Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Impressive James Bopp, Jr. supports Romney

Governor Mitt Romney Announces Support of James Bopp, Jr.
Tuesday, Jan 30, 2007

CONTACT: Kevin Madden (857) 288-6390

Boston, MA - Today, Governor Mitt Romney announced that James Bopp, Jr., will be joining the Romney for President Exploratory Committee as Special Adviser on Life Issues.

"For almost three decades, Jim has been at the center of the fight to protect the sanctity of human life. Representing numerous national and state pro-life and pro-family organizations, he has helped defend the rights of those seeking to promote life," said Governor Romney. "Jim will be a powerful spokesman for my vision of a greater tomorrow. I look forward to his counsel derived from many years of service and to working with him as we move forward."

With today's announcement, Jim Bopp said: "As Governor, Mitt Romney has stood side-by-side with those seeking to protect the weakest and most innocent of our society. In one of our country's most liberal states, he has acted to protect the sanctity of life. Governor Romney's record on fundamental life issues is one of not just words but action. I am proud to count myself among his supporters."

Background on James Bopp, Jr.:

James Bopp, Jr., Has Had A Long Distinguished Career Practicing Law And In Public Service. At the law firm of Bopp, Coleson & Bostrom, Bopp's practice focuses on non-profit corporate and tax law, on campaign finance and election law, on life issues including abortion, and on U.S. Supreme Court practice. His clients have included the National Right to Life Committee, Focus on the Family, Susan B. Anthony List, All Children Matter, Catholic Answers, Christian Broadcasting Network, Gerard Health Foundation, Priests for Life, Traditional Values Coalition, Salem Radio, Vision America, the Christian Coalition, and the Republican parties of Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Texas, and Vermont. He has argued numerous campaign finance cases in defense of pro-life, pro-family, conservative and Republican party groups, including four cases in the U.S. Supreme Court. He also serves as General Counsel for the James Madison Center for Free Speech and is a member of the Republican National Committee. He is a veteran of all levels of government.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A viewpoint on the role of religion in politics

(by Wendy Doniger, Professor the History of Religions, U. of Chicago's Divinity School, as posted on Newsweek and Wash Post)

The Great Pumpkin Goes to Washington

I don’t care a fig about our next president’s personal religious views. The candidate can worship the Great Pumpkin, for all I care, as long as he or she doesn’t assume that the rest of us do too, and that the Great Pumpkin told him to do things such as, to take a case at random, invade Iraq.

But I certainly want to know what any presidential candidate thinks government should and should not do to protect freedom of religion and freedom from religion. The candidate may be a person of deep faith or a godless atheist, but what matters to me is the candidate’s willingness, and ability, to ensure that the law protects the rights of other people to have their own deep faith or godless atheism, and keep them from messing with one another.

I pledge allegiance to the first amendment, which I interpret to mean that government shouldn’t traffic with religion—neither promote it nor persecute it—and this means that, in the public arena, the candidate should not use religious rhetoric, which does nothing but harm, fogging over the clear lines of argument on the issues and eliciting irrelevant and irrational choices in the electorate.

As someone once said of objectivity in science, just because we cannot produce a perfectly sterile environment is no reason to perform surgery in a sewer. In the context of the presidential elections, this would mean that the candidates should debate the issues entirely on their own merits, not with reference to whatever religious (or other) feelings or beliefs may have brought them to their conclusions.

Of course religious (or non-religious) beliefs will play an important part in their judgments about such matters as abortion and euthanasia and stem cell research and the rights of homosexuals to marry, and a less obvious part in judgments about poverty, war, justice, and even about health care, the homeless, and global warming. But those judgments must stand, and be judged, on their own merits, regardless of what beliefs underlie them.

I don’t care how they got to where they stand; I care about where they stand.

This is what I think should happen. What will actually happen is, alas, just the opposite. But let’s try to keep the surgery as far out of the sewer as we can manage.

Romney adds Iowa staff

(from Hotline)

Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) added IA advisers today to augment his exploratory cmte. Among them: House Speaker Brent Siegrist and former Rep. candidate (IA-01) Brian Kennedy. Calling IA "a critical state", Romney intends "to have a strong presence in Iowa." His new IA hires also include:

IA Director Gentry Collins: Former Political Dir. for the Republican Governors Assa., IA GOP Executive Dir. ('03-'04)
Political Dir. Jill Latham: WI GOP Political Director ('04)
Straw Poll Dir. Nicole Schlinger: President, founder of Captiol Resources, Inc.
Communications Dir. Tim Albrecht: Field staff on the Forbes 2000 presidential caucus, House Communications Dir. for IA House Speaker Christopher Rants.

Romney IA chair Doug Gross said Romney's new crew adds" experience and knowledge needed for a successful caucus campaign." Yet of Romney's presidential ambitions, Gross spoke vaguely: "As we begin looking toward a possible presidential campaign, this team will offer serious guidance..."

Clinton adds staff

Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign now includes Mo Elleithee, a veteran of a half dozen major campaigns of the past eight years. Elleithee will be the campaign's senior spokesperson and will oversee its regional press shop. Elleithee, currently a partner at Hilltop Public Solutions, was the New Hampshire comm. dir for Sen. Bill Bradley's presidential campaign in '00, the NH comm. dir for Ret. Gen. Wesley Clark in '04, the nat'l press secretary for Sen. Bob Graham's presidential bid before Clark, and most recently, the comm. dir on Tim Kaine's successful VA governor campaign. (Elliethee also worked for Mark Warner's '01 GOV campaign.) He joins Phil Singer, the campaign's deputy communications director and nat'l spokesman, Kim Molstre, the campaign's long-term communications planner, and Howard Wolfson, the as-yet-untitled maestro of Clinton's public image.

Romney on Nightline last night

In Case You Missed It: Governor Mitt Romney on "Nightline"Tuesday, Jan 30, 2007

ABC's "Nightline"
January 29, 2007

Click Here to Watch Interview:

ABC's Terry Moran On The Trail With Governor Mitt Romney:

ABC's TERRY MORAN: "One of the contenders you might not have heard much about yet. The competition for the Republican nomination's wide open, so pay attention to the man from Massachusetts, Mitt Romney, and the big question about him. How much will his faith be a factor? I spent the day with him in Iowa as part of our series, 'The Contenders.'"

GOVERNOR MITT ROMNEY: "Wow. Look at the size of this group. Oh, my."

MORAN: "Mitt Romney, a Republican candidate for president, sure is nice."


MORAN: "He's personable, polite, cheerful, nice all the time, it seems."


MORAN: "Do you find people know you out here?"

GOVERNOR ROMNEY: "They don't yet. But that's exactly what I mean. That's an itch. I mean, you know, we got a year to go. So it's just a lot of trips, get to know people, learn who they are on a personal basis. They get to know you."


MORAN: "But a lot of people think Mitt Romney is going to be a formidable candidate. He's got the money, the skills, the looks, and the track record that might appeal to a lot of Republicans."


MORAN: "Romney is definitely smooth, polished, a political pro."

GOVERNOR ROMNEY: "When you face challenges, you go to your core beliefs. And I happen to believe something about America's source of strength."

MORAN: "He's already assembled a top-flight campaign team. They managed to pack every event when we were with him. And he's done his homework on the issues. Here he is at a massive ethanol plant in rural Iowa."

GOVERNOR ROMNEY: "As a nation, we need to support the development of new technologies and the adoption of new technologies so that we can free ourselves from the non-market OPEC stranglehold on energy in this country."


MORAN: "As he ends this campaign day with a lot more ahead of him, Mitt Romney seems full of hope. Hope that Republicans and Americans, in general, are ready for a new face, a pretty handsome one at that, and a new voice, a voice that just happens to belong to a Mormon."

Governor Mitt Romney On His Faith:

MORAN: "But there's something else about Mitt Romney, something that makes him different from every other candidate. He's a Mormon. Would you describe yourself as a devout Mormon? True believer?"

GOVERNOR ROMNEY: "Absolutely. I'm proud of my faith. It's part of my heritage. I think the American people respect individuals of faith. That's the kind of person they wanna lead the country."

Governor Mitt Romney On His Pro-Life Record:

MORAN: "What's your position on abortion?"

GOVERNOR ROMNEY: "I'm pro-life."


MORAN: "Your critics say you're flip-flopping rather conveniently when you're running for president."

GOVERNOR ROMNEY: "Well, you know, we all learn from experience. And I'm just like other people in this nation. Not everything I believed 12 or 13 years ago is the same today, with regards to the issue of abortion. And so about two years ago, I said I am pro-life. And prior to that time, I had a different position."

Governor Mitt Romney On Iraq:

MORAN: "Was it the right thing for the United States to invade Iraq?"

GOVERNOR ROMNEY: "Well, I supported the President at the time. He indicated that based on intelligence, we had weapons of mass destruction, a threat to this land. He proposed a solution and I supported it. And I'm not going back in trying to second-guess that. I don't have the data or inside sources to suggest doing that."


GOVERNOR ROMNEY: "There's no question about the fact that we have not conducted the war as effectively as we might ... and it's been problematic and has caused part of the problems we face today."

