If Mitt Romney wins tonight expect his team to go to school on the Obama team four years go and show up tomorrow at the Department of Interior.
Obama’s transition team four years ago, led by former Clinton solicitor John Leshy, came in the day after the election, set up meetings and a schedule of briefings so they could quickly get up to speed. The Romney transition team is headed by former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt, who also headed the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Health and Human Services.
You can expect, if Romney wins, he will have teams spreading out all across Washington setting up briefings and identifying the issues that are in play they my want to advance or reverse.
The Obama administration stopped some oil and gas leases next to national parks in Utah and also halted a Bureau of Land Management plan for timberlands in Oregon in 2009.
In the Obama camp, if they lose they will be looking at what they can get done before they leave Jan. 20. That could mean national monument designations, completing rulemaking or other actions they hope will survive the next administration. President Clinton designated a lot of monuments at the end of his term.
These actions are most important to activist insiders on both sides. In reality, most of the agencies’ work goes on about the same no matter who is elected. They have laws they must follow whether a Democrat or Republican is in charge.
The Bush Administration started wolf delisting at the end of its term and the Obama administration decided to follow it through.
Then there is the 2000 scenario, when the outcome of the election was in doubt for weeks. The Bush folks were limited from getting in and checking out the departments because it wasn’t clear they would be sitting in the offices Jan. 20.
That could happen again.
If Obama wins we will see what cabinet members stay and which ones go. The same is true for the political appointees throughout government.