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Posted at 3:24 PM ET, 01/13/2011

Romney staffs up

By Jennifer Rubin reports that Mitt Romney is hiring staff for his anticipated presidential run:

Rich Beeson, a Republican operative who has worked as a political director at the Republican National Committee and was most recently a partner at the voter contact firm FLS Connect, will be Romney's political director. . . .

And for polling, Romney is bringing on Neil Newhouse, a partner at the polling firm Public Opinion Strategies, GOP sources told RealClearPolitics.

Newhouse was named "pollster of the year" by the American Association of Political Consultants for his polling efforts in Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown's successful campaign last year.

It should be noted that close Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom was the top strategist on the winning Brown campaign.

This is classic Romney -- hire the best people. Although he came up short in 2008, it was widely agreed upon in GOP circles that the Romney staff was the best organized, the most effective and took its candidate as far he could go in that election cycle. A GOP operative familiar with Romney's operation (but not on the campaign) sees something else: "These are really strong moves that bring a fresh perspective to Boston." In other words, the Romney team in 2012 won't be identical to the 2008 team.

This is not a function of Romney's chances in 2012 or the experience staffers had in 2008. It is simply the reality that many former Romney staffers have wound up in plum D.C. jobs. For example, his 2008 director of communications, Kevin Madden, is now the executive vice president for public affairs for JDA Frontline. Carl Forti, Romney's 2008 political director, now is a major figure in Karl Rove's American Crossroads. Joe Pounder, who was the 2008 rapid response director, had a stint as then-Minority Whip Eric Cantor's press secretary and is now Marco Rubio's communications director. Rubio's office has other Romney alums, including policy director Sally Canfield and media director Alex Burgos. Perhaps obtaining a job in the GOP's newest rock star's senate office is the best indicator of the people Romney employed last time.

Meanwhile, Gail Gitcho, who was a press secretary for Romney, and Romney's former head of rapid response, Colin Reed, are now in Brown's office.

A presidential campaign is a high-stress environment that often requires huge sacrifices by family members. It's not surprising, especially with the wind at the Republicans' backs, that so many have found D.C. jobs that, while demanding, don't entail months on the road.

In a sense, this is a asset for Romney, who can now cull the best of the best from the GOP bench. A well-run campaign isn't everything. But it sure doesn't hurt.

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 13, 2011; 3:24 PM ET
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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Next: Nice but tough -- Tim Pawlenty at the National Press Club


Weekly Re-Cap

After 3 years of a Bait-and-Switch Circus from Obama,

this week, the nation was served with a 5 day Attack Campaign against the Tea Party and Sarah Palin.

When the country rejected the baseless charges which attempted to link innocent people to a mass murder, Obama called for civility and a truce.



HOW ABOUT if Obama just resigns - and the nation starts to heal without him and liberals?


Posted by: RainForestRising | January 13, 2011 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Romney forgot his pilgrimage to AIPAC and more preferably Israel!

Posted by: wpost16 | January 13, 2011 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Romney is a Mormon & a former Banker + he has no following, he's not a Fox News Southern Republican either so why waste space writing about him ?

Posted by: wasaUFO | January 13, 2011 5:34 PM | Report abuse

HOW ABOUT if Obama just resigns - and the nation starts to heal without him and liberals?


Posted by: RainForestRising | January 13, 2011 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Do you, Mr. Rising, realize just exactly how uninformed your hourly screeds make you sound.

I'm sorry you don't like people who don't agree with you, but that really doesen't give you any reason to post your paranoid ramblings.

And, how, sir, do your obviously slanted and dismissive views of those who don't agree with you fit in with your perception of a civil national dialog? Do tell!

So, let me understand this correctly - quote you:

"this week, the nation was served with a 5 day Attack Campaign against the Tea Party and Sarah Palin.

When the country rejected the baseless charges which attempted to link innocent people to a mass murder, Obama called for civility and a truce."

Which is really a baseless charge on YOUR part. As one who paid attention to news WRITING this past week, as opposed to watching people tell me what to think on TV, I found very little finger pointing, and very much general concern over the dialog overall in the country, not as it relates to any specific group.

But, more to the point, just how does your dismissal of anyone who does not agree with you contribute to the national dialog? Or are you saying that the only people that deserve to live in this country and contribute to American life are conservatives? Do tell.