Monday, January 29, 2007

Romeny at the Nat'l Review Conservative Summit

In Case You Missed It: Governor Mitt Romney at the National Review's Conservative Summit
Sunday, Jan 28, 2007

Washington, D.C.
January 27, 2007

Governor Romney On The Need For Fiscal Responsibility In Washington:

"As we look to the nation, you know that we face some extraordinary and in some respects, and in most respects, unprecedented challenges. Let's talk about some of them that affect us right here.

"One, spending in Washington is simply out of control. It's not just pork-barrel spending and earmarks, it is particularly entitlements. And you know the figures on this. Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and interest expense are going to grow by the end of the next President's second term to well over two-thirds of federal spending. How can we remain the world's economic superpower and military superpower with that kind of entitlement expense trajectory?"

Governor Romney On Making Tax Cuts Permanent:

"[W]hen we face tough times in this country, and the economy is challenged like it was following 9/11, liberals turn and say as they always do, 'How do we make government bigger, how do we make sure that we have all the money we need to have the government programs work in tough times like this?' So they want to raise taxes.

"And Republicans say, and conservatives say, 'How do we make sure that we get taxes down in these tough times.'

"And thank heavens our President stood up. And I guess the number of naysayers, the Democratic naysayers and even some in our own party. And he said, 'You know what, I trust Main Street more than I trust K Street.' We're going to put money in the hands of our citizens, and that's going to get the economy going, and it did.

"By the way, I saw Grover Norquist here, I'm proud to be, I think I'm the first person who's thinking about an '08 race, who's signed his 'Taxpayer Protection Pledge' not to raise taxes, and that's easy. I've been living that. By the way, we do need to make those Bush tax cuts permanent."

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Huckabee announces on Meet the Press

(this came from yahoo -- as i have yet to watch my tivo-ed Meet the Press. i guess when Huckabee joked w/Chris Matthews that he was going to wait to see how his book was selling, he realized the game is majorly on.

p.s. pick up this week's TIME. showed up yesterday and it's interesting, although not necessarily ground-breaking in its analysis.)

Mike Huckabee launches presidential bid 1 hour, 10 minutes ago

Conservative Republican Mike Huckabee, seeking to repeat the success of another former governor from Hope, Ark., said Sunday he is taking the first step in what he acknowledged is an underdog bid for the White House in 2008.

"I think this is an opportunity to show the American dream is still alive and there's hope and optimism that can be awakened in a lot of people's lives if they think that a person like me can run and actually become president," Huckabee told The Associated Press

The 51-year-old Huckabee, who took over as governor at the height of Bill Clinton's Whitewater scandal, comes from the same small town — Hope — in the same rural state as the former Democratic president.

Huckabee, who left office Jan. 9 after serving 10 1/2 years as governor of a Democratic-leaning state, faces steep odds in a crowded GOP field that includes well-known and well-funded hopefuls such as Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record) of Arizona, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

"One of the reasons that I'm running for president is because I think that America needs folks who understand what it is to start at the bottom of the ladder and climb their way to the top," Huckabee said in a broadcast interview. "We've got a lot of people who are born on third base and think they've hit a triple.

"America loves an underdog. America loves people who have had to struggle and for whom every rung of the ladder has been sometimes three rungs up and two back down, Thank God for the one you've gained, and keep climbing," Huckabee said.

He planned to travel to Iowa, an early nominating state, on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Huckabee is setting up an exploratory committee that will allow him to raise money and hire campaign staff in an effort to gauge his prospects.

Huckabee is a staunch opponent of abortion rights and gay marriage, but faces a tough fight from other conservatives in the field for support from the GOP's right flank. This is an important voting bloc in the nominating contests.

Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback (news, bio, voting record), a favorite son of the religious right, is already in the race. Other conservatives, such as California Rep. Duncan Hunter (news, bio, voting record) and Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo, will battle for their share of the vote.

While Arkansas is a predominantly Democratic state, Huckabee won two full terms in landslides. He championed tax increases for public schools, expanded state insurance programs for the children of the working poor and opposed banning state services for illegal immigrants.

Nationally, Huckabee is perhaps best known for his dramatic weight loss and his emphasis on healthy lifestyles. He shed 110 pounds after being diagnosed with diabetes. He also saw his political profile rise when he headed the National Governors Association for one term.

Since he left office, Huckabee has been on a nationwide tour to tout his book, "From Hope to Higher Ground: 12 Stops to Restoring America's Greatness." With chapters on taxes and foreign policy, Huckabee's book lays out his potential talking points for a presidential campaign.

Huckabee appeared on "Meet the Press" on NBC.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Romney and Congressman Hal Rogers & friends

This story brought to you by

Romney Making Rounds on the Hill for Friends and Money
By: Jonathan Martin
January 25, 2007 05:20 AM EST

Mitt Romney's courting of House Republicans for his presidential bid is picking up steam.

In town last week for the Republican National Committee's winter meeting, the former Massachusetts governor spent a lot of time wooing Hill Republicans. Romney made his pitch to the GOP's Theme Team, which handles communications strategy. One excited Romney ally close to the campaign noted that 46 members showed up to hear Romney; last fall, he drew only about 25 from the conservative House Republican group.

After the lunchtime meeting, Romney had a more intimate sit-down hosted by Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., a senior member of the Appropriations Committee. Rogers is exactly the sort of congressional Republican on whom Romney's team has been focusing. A 14-term House veteran, he has considerable political influence both in his Eastern Kentucky district and on Capitol Hill. As an appropriator, Rogers has friends throughout K Street who could help raise significant money for Romney's campaign. Rogers's office would not confirm that he's backing Romney, but his hosting of about 12 fellow Republicans speaks volumes.

As symbolic as getting support from the likes of Hal Rogers, picking up the endorsement of Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., would perhaps carry more practical weight. Rep. Rogers, who another Romney source says committed to their team on Tuesday, could lend a hand in the early Alabama primary (though it would be far outweighed if Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., nails down the formal endorsement of his close friend, Gov. Bob Riley).

Individually, picking up Hill endorsements may not move a lot of votes. Collectively, though, such backing makes a statement about where some of the most prominent figures in the party are headed. Winning support from so many congressional Republicans so early in 1999 helped then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush create a much-sought sense of inevitability in his presidential bid.

By scoring Hill endorsements, Romney's camp wants to pre-empt any such perception for McCain. "It's pretty hard to be inevitable and be behind in every poll" to former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, "while members are endorsing us," said the Romney ally. "The worst campaign strategy is to say 'elect me because I can win' because when you lose ground, you're in trouble."

Clinton News

(from Hotline)

A Digest Of Clinton News | Shame On Reuters!

1. The campaign announced that JoDee Winterhoff, who managed Sen. Tom Harkin's '96 re-election, will serve as IA state director for Sen. Hillary Clinton. Two other prominent Iowans have also signed on: ex-IA A.G. Bonnie Campbell and Andy McGuire, a doctor who served as gubernatorial candidate Mike Blouin's running mate in 2006.

2. Reuters reports that actress Elizabeth Taylor wrote a $100,000 check to Hillary Clinton. Reuters doesn't tell you that the contribution limit is $4300 per person because, presumably, Reuters' editors didn't know enough to conclude that Ms. Taylor didn't know enough about federal campaign finance law. Whoops!

While the rest of Hollywood starts to choose sides in the 2008 U.S. presidential race, Taylor has already picked the New York Democratic senator as her favorite candidate and written her a $100,000 check for the campaign.
3. Shades of the Dean campaign in '03, the Clinton campaign sent out a press release bragging that 140K Americans have given their e-mail addresses to the campaign.

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) throws his hat in too

(from the NY Times) January 26, 2007
2nd Republican Enters Race for Presidency

WASHINGTON, Jan. 25 — Representative Duncan Hunter, Republican of California, announced his bid for the presidency on Thursday in Spartanburg, S.C., then boarded a motor home to tour the state, where he hopes to gain support from a conservative electorate.

Mr. Hunter, 58, said his candidacy would emphasize his support for the war in Iraq, his opposition to abortion and his belief in free trade.

Serving his 14th term as a congressman, Mr. Hunter, of San Diego, is a Vietnam veteran and a lawyer. He was the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee until this year and is now the ranking Republican on the panel.

In a release earlier this month, he paved the way for his candidacy, saying, “America needs a way ahead in the ongoing war against terrorists and a policy of economic opportunity, with a reaffirmation of faith in the principles of our founding.”

He said yesterday that he would also emphasize the need to restore the balance of trade with China.

“This is not free trade, this is not fair trade,” Mr. Hunter said according to the text of his speech. “It is cheating.”

Mr. Hunter, who has a 92 percent lifetime conservative rating from the American Conservative Union, repeated his opposition to abortion this week, telling thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators here that, if elected, he would not nominate judges who supported abortion.

Mr. Hunter also opposes embryonic stem cell research and supports tighter controls on illegal immigration. Mr. Hunter is the second Republican to announce his intention to run for the presidency. Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas did last week. Senator John McCain of Arizona and Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, are also expected to seek the nomination.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

CA, FL, NJ and IL likely to move up primaries to Feb. 5

(from today's NY Times)
Big States’ Push for Earlier Vote Scrambles Race

WASHINGTON, Jan. 24 — As many as four big states — California, Florida, Illinois and New Jersey — are likely to move up their 2008 presidential primaries to early next February, further upending an already unsettled nominating process and forcing candidates of both parties to rethink their campaign strategies, party officials said Wednesday.

