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Romney's 'Day One' Filling Up Quickly

The Mitt Romney campaign on Thursday released a sequel to its "Day One" ad, in which it explains what else the presumptive Republican nominee would do on Jan. 21, 2013, if elected president. (This assumes Romney would reserve Jan. 20, 2013 — when he'd have half a day in office — to enjoy his swearing-in and the accompanying pomp and circumstance.)

Romney's first-day-in-office checklist already included: approve the Keystone pipeline, introduce tax cuts, and issue an order to replace President Obama's health care law with "common sense health care reform." Those were announced last Friday in the "Day One" ad.

In Thursday's sequel, the list grew to include: announce deficit reductions, stand up to China on trade, and begin repeal of "job killing regulations".

Wondering what Barack Obama did on his first day in office?

The New York Times reported that on Jan. 21, 2009, a newly elected President Obama held his first meeting on Iraq and Afghanistan, signed an executive order instituting a pay freeze for White House employees earning in excess of $100,000 a year, phoned the leaders of Israel, Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, and met with his economic advisers.

According to theTimes, Obama walked into the Oval Office for the first time as president at 8:35 a.m.:

"He read the note left behind by George W. Bush, which was sitting in a folder on top of the desk, with a note marked '44.' Mr. Obama was in the office alone for a brief time, aides said, starting his day after a late night celebrating and dancing at inaugural balls across Washington."

Last month, The Washington Post took a look at the promises and challenges of the first days in office: "A big list for day one (or two or three) is something of a campaign tradition, a way to underline your priorities and show where your predecessor went astray."

It noted that in Obama's first week in office he ordered the closing of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba — which still remains open.

If Romney were elected, The Post reported:

"Similarly, Romney's first-day agenda would not be as easily achieved as he suggests — on day one or, perhaps, ever. Some of his ideas seem predestined to run aground on Capitol Hill. Others could unspool huge new hassles in the federal bureaucracy."

"'He's going to discover that it is diluted a lot, because there's a thing called a Congress and there's a thing called a Supreme Court,' said Tom Korologos, who helped four Republican presidents — Richard M. Nixon, Gerald R. Ford, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush — work with Capitol Hill."

"What could Romney expect on his first day? Korologos thought of something President Harry S. Truman said about the incoming President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was used to a general's power: 'He'll sit here and he'll say, 'Do this! Do that!' And nothing will happen.'"

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Greg Henderson