A suggestion - if you care to comment regarding this country's political dialog, do some reading. Maybe take some classes. I'll suggest a book to start with, beginning at the beginning, so to speak. Find James A. Beard's "An Economic Interpetation of the Constitution" Fascinating reading that gives you another view of what our founding fathers were thinking.

And, after all that, for reasons I'm not sure you'd understand, I agree with you. Mitt Romney shouldn't waste time and money running for President.

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | January 13, 2011 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Before Romney can even think of getting my vote, he'll have to explain why, when he was a thirty-something up-and coming Mormon, he believed that blacks were so inferior to whites that his church would not allow them full faith and fellowship.
Romney claims to have cried on that day in 1978 when his church and their 'prophets' received a revelation from god saying that blacks could now 'belong' to Mormonism --he of course doesn't explain why he was crying. I'm sure he would tell you they were tears of joy; but he certainly doesn't mention any tissue-wetting tear fests before this wretched and racist doctrine was removed so his beloved church could remain tax-exempt.

Posted by: greggorywood | January 13, 2011 6:12 PM | Report abuse

It continues to amaze me that a few people who want to discount Romney for his religion expect their comments to be taken seriously. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Article VI of the US Constitution still in place? Certain bigots, and that is the word for what they are, should take note that:

"No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

Posted by: WeNeedSkills | January 13, 2011 7:12 PM | Report abuse


It's no use. I've known RFR from other columns and under other screen names. When he's not being a bi-polar you know what, he can be insightful and even shrewd. However he goes through these periods where he's off his medication as I call it when nothing and no one can reach him and he's in a world of his own.

This can could last another week or two, or months, there's no way of predicting.

Posted by: 54465446 | January 13, 2011 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Any mention of Romney's name brings out the bigots.

It's disheartening that so many people refuse to even consider him because of his religion. Yet, those very same people probably couldn't tell you what religion Palin is. She's Pentecostal by the way and they have some unusual beliefs too. Interestingly America apparently didn't care at all about Obama's religion or the controversial beliefs of his church. Mention Romney though who is highly competent and has the economic savvy America so desperately needs and all the sudden the single most important consideration becomes his religion.

Further, Romney believes what he does because he was taught it from the time he was a little boy as I was taught to believe in my own religion. For many of us, we don't pick our faith any more than we pick our last name. We are born into a family of Methodists or, in his case, Mormons and it remains with us for life. Some people change but most do it.

It's unfortunate that some remain so bigoted that they would overlook the one guy who could turn around America and save us from a financial ruin.

Posted by: Ci2Eye | January 13, 2011 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I would prefer someone else, not because of his religion. I just feel there is a bit of RINO in him, and, I am quite tired of RINO's.

I want the MOST conservative person we can muster up for this next election. Right now, DeMint is rated the most conservative.

I like some of RON PAUL's views as well.

In my opinion, we need to go HARD RIGHT to counter the far left politics that have brought us to this unfortunate place in American history... big time debt and an economy, country, that may not survive.

Luke warm will not suffice.

Posted by: GregBoo | January 13, 2011 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Romney in 2012

Posted by: ustimes | January 13, 2011 8:06 PM | Report abuse

...but, but, but...

Didn't Sharon Angle, teabagger darling, call the religion of Bishop Romney and Elder Beck a "cult"?

How can we have a member of a "cult" as President?

Posted by: areyousaying | January 13, 2011 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I hope RNC Fox News does get Romney elected President so he can order NASA to build a humongous space ship for his Mormons to "hie to Kolob" (a nearby planet where they think God lives).

He could take Palin, her white-supremacist evangelicals and Elder Beck with them.

A win-win for us all.

Posted by: areyousaying | January 13, 2011 10:08 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Romney thinks Huckabee is one of those Protestant Ministers who appeared alongside the devil in Romney's temple wedding rites.

Romney could use the invention of BYU faculty member Dr. Robert Card to detect gays in the military. Card's creation detected sinful arousal when they showed suspected gays (including minors in violation of Federal and State law) homosexual pornography.

Posted by: areyousaying | January 13, 2011 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Somebody should tell him he's Mormon.

