not be like Obama--out golfing, partying with Motown at the White House, eating snocones in Hawaii, and jet setting around the world--while Rome burns. It will be great to have a competent, successful, intelligent, adult/leader in the White House again.

    May 24, 2012 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  9. Dandy

    >>approve the Keystone Pipeline<>initiate the end of "Obamacare<< = Eliminate my college bound daughters health care

    Wow.. lets see.. how long will it take for me to decide who to vote for .... times up. Obama for another 4 years. The Republicans have a fool for a candidate.

    May 24, 2012 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  10. Dandy

    >>approve the Keystone Pipeline<>initiate the end of "Obamacare<< equals "Eliminate my college bound daughters health care"

    Wow.. lets see.. how long will it take for me to decide who to vote for .... times up. Obama for another 4 years. The Republicans have a foool for a candidate.

    May 24, 2012 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  11. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Day One Romney will flip flop on the deficit, Day Two he'll flip flop on China and Day Three he'll flip flop job-killing, so what next.

    May 24, 2012 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  12. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Be skeptical of ANYTHING a Republican says!

    May 24, 2012 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  13. vic , nashville ,tn

    Empty promises

    May 24, 2012 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  14. Jake in Omaha

    Hey President Romney.

    Why not add the killing of Social Security, SSI, Medicare, Medicaid, Meals on Wheels and all other Social programs to your thing to do one day ONE. The elderly and the poor are not important to a greedy old party. Damn shame you have never read the christian bible.

    May 24, 2012 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  15. B

    Several members of Romney's staff will be still recovering from hangovers from drowning their sorrows after losing in November.

    Obama/Biden 2012.

    May 24, 2012 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  16. wade

    Yes I know we are now accustomed to lies from our Presidents. Obama has yet to keep even one promise much less the 100's that he made so I get it is hard to believe that someone might actually give a crap after we have had the worst president in history Obama and just before him the most stupid president in history Bush.

    May 24, 2012 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  17. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens is a liar, and even right wingnuts will figure this out.

    May 24, 2012 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  18. Jules

    Anybody who is listening to this man sell his snake oil must surly have been educated in thos third world classrooms Mitt likes to talk about. He just thinks the American peopkle are dumb and dumber. We had a CEO president for 8 years vowing that he had the business knowledge and experience to fix the economy and do all these other great things – guess what? He failed and we're all still paying the price. Now we are actually listening to a man who is running for president who wants to do the same things George W. Bush did. If we fall for this again we must

    May 24, 2012 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  19. nautiusm

    "I really do think he's using 'Day One' metaphorically,"

    As would anyone with common sense.

    And now how about a positive spin article about Romney?

    May 24, 2012 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  20. Yomi Olalere

    As long as he can sell its brand of "Day One" product to the uneducated Americans why not. He can even reduce unemployment to 7% on day one. Yes, he can sell the country to Private Equity firms too, still on day one.

    Some people just like to live in a fantasy world. For employment to be down to the desired level, people need to retrain to the available jobs, while some need to consider applying their skills as a self employed person.

    No magic can geometrically bring unemployment down.

    May 24, 2012 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  21. B.

    Romney,shoot first on Day One and ask questions later, not unlike someone else that we all remember.


    May 24, 2012 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  22. Newmoon2

    Every candidate makes 'Day One' promises which anyone with a firing synapse knows are total BS. Why these folks feel compelled to engage in this obvious game of Let's Pretend is beyond me.

    May 24, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  23. cali girl

    Robmey is off his rocker. Time for the Ben Gay ad guy to hang it up.

    May 24, 2012 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  24. ThinkAgain

    I'm all for freedom of religion, but bear in mind that Mittens believes in magic underwear when considering his "promises."

    On a more practical, tangible level, Mittens thought we should let the auto industry go under and that it was a waste of time and money to go after Bin Laden.

    So whether terrestrial or ephemeral, Mittens is pretty much wrong!

    May 24, 2012 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  25. kayla

    in your dreams mr. stiff

    May 24, 2012 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
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