The changes, which seem all but certain to be enacted by state legislatures, mean that the presidential candidates face the prospect of going immediately from an ordered series of early contests in relatively small states in January to a single-day, coast-to-coast battlefield in February, encompassing some of the most expensive advertising markets in the nation.

The changes would appear to benefit well-financed and already familiar candidates and diminish the prospects of those with less money and name recognition going into such a highly compressed series of contests early next year.

Associates of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, the New York Democrat, and Senator John McCain, the Arizona Republican, said that should either of them stumble early on, the respective party primaries in California and New Jersey — two states that would seem particularly hospitable to them — could offer an expensive but welcome firewall.

But at the same time, states like New Jersey and California could provide an opening for Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, who faces the daunting prospect of overcoming resistance among social conservatives in the Republican contests in Iowa and South Carolina in January.

And several party analysts suggested that having such delegate-rich states at stake on Feb. 5 could persuade candidates who might otherwise step out after a defeat in Iowa or New Hampshire to press on in hopes of a dramatic recovery on the new Super Tuesday.

“I think this is huge,” said John Weaver, a senior adviser to Mr. McCain. “And the unintended consequences could be even bigger.”

While officials in both parties are wary of the changes, final say over the calendar rests with the states. Advisers to Republican and Democratic presidential candidates say they have come to view substantial changes as inevitable and they have begun to plan accordingly.

“We don’t set the calendar, and we don’t control the calendar, but we are going to compete aggressively in all these states,” said Patti Solis Doyle, who is the manager of Mrs. Clinton’s exploratory presidential effort. “And I will also tell you we have the resources and the organization to compete in all those states.”

The developments mark the latest upheaval in a political calendar already in disarray. The Democratic Party voted last year to allow Nevada and South Carolina to move their nominating contests into the narrow period at the beginning of the process that once was confined to just Iowa’s caucus and New Hampshire’s primary.

But New Hampshire officials, protective of their first-in-the-nation primary status, have responded by saying they will schedule their primary as early as it takes, even before Jan. 1, to protect its traditional role. And no one seems to know where the scramble for influence among the states will end.

“This is completely out of control,” said William F. Galvin, the Massachusetts secretary of state. He is the leader of a National Association of Secretaries of State committee that is monitoring this movement and trying to push back against it.

“The issue has been bad,” Mr. Galvin said. “But it’s never been as bad as it has been this year. In New Hampshire, they are going to be singing Christmas carols and voting.”

The developments suggest that the national parties are losing any control they have had over the calendar by which they will nominate presidential candidates in 2008. California, New Jersey, Florida and Illinois are most likely to move their primaries early, probably to Feb. 5, joining at least five smaller states that had already scheduled primaries for that day. Illinois lawmakers are talking about moving their primary to help Senator Barack Obama, a Democratic contender; if history is any guide, it is possible that the other candidates might decline to compete in the home state of one of their rivals.

But final votes have not been taken, and state officials said it was possible they could end up going even earlier. Florida in particular has talked about holding its primary seven days after New Hampshire’s, at the risk of sanctions from the Democratic National Committee. And officials said that other states, viewing this surge to the front of the pack, could join in as well.

The Democratic National Committee had adopted a new calendar last year, reducing the once dominant influence of Iowa and New Hampshire, after years of consideration. The Republican Party has so far deferred to Democrats on the changes, waiting to see the outcome of the back-and-forth.

Democrats and Republicans said that the changes would be the latest step in the evolution of a presidential nominating system that increasingly seems resistant to the kind of dark-horse presidential bid that was possible back when small states like Iowa and New Hampshire enjoyed such influence over the nominating process.

It has sowed unease and confusion among campaign staff members as they have tried to measure its implications, and has prompted them to begin making moves now to prepare for a whole different nominating system. While conventional wisdom is that the best-known candidates would benefit, views about how the shift might play out vary among strategists.

Tad Devine, a Democratic consultant who was a senior adviser to Democratic presidential candidates in 2004 and 2000, said the calendar changes, combined with the presence on the Democratic side of three strong and well-financed candidates — Mr. Obama, Mrs. Clinton and, probably, John Edwards, the former North Carolina senator — could mean that the battle for the nomination drags on for months.

“I think there’s a very good chance that we are going to be sitting here at the end of next March saying, ‘How are people going to put together a majority of delegates with 80 percent of the delegates gone?’ ” he said. “The nominating process in 2008 is not a little different. It’s fundamentally different.”

And the campaigns are adjusting accordingly. Mr. McCain recently hired Steve Schmidt, a former Bush campaign operative who managed the re-election bid of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the California Republican, in no small part because of what he saw as Mr. Schmidt’s command of California politics.

Similarly, Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, has turned his attention to Florida, where he sees a strong prospect of knocking out Mr. McCain by appealing to social conservatives, and installed a campaign team that includes two top political advisers to former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida. He is about to announce the hiring of more than six top aides in Florida.

Last weekend, Mr. Romney went to New Jersey, where his aides also think he could make a strong appeal.

“The focus of our efforts publicly have been in Iowa, South Carolina, Michigan, New Hampshire,” said Kevin Madden, Mr. Romney’s press secretary. “But we are very well organized in Florida.”

In the case of Florida, Democrats and Republicans have welcomed the prospect of having to spend heavily on an early primary because that could prove an early investment for the general campaign, as well, considering how competitive that state is. That is not the case in California or New Jersey, two expensive states that have been solidly Democratic in recent presidential races.

And some Democrats disputed the notion that a California victory could help someone recover from a poor showing in the early states. Nick Baldick, a senior adviser to Mr. Edwards, noted that Howard Dean spent heavily in states that held their primaries after New Hampshire and Iowa and never recovered.

“All that mattered was momentum and winning in Iowa,” Mr. Baldick said Wednesday. “I would argue that more states on Feb. 5 makes that exponentially more true. That if you don’t have momentum going into states like those four big states, then forget it and just go home.”

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Rep. Pete Hoekstra will be Intelligence Adviser

Governor Mitt Romney Announces Representative Pete Hoekstra as Intelligence Adviser
Wednesday, Jan 24, 2007

CONTACT: Kevin Madden (857) 288-6390

Boston, MA - Today, Governor Mitt Romney announced that U.S. Representative Pete Hoekstra (R-MI), the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, will be joining the Romney for President Exploratory Committee. Representative Hoekstra will serve as Governor Romney's adviser on all matters pertaining to U.S. intelligence.

Governor Romney also named Representative Hoekstra as a Co-Chair of his Michigan state organization helping to organize areas of Western Michigan.

"I am honored that Representative Hoekstra will serve as my intelligence adviser. From his many years of service on the House Intelligence Committee, he has become a leader in America's Intelligence Community," said Governor Romney. "Today, our country faces grave threats and our intelligence professionals must have the resources necessary to safeguard the American people. Our first priority is a safe America and that requires a strong Intelligence Community."

Joining the Romney for President Exploratory Committee, Representative Hoekstra said: "As a governor and as chief executive of the 2002 Winter Olympics, Governor Romney knows good intelligence is necessary for our security. Governor Romney will provide those on the frontlines of the war against radical militant Islam with the resources necessary to win. I know that the professionals who serve in the Intelligence Community will be well served under Governor Romney."

Background On Representative Pete Hoekstra:

Representing Michigan's Second Congressional District, Representative Hoekstra Is An Authority On U.S. Intelligence Issues. In August 2004, he was named Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, where he had served since 2001. As the current top Republican on the Committee, he is helping to lead Congressional oversight and ensure a strong Intelligence Community.

Representative Hoekstra was originally sworn in to the 103rd Congress in 1993. He served a key role in the development of the Contract with America and is a member of several task forces and caucuses, including the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus.

Hastert supports Romney

Governor Mitt Romney Announces Support of Former Speaker Dennis Hastert
Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007

Boston, MA - Today, Governor Mitt Romney announced that former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives J. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) will be joining the Romney for President Exploratory Committee.

"I am honored to have the support of Speaker Hastert. As a leader in our Party and former Speaker, his long and continued career of service has been marked by a deep commitment to improving the lives of the American people. Under his leadership, Congress passed the most significant tax relief in a generation, and in the aftermath of September 11, approved historic legislation protecting the American people and supporting the men and women defending our country," said Governor Romney. "Today's announcement is a clear indication that our message is being embraced across the country."

With today's announcement, former Speaker Hastert said: "Our nation needs proven executive leadership. Whether in business or public service, Governor Romney has demonstrated a unique ability to inspire people to go further and reach new levels of accomplishment. He sees the challenges before us and is not afraid to confront them. Governor Romney is the right kind of leader for America."

