Ralph Peters, retired Army Lt. Col and Fox military analyst, whom I greatly admire and respect, has been one of the few public defenders of VA Secretary Shinseki. Peters responds to calls for Shinseki to be replaced with the question “OK. With who?”
Though I am loathe to suggest anything that will possibly benefit Obama, the crisis at the VA demands bold, decisive action. Veterans are literally dying, and the entire system needs to be overhauled, and likely scaled down and privatized to a great extent.
And there is one man who would be absolutely perfect for the job, who possesses the experience and skill sets that are needed:
It’s really a no-brainer.
Romney has the executive managerial experience that is needed at the VA. He successfully governed Massachusetts. His experience at Bain, and at Staples, speaks for itself. He rescued the 2002 Winter Olympics, after the previous administration was found to be corrupt and incompetent.
Firstly, there is no possible way that Romney could refuse, if asked.
He would be confirmed by the Senate immediately.
So, what’s in it for Obama?
Actually, quite a lot.
Of the many scandals now confronting the WH, the VA is by far the most dangerous, the most damaging. It will continue to be front page, day after day, with more horrific details emerging. It will paralyze anything that Obama attempts to accomplish in the next 12 months or so.
By naming Romney, that all but disappears. Yes, the investigations will continue, as they should, but they’ll pretty much unreported in the MSM. Obama will be hailed as bold, decisive, even “presidential”, and yes, of course…bipartisan…It will help to defuse the other scandals, in that it gives his inaction there a thin veneer of credibility..”see, I’ll do the right thing.”
It also helps a lot of Democrats running this fall. Obama can start by telling Reid to pass the House bill giving the secretary the power to fire senior VA administrators. Besides, Mitt wouldn’t take the job unless this was done first
Yes, there are dangers to Obama if he does this. Romney would in effect be the first cabinet secretary NOT accountable to the President. He couldn’t be fired, and if Obama attempted to obstruct him in any way, Mitt just has to threaten to quit and hold a press conference.
But unlike the IRS, and Benghazi, and the other scandals, which are all the result of Obama’s actions, the systemic problems at the VA go back decades. Thus, with the needed reforms in place, Obama becomes Teflon on the VA scandal…he’s the guy who is FINALLY fixing the thing.
The VA scandal poses far deeper problems for Obama and Democrats. It questions the basic competency of government, let alone its size and scope. It reflects directly on his signature legislation, Obamacare, as the VA is being held up as example of what Obamacare will look like for the rest of us.
None of this will go away. But it won’t be the first thing that everyone sees on the news day after day.
And Obama could easily pivot and use Romney’s appointment to challenge House Republicans on immigration reform ..er..amnesty. “See, I’m being the ultimate bipartisan guy here..so how about bringing up a bill. You say you won’t do it because you don’t trust me..well, I’m showing a lot of trust here, naming Mitt to my cabinet.” Etc, etc, etc…
So why am I so willing to offer advice to Obama? It’s quite easy to fathom:
1. I can’t be the only one who has thought of this.
2. The needs of our veterans are so acute, the crisis is so bad, that we must start to fix it immediately..we can’t let them twist in the wind for another two+ years.
3. Simply because it makes perfect sense, Obama won’t do it. He’s too self-absorbed to address the problem openly and candidly.