In a Romney administration, Lieberman at Foggy Bottom?


Foreign Policy’s Josh Rogin looks at who might be tapped for top foreign policy and defense jobs in a Romney administration. Apparently, Sen. Joseph Lieberman is being discussed as a possibility for Secretary of State:

For secretary of state, most advisors interviewed for this article said that Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) is under serious consideration at the top levels of the campaign. An "independent Democrat," Lieberman, who hasn’t endorsed any presidential candidate this cycle, was almost chosen by Sen. John McCain to run as vice president on his 2008 ticket. Lieberman will be unemployed in January when he retires after 24 years in the Senate. He has spent much of that time developing close relationships with foreign leaders all over the world, and he is a strong supporter of Israel, a major focus of Romney’s critique of Obama. By choosing him, Romney could show bipartisanship while handing the reins in Foggy Bottom to someone with international stature and whose foreign-policy views are more hawkish than many Republicans.


The other possibility for this position that the article focuses on is Robert Zoellick, the former president of the World Bank and head of the Romney campaign’s new national security transition planning. The Politico article says that Zoellick is “said to be lobbying hard” for the job.

Rogin noted in an article earlier this week that the campaign’s decision to tap Zoellick for the transition planning job has elicited from anger from hawks. In The National Interest, Jacob Heilbrunn writes critically about what he sees as a neoconservative campaign against Zoellick. And Zoellick’s onetime boss, former Secretary of State James Baker, defends Zoellick and his own record.

Some other interesting names mentioned by Foreign Policy as possibilities for non-Cabinet national security jobs in a Romney administration: Elliott Abrams, Dan Senor, Eliot Cohen, Dov Zakheim and uber-hawk John Bolton.

The Weekly Standard’s William Kristol chimes in on Rogin’s article (for which he was a source) and said he’d like to see Lieberman as secretary of state and Abrams as national security advisor. (Kristol, incidentally, had previously told Rogin that Zoellick’s enemies are getting overly worked up by his campaign appointment, which he argues will have no influence on the campaign.)


Recommended from JTA