Others On Governor Romney's Growing Congressional Team:

- Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC)
- Representative Jim McCrery (R-LA)
- Representative Howard "Buck" McKeon (R-CA)
- Representative Dave Camp (R-MI)
- Representative Tom Feeney (R-FL)
- Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Excerpts from Gov. Romney's Remarks at the Seventh Annual Herzliya Conference

Excerpts from Governor Mitt Romney's Remarks at the Seventh Annual Herzliya Conference
Tuesday, Jan 23, 2007

CONTACT: Kevin Madden (857) 288-6390

Herzliya, Israel - Today, Governor Mitt Romney will make remarks at the Seventh Annual Herzliya Conference on the nature of threat posed by Iran and the actions necessary to address this threat.
To see Governor Romney's speech live beginning at 8:20 a.m. EST, please click here:

Governor Romney's Five Step Plan Of Action To Prevent A Nuclear Iran:

" First, we must continue tighten economic sanctions. Our model should be at least as severe to the sanctions imposed on Apartheid South Africa. We should demand no less from the international community today ...

"We must also be imaginative in the way we pressure Iran economically - an issue I have been looking into. In my meetings this week in Israel, I have become aware of the potential of U.S. pension funds to further isolate the Iranian economy. We should explore a selective disinvestment policy. After a series of briefings here, I have contacted the Treasurer of my own state of Massachusetts and Governors of other states to begin this process by meeting today with senior Israeli leaders in Boston.

" Second, we must impose diplomatic isolation of Iran's Government. Ahmadinejad should not be provided the trappings, respect, and recognition of a responsible head of state as he travels. In fact, when former Iranian President Khatami traveled to Boston last year to lecture at Harvard University, I denied him state police security for his visit. The real question is: why was he invited in the first place? Ahmadinejad is even more strident than Khatami. He should neither be invited to foreign capitals nor feted by foreign leaders. This would have important symbolic significance, not just to Ahmadinejad, but to the people of Iran.

"Diplomatic isolation should also include an indictment of Ahmadinejad for incitement to genocide under the Genocide Convention. The United States should lead this effort.

"The full title of the Genocide Convention is the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Remember that word: Prevention.

"Article III of that treaty establishes that 'public incitement to commit genocide' is a punishable crime. Every signatory to this treaty, including the U.S. and most European countries, shares an obligation to enforce it. So do human rights groups that care about international humanitarian law.

"Nobel Prize Winner Elie Wiesel, and human rights advocate and former Canadian Justice Minister Irwin Cotler have spoken out on this issue.

"In addition, former U.S. Ambassador John Bolton has been a forceful advocate for this effort, and is joined by Alan Dershowitz. If these two can agree, they must be on to something.

" Third, Arab states must join this effort to prevent a nuclear Iran. These states can do much more than wring their hands and urge America to act. They should support Iraq's nascent government, They can help America focus on Iran by quickly turning down the temperature of the Arab-Israeli conflict - stopping the financial and weapons flows to Hamas and Hizbullah ... thawing relations with Israel ... and telling the Palestinians they must drop terrorism and recognize Israel's right to exist.

" Fourth, we must make it clear that while nuclearization may be a source of pride, it can also be a source of peril. The military option remains on the table. And further, nuclear material that falls into the hands of terrorists would surely provoke a devastating response from the civilized world.

" Fifth, our strategy should be integrated into a broader approach to the broader Muslim world. I agree with our friend, former Prime Minister Aznar of Spain, that a central purpose of NATO should be to defeat radical Islam. I believe this has two critical dimensions. The first is an unquestionably capable military. This will mean a greater investment by the United States as well as other nations. The second is a global partnership which includes NATO and other allies. Its mission would be to support progressive Muslim communities and leaders in every nation where radical Islam is battling modernity and moderation. This Partnership for Prosperity should help provide the tools and funding necessary for moderates to win the debate in their own societies. They need secular public schools, micro credit and banking, the rule of law, adequate healthcare, human rights, and competitive economic policies. In the final analysis, only Muslims will be able to permanently defeat radical Islam. And we can help."

Other Key Excerpts Of Governor Romney's Remarks As Prepared For Delivery:

"And on Iraq, I would just like to make another point. Some Congressional leaders in the United States today are arguing that the President is not authorized to allow our forces to pursue Iranian elements inside Iraq - which are attacking our own troops. That would be folly."

RNC's first stab at Hillary the Candidate

(from Hotline)

(How long have they been waiting to use that word?)

The Research Briefing is after the break.

(Says Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson: "Republicans attacking on Iraq? Funny.")

Clinton Advisor Said Sen. Hillary Clinton's (D-NY) Vote For Use Of Force Was Vote For Negotiations:

Clinton Advisor Terry McAuliffe: "She voted to give the President the authority to negotiate and to have a stick to go over there and negotiate with Saddam Hussein." (NBC's "Today Show," 1/22/07)

Sound Familiar? Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) Kicked Off Campaign Claiming Use Of Force Was Not A Vote For Force, Either:

Sen. Kerry Announcement Of Candidacy In 2003. Sen. Kerry: "I voted to threaten the use of force to make Saddam Hussein comply with the resolutions of the United Nations." (Sen. John Kerry, Remarks At Announcement Of Candidacy, Patriot's Point, S.C., 9/2/03)

Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) Claims Kerry Believed "Use Of Force" Vote Was A "Use Of Negotiations" Vote. "Levin said Kerry believed the resolution would help President Bush negotiate with Iraq but didn't think Bush would use it to go to war." (Dee-Ann Durbin, "Levin, Stabenow Endorsing Kerry," The Associated Press, 2/5/04)

Clinton's Latest Criticism On Iraq, No Doubt Caters To Left Wing:

"Clinton ... Has Been Criticized By Many In The Party's Left Wing For Voting To Authorize The Iraq War In October 2002 ..." (Glenn Thrush, "Race For President Clinton Will Run," [New York] Newsday, 1/21/07)

"Clinton's Third Trip To Iraq Comes As She Faces Pressure From Her Party's Left Wing To Renounce Her Vote." (Glenn Thrush, "Shuttle Diplomacy," [New York] Newsday, 1/13/07)

"Clinton ... Had Been Criticized By The Democratic Party's Left Wing For Voting To Authorize The War In 2002 And Not Taking Hard Stance Against It Later." (Charlotte Raab, "Clinton Steps Up Bush Criticism As She Mulls Presidential Bid," Agence France Presse, 1/18/07)

More Clinton Staff Assignments

(from the NY Times)

More Clinton Staff Assignments
By Patrick Healy

Three hard-working New Yorkers are taking on some weighty assignments for Hillary ‘08.
Joining Mandy Grunwald’s media team is Jimmy Siegel, the former Madison Avenue ad man who made some memorable, humanizing commercials last year for Eliot Spitzer’s successful gubernatorial campaign and for Andrew Cuomo, who was elected attorney general in November.
In a Times profile last fall, Mr. Siegel praised Mrs. Clinton as “smart, hard-working, 100 percent qualified — yet also someone who would benefit from an ad man’s touch. Where advertising could help her is, she could create a little more emotional bond with voters.”
“People say there’s a lot of warmth, sense of humor, and wit there. That humanity has got to come out for her to win.’
In an interview this afternoon, Mr. Siegel said that her warmth came through in his first, 90 minute meeting with her, where the senator was cracking everyone up.
“She has a truly personable nature which maybe isn’t apparent to people who haven’t met her,” he said. “She’s very down to earth and very funny. She’s just quick with a line and makes great, sharp, funny observations.”
Mr. Siegel said he worked on the campaign announcement video on, contributing to the script, which he said was a team effort that included Mrs. Clinton, who had “large input” in the wording.
He said he helped come up with one of the more memorable lines in the video: “So let’s talk. Let’s chat. Let’s start a dialogue about your ideas and mine. Because the conversation in Washington has been just a little one-sided lately, don’t you think? And we can all see how well that works.”
Mr. Siegel said he had an open-ended arrangement with the Clinton campaign and hoped to be with them for the duration, designing commercials and media strategy. He said he was not sure when the first 2008 commercials would air.
Ms. Grunwald, reached this afternoon, declined to comment on Mr. Siegel’s hiring or on the media strategy.
Also taking a new role is Jennifer Hanley, the senator’s New York-based press secretary, who has long shown a fair and steady hand in dealing with the mob that is the New York City press corps. She will be traveling press secretary for the campaign. See you in Des Moines, Jen!
And Blake Zeff, the spokesman for the New York State Democratic Party, will become a spokesman for the campaign. Blake starts around the beginning of February and is moving to Washington, where Senator Clinton has decided to base her presidential campaign headquarters.
Mr. Zeff earned his stripes working for Senator Charles E. Schumer (other Schumer alums now in Hillaryland are Howard Wolfson and Phil Singer), and he sometimes seemed to be channeling Mr. Wolfson’s hard-hitting tactics as he manned the Democrats’ rapid-response attack operation against New York Republicans last year.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Giuliani Hires E-Campaign Expert

(from my fav, "The Fix")

Giuliani Hires E-Campaign Expert

As Dan Balz and I wrote in today's Post, presidential candidates on both sides are focused heavily on bolstering their Internet presence through a variety of new tools, including video, podcasts and even online video chats.

To brainstorm and implement these new innovations, the campaigns are chasing after a small group of people in their 20s and early 30s versed in the language of the new media.

One of the real "gets" on the GOP side of that world is Patrick Ruffini, who served as the Web master of President Bush's 2004 reelection campaign and then served in a similar role at the Republican National Committee. Ruffini gained recognition in national Republican circles for his blog, which was one of the first serious attempts on the Republican side at building an online community.