Posted by: WmLaney | January 13, 2011 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Going hard right is not going to win a general election. You have to pick up the middle to win the presidency, and Romney picks up the middle better than a Palin or Huckabee. Go hard right if you must, but it gets us 4 more years of Obama.

Posted by: WeNeedSkills | January 13, 2011 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Palin/Rubio 2012

Posted by: julcubdish | January 14, 2011 1:26 AM | Report abuse

Palin/Rubio 2012

Posted by: julcubdish | January 14, 2011 1:28 AM | Report abuse

Palin/Rubio 2012

Posted by: julcubdish | January 14, 2011 1:29 AM | Report abuse

I see the Palin Stormtroopers came out shooting this morning.

Don't worry Mitt, classy beats skanky any day of the week.

Posted by: tslats | January 14, 2011 7:59 AM | Report abuse

How entertaining the righteous indignation of the right that anyone would mention Romney's religion while they spread lies Obama is a Muslim.

Posted by: areyousaying | January 14, 2011 8:16 AM | Report abuse

The election for president will interesting one. For one, there are republicans making noise about running or thinking about running for president. There is the ex-governor from Mississippi Haley B and Mitt R and Pawlenty,Newt and many more and even Palin. The republicans have a field of contenders that have no real chance of being elected. See the issue is that Fox has been hiding the truth from their viewers about many of these candidates and due to this, many republicans and conservatives actually believe the hype. However, when the truth comes out about these candidates, the wind behind their sail will vanish.

Newt: corrupt and a wife cheater. He was removed from his position or forced to step down as speaker. When this comes out and all the other baggage, Newt will not win. And how conservatives support someone who cheats or has cheated on his wife, is corrupt and so on.

Palin: She is just an idiot, simple as that.

Haley: Yeah right, good luck on that.

Mitt: Flip/Flop..Healthcare when he was governor in Mass. So lets see, conservatives want to repeal HC but will support someone who did the same thing in his state.. Yeah right...

Rick Santorum: lost his re-election bid as senator by 18 pts. Enough said.

Pawlenty: Really?

The republicans have one hope of mounting a challenge to Obama and that is Mitch Daniels. However, the conservative base and TP will chew him up, spit him out and leave his body on the side of the road as an example what happens when someone raises taxes. See Mitch raised taxes to balance the budget as governor but this will not matter, he raised taxes and that will lead him to be victimized by the TP. No matter how effective it was and how he later lowered taxes, that will not matter. So even though he is very popular and an effective governor and someone who can get votes from the middle, the TP, conservatives will destroy him and have someone like Newt get the nomination and 4 more years of President Obama..

Just telling the truth people, your views and your dumbness will get President Obama re-elected.

Posted by: Realistic5 | January 14, 2011 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Gregboo on Romney -
"Personally, I would prefer someone else, not because of his religion. I just feel there is a bit of RINO in him, and, I am quite tired of RINO's.

I want the MOST conservative person we can muster up for this next election. Right now, DeMint is rated the most conservative."


The problem with a "Goldwater, archConservative True Believer" type is you would basically be conceeding 4 more years for Obama, and 2-4 more Obama Supreme Court that you could have the "purity" and elect a Demint type figure 16 years later as Reagan was after the 1964 Goldwater debacle, if the country is still recognizable as America at that point.

I wouldn't call Pawlenty, Christie, Romney RINOs. They are Centrists. While I admire the "conservative purity" of Demint, Huckabee, Palin, Coburn - they could only be elected in solid red state backwaters.

I fear that the government debt, economic situation of America will be so bad in 2012 that Republicans will bite the bullet. And not go with an unelectable conservative firebreather. They will wisely run an electable Romney or Pawlenty because 4 more years of Obama resulting from running a Demint or Palin would be snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Posted by: ChrisFord1 | January 14, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I don't care what your religion is. It's the Southern Baptists who care. That's how baby Bush got elected, by convincing the 'born-agains' that involvement in politics would further their narrow "moral majority" agenda. Liberals don't care about your religion. They don't insist of wearing public proclamations of faith and patriotism. They can't imagine why it would be necessary.

Romney won't win because the conservative christian right won' be enthusiastic about voting for him. Preachers will not stand up in churches instructing their flocks to vote for 'one of them'.

Keep religion out of politics!

Posted by: thebobbob | January 14, 2011 7:00 PM | Report abuse

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