Romney taps former Utah Gov. Leavitt to head transition team

Mitt Romney’s campaign has hired Mike Leavitt to head a White House transition team in the event that the presumptive GOP nominee defeats President Obama in the November election.

Leavitt, a former Utah governor and secretary of Health and Human Services under former President George W. Bush, will lead “the Readiness Project,” Romney campaign adviser Andrea Saul confirmed in an email to The Hill.

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Leavitt was the governor of Utah at the time Mitt Romney took the reins of the scandal-plagued Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002.

“Gov. Romney has asked Gov. Leavitt to lead the Readiness Project,” Saul said. “This is exactly what the bipartisan legislation signed into law by President Obama in 2010 encouraged candidates to do.”

The Presidential Transition Act of 2010 increases the number of services and facilities available to an incoming president in an effort to streamline transitions in power.


While the outcome of the 2012 election is far from certain, it’s typical for a campaign to prepare for the transition into power in case of victory. 

President Obama hired former President Bill Clinton’s Chief of Staff John Podesta to lead the Obama-Biden Transition Project similarly early in the election cycle in 2008.

Still, some will view the hire as the confident move of a campaign that has seen its fortunes rise as the economy has stumbled and the Obama campaign has struggled with messaging out of the gate.