Ruffini has signed on with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign as an e-campaign adviser. The hiring is only the latest sign that Giuliani is serious about a run for national office in 2008.

In building a national staff, Giuliani has recruited a number of former Bush operatives to his cause -- the latest being Brent Seaborn, who will be the director of strategy for the campaign. Seaborn was intimately involved in the microtargeting efforts credited with growing the number of Republican votes for Bush in 2004. Seaborn was a co-founder of TargetPoint Consulting, which specialized in microtargeting and data mining.

In his new role on the Giuliani campaign, Seaborn will be tasked with the construction of a consulting team -- from picking the pollster and the media consultant to organizing the direct-mail operation. As The Fix has noted before, the major gap in Giuliani's political team at the moment is in the consulting world. In past races he has used Adam Goodman for media and Frank Luntz as his pollster, but the hiring of Seaborn -- and his job description -- would seem to suggest that Hizzoner is on the hunt for a new team.

As for campaigning online, Giuliani is far from the only candidate to recognize the opportunities and perils of the Web. Sen. John McCain's campaign employs a videographer who records many his political speeches; former Gov. Mitt Romney (R) has several staffers tasked with monitoring the blogging world and a video team on retainer to tape and produce segments like like these.

Democrats, too, are deeply invested in Web video and other technological advances. Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), and Barack Obama (Ill.) and former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.) each announced their campaign plans via video, and all three campaigns are putting special emphasis on building a Web presence. Clinton will host the first in a series of online chats tonight at 7 p.m ET.

Romney to Visit Israel

Governor Mitt Romney's Visit to Israel

CONTACT: Romney Press Shop (857) 288-6390

Boston, MA - On the evening of Saturday, January 20, Governor Mitt Romney will travel to Israel on a trip sponsored by the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC). On Tuesday, January 23, Governor Romney will deliver public remarks at the Seventh Annual Herzliya Conference. Governor Romney will return to the United States on Thursday, January 25.

Public Event:

Governor Romney delivers remarks at the Seventh Annual Herzliya Conference.
Tuesday, January 23
3:15 p.m. (Local Time)
Herzliya, Israel

Since its inception, the Herzliya Conference has become a leading and world-renowned summit of Israeli and international leaders for the discussion of Israel's national security. Participants at the Conference include: government officials, Knesset members and ministers, defense officials, business leaders, senior academics, media, representatives of leading Jewish organizations, and dignitaries from abroad.

Private Meetings During The Governor's Trip Will Include:

-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert

-Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres

-Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni

-Mr. Meir Dagan, Director of the Mossad

-Avi Dichter, Minister of Public Security

-Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak

-Natan Sharansky

-Former Prime Minister and former Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

-Dr. Salam Fayyad, former Palestinian Finance Minister

Private Visits Include:

-Helicopter tour of Israel's Northern and Southern borders and Security Fence

-Tour of surveillance and security measures at Ben-Gurion Airport

-Tour of Yad Vashem

-Tour of the Old City

Clinton's Inner Circle

Who's Who at Team Clinton

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's (D-N.Y.) presidential campaign may be less than 48 hours old, but she already has a full stable of senior staffers in place. Here is a look at the people who will guide Clinton's White House bid.

Patti Solis Doyle: Unquestionably a first among equals in Clinton's inner circle, Solis Doyle will manage the campaign. She has been with Clinton since her days as the first lady of Arkansas.

Mike Henry: A newcomer to the Clinton circle, Henry will be deputy campaign manager. He made a name for himself by leading Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) to victory in 2005 and then overseeing Senate Democrats' national ad campaign in 2006.

Howard Wolfson: Wolfson will oversee the communications operation for Clinton, reprising the role he played in her 2000 Senate race. Wolfson has deep roots in New York Democratic Party politics, having worked for Sen. Charles E. Schumer and Rep. Nita M. Lowey.

Evelyn S. Lieberman: Lieberman, a former undersecretary of state and senior aide in President Bill Clinton's White House, will be chief operating officer of the campaign.

Jonathan Mantz: As finance director, Mantz has the Herculean task of raising the millions Clinton will need to compete in the four early voting states and beyond. Before joining Clinton, Mantz oversaw fundraising for New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine (D).

Neera Tanden: Tanden served as policy adviser to President Bill Clinton and went on to work as the legislative director in Hillary Clinton's Senate office. She will be the campaign's policy director.

Kim Molstre: Fresh off a stint in the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Molstre will serve as director of scheduling and long-term planning. In 2004, Molstre worked on the presidential efforts of former congressman Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.) and Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.).

Mandy Grunwald: A veteran of Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign, Grunwald designed the ads for Hillary Clinton's 2000 and 2006 Senate races. She will be the lead media consultant in 2008.

Mark Penn: The pollster of choice during President Bill Clinton's second term, Penn, like Grunwald, has been with Hillary Clinton since her run in 2000.

Phil Singer: Singer, the deputy communications director, is extremely close to Schumer, for whom he worked at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in the 2006 election. He also has experience in past presidential politics as a member of Kerry's rapid-response operation.

Leecia Eve: Eve, a Buffalo native, will be a senior policy adviser to the campaign. She worked as counsel to Clinton in her Senate office, leaving to make an abbreviated bid for lieutenant governor in New York in 2006.

Minyon Moore: Moore served a stint as political director in the Clinton White House and will be a senior adviser in the campaign. Moore, an African American, oversaw minority outreach for Kerry's 2004 campaign.

Ann Lewis: Lewis is a longtime Clinton loyalist. She was deputy campaign manager for President Bill Clinton's 1996 reelection race and handled communications during Hillary Clinton's 2006 reelection contest. She will be a senior adviser to the '08 campaign.

Bill Richardson is in too

N.M. Governor Joins Presidential Race

By Chris Cillizza Staff Writer
Monday, January 22, 2007; A06

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson began a run for the Democratic presidential nomination yesterday, betting that his long résumé and Hispanic heritage will boost his chances in a field already stocked with better-known candidates.

"I am taking this step because we have to repair the damage that's been done to our country over the last six years," Richardson wrote in an e-mail to supporters. "Our reputation in the world is diminished, our economy has languished, and civility and common decency in government has perished." Richardson also announced his intentions -- in Spanish and English -- on his campaign Web site.

Richardson will file paperwork with the Federal Election Commission today to establish a presidential exploratory committee but will not formally announce his bid until New Mexico's legislative session ends in March.

His announcement comes just one day after Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) joined the Democratic race and less than a week after Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) made his intentions clear. Polling done in early-voting states such as Iowa shows Clinton and Obama in the Democrats' top tier along with former North Carolina senator John Edwards.

Richardson joins a group running behind the top three that includes Sens. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (Del.) and Christopher J. Dodd (Conn.) as well as former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack.

Unlike the other second-tier candidates, Richardson is making history as he seeks to become the first Hispanic president of the United States. Although Richardson said his ethnicity is not a point of emphasis in the campaign, it could help his chances. Hispanics are the largest minority group in the United States and are becoming increasingly active and influential in national politics.

Acknowledging that he is not yet on the level of the front-runners, Richardson argued that he alone in the field has a record of creating solutions to tough problems. "I can talk the talk and walk the walk," Richardson said.

Richardson spent 15 years in Congress before being named U.S. ambassador to the United Nations by President Bill Clinton in 1997. A year later he was appointed energy secretary. Richardson returned to elected office in 2002, winning the gubernatorial race. Last fall he cruised to a second term with 69 percent of the vote.

Throughout his career in public life, Richardson has also served as a roving diplomat, dispatched to defuse crises in hot spots including North Korea and Iraq. He spent several days in Sudan last week before making his presidential intentions known.

On Iraq -- the issue which most animates Democratic primary voters -- Richardson has called for a phased withdrawal of U.S. troops to be completed by the end of this year. "There is no military solution," he said.

Regardless of the strength of his résumé, Richardson faces a rocky path to the nomination. In a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, 1 percent of Democratic voters said they would support Richardson in a primary. By contrast, Clinton took 41 percent, Obama 17 percent and Edwards 11 percent.

Asked how he can compete with nationally known candidates such as Clinton and Obama, Richardson said: "I'll outwork them."

Meanwhile, Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) declined to rule out an independent candidacy for president in 2008.

"I have not decided I am going to run for president, so maybe that'll be the next set of questions that you could ask after I decide what I'm going to do," Hagel said during an interview with C-SPAN.

Hagel has been perhaps the most vocal Republican critic of President Bush's handling of the war in Iraq -- a position that could make it difficult for the senator to make a serious run at the GOP nomination.

The Religious Test

(from today's USA Today)

The religious test
Posted 1/21/2007 7:28 PM ET
By David E. Campbell and J. Quin Monson

Should Americans fear Mitt Romney because he is a Mormon? In spite of what some political pundits have recently argued, the answer is a resounding no.
Should Romney fear how some Americans will react to his religion? Unfortunately, recent polls say yes. But just like another Massachusetts politician who faced questions about his religion, namely John F. Kennedy, Romney can, and should, tackle uneasiness about his religion head-on — sooner rather than later.

