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Memento Mori

Proposal: Trump Should Hire Turnaround Specialist Mitt Romney to Fix the VA

Americans are being treated to a log of media tongue-wagging over this weekend's upcoming summit between President-elect Donald Trump and Gov. Mitt Romney -- replete with the requisite flashbacks to several brutal shots fired between the two men. Romney is reportedly being considered for Secretary of State, which is a bit odd. He's certainly a smart and capable person who was proven correct about several major critiques of Obama foreign policy, but international relations isn't known to be his forte. Whether he's truly in the running for that post, or whether this is just a "clear the air" (or "kiss the ring") meeting, remains to be seen. On Charles Payne's Fox Business program last night, Fiscal Times columnist Liz Peek floated an interesting thought:


I reacted positively to this idea on the panel, and the more I think about it, the more I like it. It's simply a fact that Romney never wore the uniform, which may be perceived by some to be a strike against him for this position. But if you're a veteran in need of healthcare, which is more important to you?  Having a fellow vet running the cabinet agency, or having that scandal-plagued cabinet agency actually fixed? Ever since the VA scandal exploded onto front pages and outraged American voters (even as some leading Democrats sought to downplay it), politicians have burned through a lot of words talking about the issue. They've also burned through a lot more taxpayer money, even though funding was never the root problem; maddeningly, entrenched flaws and rampant unaccountability still persist.  It's a national disgrace.

To his credit, Donald Trump made improved treatment of our veterans a centerpiece theme of his campaign since day one. The VA is a big, bloated, dysfunctional entity that is failing far too many people in very damaging ways. Mitt Romney is a widely-renowned turnaround artist whose calling card is hyper-competence.  He's a patriot and a gifted, savvy technocrat who fixes things. This has been true of the businesses he rescued, as well as his extraordinary work saving the 2002 Winter Olympics. Because of its enduring failings, the VA doesn't simply need to be run or presided over by someone. It needs root-and-branch reform and repair through excellent, focused management. Mitt Romney would be an exceptional choice to lead that effort. I hope the president-elect considers this as an option, and the two men discuss it on Sunday. Here's my segment with Bill Hemmer from this morning in which I analyzed the much-anticipated Trump/Romney huddle and briefly laid out the case for VA Secretary Mitt Romney:


I'll leave you with this:

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