The evidence on this is both mixed and murky. One transition-team member tells me he was thrilled by the recommendations for his agency that were given a “green” light. “The people I worked with knew the importance of de-funding the Left. Sometimes when it looked like the Senate was going Republican, I felt we were going to get the third Reagan term we never got with Bush Senior — at least in my area.”
Another key transition-team member gave Politico a somewhat different impression. Romney wasn’t planning “an ideological crusade,” he said. “He wants to come across as a problem solver, primarily on the economic side.” Everything that was planned appeared to revolve around pragmatic, rather than ideological, goals: “bringing down barriers to economic growth and providing certainty to businesses.”
As for personnel, again the picture was mixed. Defense hawks would have been cheered by the fact that Mike Chertoff, former Bush Department of Homeland Security secretary, was a key player in the transition team and a leading candidate to become attorney general. Ditto with former Missouri senator Jim Talent, currently a fellow at the Heritage Foundation, who was one of three co-chairs of the Romney transition team for the Pentagon and a top candidate to become defense secretary. On the other hand, an overall coordinator of the national-security transition was former World Bank president Robert Zoellick, who has often drawn the ire of conservatives.