Romney has not yet officially announced his plans to run for the Republican nomination, yet the darts have already begun to fly. In fact, some critics have argued that Romney should not be elected solely because of his membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS):

•Writing in Slate, columnist Jacob Weisberg says that if Romney truly believes in his religion, "I don't want him running the country."

•Damon Linker, in The New Republic, says voters should reject Romney on religious grounds. Echoing precisely the same concerns raised about Kennedy's Catholicism, Linker argues that a Mormon president would be controlled by his church's hierarchy. In his words, "would it not be accurate to say that under a President Romney, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would truly be in charge of the country?" Actually, no, it would not be accurate, any more than it was accurate to say that Kennedy would take orders from the Vatican. And neither would it be accurate to accuse the LDS church of pulling the strings of other prominent Mormon politicians, such as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., the late Rep. Mo Udall, D-Ariz., and numerous others.

It is true that, like many religious groups, the LDS church occasionally makes policy pronouncements, as it did last June in support of a federal constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. However, this kind of political activity has not served to constrain Mormon elected officials. Reid, at the time the Senate minority leader, led the opposition to the amendment. In response to a reporter's question about his open opposition to the LDS church's public position, his press secretary Sharyn Stein said that the church had asked members to express their opinions on the issue, so her boss was doing so "loudly and repeatedly on the Senate floor."

A President Romney would have the same autonomy to speak and act independently of his church.

Kennedy's approach

Romney's challenge, however, is to make this clear to the American public. It is here that the parallel to Catholicism is instructive.

John F. Kennedy was not the first Catholic to run for president. That distinction belongs to Gov. Al Smith, D-N.Y., who, after winning the Democratic nomination in 1928, faced outright hostility to his Catholicism and suffered an ignominious defeat at the polls. The anti-Catholic bigotry that Smith confronted was in the living memory of many Democrats as Kennedy began his bid for the presidency. In an era when primaries were non-binding and often ignored by the leading candidates, Kennedy entered the West Virginia primary to show that a Catholic could win in a heavily Baptist state and thus settle the "Catholic question." He won the primary and the nomination. But still doubts lingered in the minds of the electorate about his religion.

To put those doubts to rest, Kennedy marched into the proverbial lion's den and delivered a speech to Protestant ministers in Houston. That speech is a classic appeal for religious tolerance. In it, Kennedy declared, "I do not speak for my church on public matters, and the church does not speak for me."

Similarly, enough Americans have doubts about Romney's religion that he should not wait for the primaries to tackle the "Mormon question." Recent polls find that about four out of 10 Americans say that they are unwilling to vote for a Mormon. We suspect that many voters are simply reflecting the fact that Mormonism is unfamiliar to them; it is natural to be uneasy with the unknown. However, Romney's own election in Massachusetts as well as the elections of Gordon Smith, Rep. Ernest Istook, R-Okla., and former U.S. Representative Richard Swett, D-N.H., demonstrate that voters outside the Mountain West, where Mormons are most heavily concentrated, can become comfortable with Mormon candidates from across the political spectrum.

Making his case — now

The heavy scrutiny focused on presidential candidates, even this early in the campaign, and the unease of some voters with a Mormon president, means that Romney should do now what Kennedy waited until the fall of 1960 to do. Romney needs to take a page from the Kennedy playbook and address his religion forthrightly, in a high-profile venue.

At a time when religion and politics are increasingly intertwined, it would be an opportunity to remind all Americans why the wall between church and state has served the country well.

Whatever issues voters might have with Mormonism, it is wrong to reject Romney because of his faith, just as it was wrong to reject Kennedy for his, or to disqualify today's Catholic politicians, such as Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., for theirs. It is no different from dismissing Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., because of her gender or Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., because of his race.

This is not an endorsement of Romney — we leave it to the voters to decide whether he deserves to be president. Rather, we endorse the spirit of Article VI in the Constitution, which states that there should be no religious test for public office.

Kennedy captured that spirit well in 1960 when he said: "While this year it may be a Catholic against whom the finger of suspicion is pointed, in other years it has been — and may someday be again — a Jew, or a Quaker, or a Unitarian, or a Baptist."

Or even a Mormon.

David E. Campbell teaches political science at the University of Notre Dame. J. Quin Monson teaches political science at Brigham Young University. The views expressed are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of their respective institutions.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL) supports Romney

Governor Mitt Romney Announces Representative Tom Feeney's Support

Boston, MA - Today, Governor Mitt Romney announced that U.S. Representative Tom Feeney (R-FL) will serve as a key liaison to fiscal conservatives and organizations promoting fiscal responsibility in Washington.

"I am pleased to have the support of Representative Feeney. He has been a powerful watchdog for fiscal responsibility in our nation's capital. I look forward to working with him as we strive to restore basic fiscal conservative values, curb runaway spending, and protect taxpayers' money," said Governor Romney.

With Governor Romney's announcement, Representative Feeney said, "I am proud to be part of Governor Romney's team. With his record of fighting for lower taxes and balanced budgets, Governor Romney is the right kind of leader to bring fiscal sanity back to Washington. Governor Romney will be a strong fiscal steward of the American people's tax money."

Background On Representative Tom Feeney:

Representative Tom Feeney Has Been A Leader For Reform And A Watchdog For Fiscal Responsibility. Elected in 2002 to the U.S. House of Representatives, Feeney represents the people of Florida's 24th Congressional District in Central Florida encompassing areas of Brevard, Orange, Seminole and Volusia Counties. He previously served as Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives and was Governor Jeb Bush's running mate in his first race for governor in 1994.

In Congress, Feeney sits on the powerful Financial Services and Judiciary Committees. He also serves on the Steering Committee of the Republican Study Committee, the largest caucus in the U.S. House representing 100 conservative members, and is the Chairman of the House Conservatives Fund which helps elect true Reagan conservatives to the U.S. House of Representatives. Additionally, Feeney co-founded the Washington Waste Watchers, a working group formed to combat waste and fraud in the federal government.

Clinton and Brownback are in

Here they are: Senator Clinton and Senator Brownback (R-KS) are in. Wow. This is going to be F-U-N! I think the Dems won't figure this out before their nominating convention...

Friday, January 19, 2007


(it's interesting that in politics, when an individual thoughtfully considers how life's events affect his everyday decisions and choses to evolve based upon events, he is lambasted for changing his mind. however, should said individual "stay the course" -- akin to POTUS 43 -- and hold strong to his decisions irrespective of the circumstances around him, he is also lambasted for not changing his mind.

with this article from the Boston Globe, it's important to note the conundrums a politicans can find himself in...especially when quotes are selected, dissected, interpreted and juxtaposed without regard to context.)

Romney vs. Romney
By Scot Lehigh | January 19, 2007

LADIES AND gentlemen, welcome to the first virtual debate of the new political season, a mock matchup to help take the true measure of two men locked in ideological conflict.

Our first candidate is Mitt Romney.

Candidate number two? Why, that's Mitt Romney as well.

The first Romney is the man who ran for the US Senate in 1994 and for governor in 2002.

Let's label him Moderate Mitt, or MM for short.

Romney number two is the conservative Romney has become since catching Potomac Fever. We'll call him Romney2008.

A note on the proceedings: While our forum is fanciful, the words in quotation marks are real.

Let's begin.

Where do you stand on abortion?

MM: "I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country. I have since the time that my mom took that position when she ran in 1970 as a US Senate candidate. I believe that since Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years that we should sustain and support it. . . . You will not see me wavering on that."

Romney2008: "I am pro life. I believe that abortion is the wrong choice except in cases of incest, rape, and to save the life of the mother. I wish the people of America agreed, and that the laws of our nation could reflect that view. But while the nation remains so divided over abortion, I believe that the states, through the democratic process, should determine their own abortion laws and not have them dictated by judicial mandate."

Please give us your views on gun control.

MM: I supported the Brady Bill, which instituted a five-day waiting period before you could buy a handgun, and a ban on assault weapons. As I said in 1994, "That's not going to make me the hero of the NRA." But then, "I don't line up with the NRA." As I said in my gubernatorial campaign, "We do have tough gun laws in Massachusetts. I support them. I won't chip away at them."

Romney2008: "I have a gun of my own. I go hunting myself. I'm a member of the NRA and believe firmly in the right to bear arms. In our state . . . there are a series of laws restricting gun ownership in various ways. Over the past four years, I've worked very closely with the Gun Owners' Action League here, which is an affiliate of the NRA, and we've made some changes which I think they feel have been positive steps. And so you are going to see that, I think, hopefully, in other states as well, as they make progress, perhaps further than Massachusetts has."

MM: Ah, excuse me, but isn't that son Josh's gun?

Romney2008: Um, well, yes, but so what? He has several guns out at our vacation place in Utah, and I use them "from time to time."

Would you sign a no-new-taxes pledge?

MM: As I said in 2002, "I'm not intending to . . . sign a document which would prevent me from being able to look specifically at the revenue needs of the Commonwealth." My spokesman had it right when he called those pledges "government by gimmickry."

Romney2008: Why, I just signed one for Grover Norquist and Americans for Tax Reform. As my campaign spokesman explained: "At a time when Democrats in Washington are using code language about their plans to raise taxes and spending, the governor's pledge makes it clear that he opposes those actions."

