Presidential transitions are fertile ground for rumors and speculation about who is being considered for appointment to various posts. Orange County’s own Rep. Dana Rohrabacher’s name briefly surfaced as a potential Secretary of State pick in a November 15 Washington Examiner story, and speculation about his appointment is once again bubbling to the surface of the media cauldron.
The Hill reported yesterday that the long-time Huntington Beach congressman was still under consideration (according to Rohrabacher):
“I have been told that I am under consideration to join President Trump’s team as Secretary of State. While my present intention, of course, is to continue to fight for liberty and freedom as a member of the House of Representatives, as a strong supporter of President-Elect Trump’s vision for America, it would be a privilege and an honor to serve as his Secretary of State,” he said in a statement.
Breitbart.com reported earlier this week that Rohrabacher said he would accept the post if offered:
The southern Californian Republican congressman in consideration for Secretary of State told Breitbart News he shares the worldview of President-elect Donald J. Trump and he would gladly leave Congress to lead the Trump State Department.
“I am not such an egotist, where I feel like I have to be the number one guy, but I believe what I believe will be good for America–and I believe my beliefs are the closest to what Donald Trump believes in and the policies he’s been advocating in his campaign,” ” said Rep. Dana T. Rohrabacher, who chairs the House Foreign Relations Committee’s subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats.
“If I would be offered this job, I would take it–not because I need to do it like so many people with an ego, such that they need to be secretary of state, but I do believe it would be my duty to jump into that and to take that job and that responsibility just for patriotic reasons,” he said.
Rohrabacher would be an unconventional choice, and if anything President-elect Donald Trump has demonstrated he is not bound by convention. Also, his perspective on Russia as a potential ally or strategic partner rather than adversary is consonant with Trump’s rhetoric. Furthermore, foreign policy (and space policy) have long been the congressman’s primary policy preoccupations. He is rumpled and rough around the edges, but he is also extraordinarily well-traveled, familiar with the world political landscape, historically-minded and has been studying and thinking about foreign policy and national security issues for many years. In short, the temptation to dismiss the idea is short-sighted.
Is the ongoing speculation evidence Rohrabacher is a bona fide candidate, or evidence of the media-savvy congressman doing some lobbying on his own behalf – or a little of both? Either way, Rohrabacher is commonly thought to be in line for some kind of foreign policy post in the Trump Administration, even if it is not Secretary of State. Tapping Rohrabacher would uncork the simmering contest to succeed him in Congress, the top two contenders for which are former Assemblyman and OC GOP Chairman Scott Baugh and 2nd District Supervisor Michelle Steel.