With the presidential contest entering its final days, Mitt Romney and his top advisers are preparing to make a series of personnel announcements as early as next week — immediately after the election — should the Republican nominee win the White House, according to aides who have been working on his campaign and his transition plans.
For months, much of the political jockeying in Washington has revolved around President Obama, as polls appeared to show him heading toward a second term and supporters took his reelection for granted. Several high-ranking Obama officials, including Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, made clear their intention to leave even if the president wins, setting in motion a sometimes publicly visible audition process for their successors.
But as the race has narrowed to a dead heat, top Republican officials have stepped up their angling for slots in a Romney administration. And Romney advisers tasked with leading the “Readiness Project,” an internal operation to ensure a smooth transition of power during the 77 days between the election and the inauguration, have assembled short lists of candidates for the highest-level Cabinet and White House staff positions — including the people who would quickly take the helm should Romney win and begin mapping out the rest of his senior leadership staff.