What political leader do you particularly admire?

MM: "I was very close to my dad, and I look at him as a role model, as a mentor, as a person who I would very much like to be like. He . . . was unique in so many dimensions, I can't possibly be as great as he was, but I aspire to be like he was in many ways." As I also said in 2002, "He did exactly what he thought was right without regard to the political consequences."

Romney2008: "Ronald Reagan is . . . my hero. . . . I believe that our party's ascendancy began with Ronald Reagan's brand of visionary and courageous leadership."

MM: May I interject? "I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush. I'm not trying to return to Reagan-Bush."

Romney2008: Well, you're not running for president.

Alas, we've run out of time. But I hope our forum has revealed something important about the positions, character, and convictions of these two very different politicians.

Scot Lehigh's e-mail address is

Giuliani Hires a Rove-Linked Consultant

(from the NYT) January 19, 2007, 8:34 am
Giuliani Hires a Rove-Linked Consultant
By Patrick Healy

Rudolph W. Giuliani has hired Olsen & Shuvalov, a prominent Texas consulting firm with ties to Karl Rove, to assist his presidential exploratory committee with fundraising, voter outreach, and development of his political message, according to campaign officials.

The hire is part of an expansion of staff and operations that Mr. Giuliani’s team plans to announce in the next few weeks. The plans include adding finance officials for the campaign, and more senior staff members to help organize strategy and field work in Iowa, New Hampshire, and elsewhere.

While Mr. Giulaini has tapped a respected Republican strategist, Mike DuHaime, to serve as executive director of his exploratory committee, the team has not expanded as swiftly as those of two potential rivals in 2008, Sen. John McCain of Arizona and former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts.

Indeed, Mr. Giuliani’s inner circle is still dominated by people who worked for him at City Hall when he was mayor of New York City, from 1993 to 2001. Some Republicans close to Mr. Giuliani have said that he must build an impressive political operation more quickly if he wants to be taken seriously in the early nominating states.
Mr. Giuliani’s timetable for making a final decision on the presidency has been somewhat fluid, but he is expected to make a decision by the spring.

Olsen & Shuvalov is a communications and political strategy firm in Austin, Texas, that grew out of the old Karl Rove & Company direct-mail fmarketing firm. When Mr. Rove joined George W. Bush’s presidential campaign in 1999, he sold the assets of his firm to Todd Olsen and another former employee.

Mr. Rove, now a top aide to President Bush, no longer has any formal ties to the firm.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Romney's Staff Resumes

(perhaps the best staff resume list I've seen, thanks to Eric Appleman

Key People-Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA)
updated Jan. 17, 2007
Romney for President Exploratory Committee, Inc. [formed Jan. 3, 2007]
585 Commercial Street, Boston, MA

Hotline On Call reported on Jan. 8, 2007 that the exploratory committee has a staff of 60.

EXECUTIVE Campaign Manager Beth Myers
(announced Aug. 21, 2006 as Director of The Commonwealth PAC) Previously chief of staff in the Governor's Office, starting at the outset of the Romney administration. Chief of staff to state Treasurer Joseph Malone for five years. Worked in Texas with Karl Rove during the 1980s. Graduate of Tufts University, 1979.

POLITICAL & FIELD Deputy Campaign Manager/Political Director Carl Forti
(first reported by Chris Cillizza "The Fix" on Jan. 11, 2006) Communications director at the NRCC and in charge of the committee's independent expenditures in the 2004 and 2006 cycles (joined the NRCC in May 1999 as deputy communications director). Prior to joining the NRCC, Forti served as the director of political media operations for Wilson Grand Communications, a Republican media/general consulting firm. Working at Wilson Grand for five years, he was responsible for all facets of media planning, including writing, directing, production management, producing and editing as well as developing campaign and fundraising plans. Originally from Rochester, NY.

Field Director Julie Teer
(started as political director for The Commonwealth PAC in March 2006) Teer served as Romney's press secretary in the Governor's office starting in April 2005. Executive director for Bush-Cheney '04 in New Hampshire. Communications director for the New Hampshire Republican State Committee starting in March 2003. Worked briefly for Sen. John Sununu (R-NH) in Washington, DC after serving as press secretary on Sununu's campaign during fall 2002. Served as press secretary to Sen. Spencer Abraham (R-MI). Native of East Lansing.

Deputy-Field Jessica Peterson
Deputy political director for the Commonwealth PAC.

Field/Political Assistant Joe Wall
(first reported by Chris Cillizza "The Fix" on Dec. 12, 2006) Floor assistant to Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) during the 109th Congress; started Jan. 2005. Staff assistant at the NRCC in Fall 2004. B.A. in political science from Wayne State College (Nebraska), 2004. Nebraska native.

Political Advisor Tony Feather
(first reported by Chris Cillizza "The Fix" on Jan. 11, 2006) Founding partner at FLS Connect, a voter and constituent communications consulting firm (previously Feather Larson & Synhorst DCI). Political Director for Bush/Cheney 2000. Midwest Regional Coordinator at the RNC under chairman Haley Barbour, overseeing nine Midwestern states. Managed Attorney General William L. Webster's campaign for governor of Missouri, 1991-92 (Webster won contested primary but lost general to Lt. Gov. Mel Carnahan). Executive director of the Missouri Republican Party, 1987 to late 1990. Missouri native.

Advisor (outreach) Peter Flaherty
formerly deputy chief of staff in the Governor's office.
Advisor (outreach) Gary Marx
(reported by Hotline On-Call Dec. 21, 2006) Executive director of the Judicial Confirmation Network and president of Principium Consulting, a public policy and public affairs consulting firm. A coalitions organizer (social conservatives) for the Bush-Cheney 04 national campaign. Development director and lobbyist for The Family Foundation of Virginia, Focus on the Family's VA affiliate. Has worked for Ralph Reed at Century Strategies.
Advisor Jay Sekulow
(reported by Hotline On-Call Dec. 21, 2006)

POLICY Policy Director Sally Canfield
(reported by AP on Feb. 23, 2006; started March 2006) Policy adviser to House Speaker Dennis Hastert. Deputy chief of staff for policy at the Department of Homeland Security under Tom Ridge; started working on homeland security in Nov. 2001. Counselor to Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson. A domestic policy advisor on Bush's 2000 campaign, primarily focused on health care. Worked for Rep. Jim McCrery (R-LA) and earlier for Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX). Government Relations Representative for Caremark International in Chicago. Graduate of Northwestern University. Grew up in suburban Chicago.

Co-chairs of the PAC’s Economic Advisory Council (announced Nov. 29, 2006 "Bush Tax Cut Architects Join Romney's PAC)
Glenn Hubbard - Dean of the Columbia Business School and Professor of Finance and Economics since July 2004; joined the faculty at Columbia in 1988. Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, 2001-03. Deputy Assistant Secretary (Tax Analysis) of the U. S. Treasury Department, 1991-93. Proir to joining Columbia, Hubbard taught at Northwestern. Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University, 1983. A.M. in economics from Harvard University, 1981. B.A. and B.S. in economics from the University of Central Florida, 1979.
Greg Mankiw - (blog) Professor of Economics at Harvard University since 1987; joined the faculty in 1985. Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, 2003-05. Ph.D. in economics from M.I.T., 1984. A.B. from Princeton University, 1980.
Senior Economic Advisor Cesar Conda
(announced Nov. 29, 2006) Recently headed the domestic policy staff in the Office of the Vice President as Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief advisor on domestic and economic policy issues. Currently a Senior Fellow at Freedom Works, a member of the Policy Council of the Free Enterprise Fund, and a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the International Economy magazine. Has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Empower America. A policy advisor on the 1996 Dole-Kemp presidential campaign.

Policy Chairman former Rep. Vin Weber
(announced by the exploratory committee on Jan. 16, 2007) Chief executive officer of Clark & Weinstock (he opened the office in 1994) and chairman of the National Endowment for Democracy. Served as president and a co-director of Empower America. Served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1981-93, representing Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District. Campaign manager and chief Minnesota aide to Sen. Rudy Boschwitz, 1978-80. Co-publisher of The Murray County Herald, 1976-78. Press secretary to Rep. Tom Hagedorn, 1974-75. Attended the University of Minnesota, 1970-74. Has counseled numerous presidential campaigns including serving as Bush-Cheney ’04 Plains States regional chairman.

COMMUNICATIONS National Press Secretary Kevin Madden
(reported by Roll Call Nov. 29, 2006) Spokesman for House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) since Feb. 2006. Spokesman for former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX). Spokesman for U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Northeast regional press secretary on Bush Cheney '04 (incl. OH, PA, NH). Communications director and a senior advisor to Rep. John Sweeney (R-NY), 2001-03. Public relations associate at Craig Shirley and Associates, Jan.-March 2001. Washington representative for the Yonkers Industrial Development Agency from Jan.-Sept. 2000. Primary spokesman for the Office of the Mayor of Yonkers, 1997-99. Communications director for the Office of the Yonkers City Council President, 1994-97. Degree in communications from SUNY Cortland.
Deputy Communications Director Carolyn Weyforth
(reported Jan. 3, 2007) Press secretary to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. Director of television at the RNC. Worked on the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign. Graduate of the University of Kansas in Lawrence with a degree in journalism, 2003.

Senior Communications Strategist Matt Rhoades
(first reported by Chris Cillizza "The Fix" on Dec. 5, 2006) Director of Research/Deputy Communications Director at the RNC in the 2006 cycle (announced Feb. 9, 2005). Research Director for Bush-Cheney '04. Deputy Research Director at the RNC. Served as White House Liaison at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and as an Associate Director in the White House Presidential Personnel Office.

Rapid Response Joe Pounder
(reported by Chris Cillizza "The Fix" on Jan. 8, 2007) According to Cillizza Pounder worked in research for the California Republican Party in the 2006 cycle.

Hotline On Call (Jan. 8, 2007): "nine people in the communications shop, including researchers and support staff."

RESEARCH Research Director Ted Newton
(reported by Chris Cillizza "The Fix" on Jan. 8, 2007) According to Cillizza in 2004 at the RNC Newton developed the opposition research book on Sen. John Kerry.

FINANCE Finance Director Spencer Zwick
Previously served as deputy chief of staff to Gov. Romney. Worked on Romney's 2002 campaign. Worked in marketing for the Salt Lake Organizing Committee. Attended the University of Utah and graduated from Brigham Young University.
National Finance Advisor Ann Woods Herberger
(announced Oct. 26, 2006 "assist with the national fundraising strategy with a particular focus on Florida.")
From Miami; President of the Woods Herberger Group, which she founded in 1995. Finance Director on Jeb Bush's successful 1998 gubernatorial campaign; Executive Director of the 1996 Inaugural Committee and Finance Director on Jeb Bush's 2002 re-election campaign. Vice President of The Alexander Company, a full service fundraising and marketing company in Alexandria, Virginia, for two years starting in 1993. Took leave from the RNC to serve as the Deputy Finance Director for the Bush-Quayle ’92 re-election campaign. Western Regional Director for the RNC’s major donor program, 1989-91. Moved to Washington, DC to work at the RNC for Mary Matalin, National Victory ’88 Political Director and Margaret Alexander, National Victory ’88 Finance Director as a part of the national Victory ’88 finance team. Began her political career in 1987 with the George Bush for President campaign during the Iowa presidential caucuses. Native Iowan.
Finance Consultant Don Stirling
Managing partner of Rainmaker Sports & Entertainment in Salt Lake City, Utah. CEO of the Massachusetts Sports and Entertainment Commission, July 2004-July 2006. Marketing director for the Salt Lake Organizing Committee.

National Finance Co-Chairs: (first group announced Jan. 4, 2007)

Christopher Collins, Managing Member of First Atlantic Capital, LLC, Massachusetts
Mark Guzzetta, President of Gemstone Development, Florida
Jon Huntsman Sr., Chairman of the Huntsman Corporation, Utah
John Miller, Founding Member of National Beef Packing Company, LLC, Kansas City, Missouri
John Rakolta, Jr., Chairman and CEO of Walbridge Aldinger, Michigan
Ambassador Mel Sembler, Chairman of the Board of The Sembler Company and former ambassador to Italy, Australia, and Nauru, Florida
Tom Tellefsen, President of Tellefsen Investments, California
Ted Welch, Owner of Ted Welch Investments, Tennessee
Meg Whitman, President and CEO of eBay, California

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER AND COUNSEL Chief Financial Officer and Counsel Charlie Spies
(reported by Chris Cillizza "The Fix" on Jan. 8, 2007) General counsel and CFO at the Republican Governors Association in the 2006 cycle. Election law counsel at the RNC in the 2004 cycle; started at the RNC in 2001. Government Relations group of Arent Fox Kintner Plotkin & Kahn in Washington, DC. Legal and policy advisor to FEC Chairman Darryl R. Wold. An associate at Carr Goodson Warner in Washington, DC. Has worked in the Counsels Office at the NRSC, and been a policy advisor to Republican candidates in Michigan. J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center in1998; B.A. from the University of Michigan in 1995.

More Legal Benjamin Ginsberg
Partner at Patton Boggs LLP; joined the firm in 1993. Outside counsel for the Bush-Cheney '04 (announced May 30, 2003; resigned Aug. 2004). Outside counsel for the Bush-Cheney campaign in 2000 and was a central figure in the Florida recount. Prior to joining Patton Boggs, Ginsberg served eight years as counsel to the RNC, the NRSC, and the NRCC. Worked for five years as a newspaper reporter for the Boston Globe, the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, the Berkshire Eagle and the Riverside (Calif.) Press-Enterprise, prior to law school. J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, 1982. A.B. from University of Pennsylvania, 1974.

MAJOR CONSULTANTS Media Consultant Alex Castellanos
(reported Nov. 16, 2006) Started at National Media (Alexandria, VA) in 1989. Has worked on five U.S. presidential campaigns.

Pollster Jan Van Lohuizen
Principal at Voter Consumer Research Inc..

Sally Bradshaw
(announced Oct. 17, 2006) Senior Campaign Advisor to the Bush-Brogan 2002 re-election campaign. Chief of Staff for Gov. Jeb Bush from Jan. 1999 to Dec. 2000. Managed Jeb Bush's 1998 and 1994 gubernatorial campaigns. Executive Director of the Foundation for Florida's Future, a non-profit grassroots public policy institute. Political Director of the Republican Party of Florida, Executive Director of the 1992 Florida Bush-Quayle campaign, and Staff Director for the House Republican Office in Tallahassee. Has lived in Florida since 1991. Before moving to Florida, Bradshaw worked at the White House as an Associate Director for the Office of Political Affairs from 1989-91. Regional field coordinator for the Bush for President campaign in 1988. Undergraduate degree in political science from George Washington University.

Noam Neusner
(announced Oct. 17, 2006) Founding principal of Neusner Communications LLC, a firm specializing in strategic communications, speechwriting, and policy-specific writing. Director of Communications and Strategic Planning for Josh Bolten at the Office of Management and Budget he twice oversaw the editing and production of the federal budget, and managed all communications and media relations; also White House Liaison to the Jewish Community. President George W. Bush's primary speechwriter on domestic policy matters, including tax relief, Medicare reform, and energy, for nearly two years. Nearly a dozen years experience as a journalist including work at the Tampa Tribune, Bloomberg News, and U.S. News and World Report and has co-authored or edited four books.

Barbara Comstock
(announced Oct. 17, 2006) Lobbyist and strategic communications consultant at Blank Rome Government Relations LLC; joined as a principal on Oct. 1, 2003; for example she worked with conservative groups on the Supreme Court nominations of Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito and served as a Bush/Cheney 2004 media surrogate. Director of the Office of Public Affairs for the U.S. Department of Justice, under Attorney General John Ashcroft, Jan. 2002-Sept. 2003. In 2001 she developed the RNC's "Winning Women" communications initiative focusing on outreach to women voters. In the 2000 election cycle, Comstock served as Director of Research and Strategic Planning at the RNC. Chief Counsel, Chief Investigative Counsel and Senior Counsel to the House Government Reform Committee, 1995-99. A senior staffer to Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA). Professional staff member with the House Select Committee on Children, Youth and Families, 1991. Attorney in private practice in Fairfax County, VA, 1987-90. J.D. from Georgetown Law School, 1986; A.B. from Middlebury College, 1981. Comstock has been involved in numerous Republican campaigns and conventions, including serving as a Republican convention delegate and working on the Republican Platform Committee.

Senior Advisors
Gov. Bill Owens (R-CO)
(announced Jan. 5, 2007) Term limited; term expires Jan. 2007. Elected Governor in Nov. 1998; re-elected in 2002. Formed a think tank, the Center for a New American Century, after being re-elected in 2002. Elected Colorado Treasurer in 1994. Elected to the State House in 1982, served through 1988; elected to the State Senate. Worked for 20 years in the private sector as director of a trade association ("oil and gas lobbyist") starting in 1980, with the Gates Corporation in Denver starting in 1977; and with the consulting staff of Deloitte and Touche in Washington, DC. Master's degree in public administration from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, 1975. B.S. from Stephen F. Austin State University, 1973.

U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
(announced Jan. 5, 2007) Represents Tennessee's 7th CD (an irregularly shaped district in the western part of the state); first elected to Congress in 2002. Elected to the State Senate in 1998. Executive director of the Tennessee Film, Entertainment, and Music Commission, 1995-97. Graduate of Mississippi State University.

U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) (letter)
(announced Jan. 9, 2007) Elected to the U.S. Senate in 2002. Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1998, and elected president of the Republican freshman class. Owner of a Greenville based market research firm. Bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee and M.B.A. from Clemson University. Born and raised in Greenville, SC.

Governors Advisory Council Gov. Matt Blunt (R-MO)
(announced Dec. 5, 2006) Elected Missouri's 54th governor in 2004. Secretary of State. Member of the Missouri General Assembly. Active duty Naval Officer. Graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1993. Born and raised in Missouri.

House Congressional Liaison U.S. Rep. Jim McCrery (R-LA)
(announced Jan. 17, 2007...lead Governor Romney's outreach efforts in the U.S. House) Represents Louisiana's 4th CD; first elected to Congress in the spring of 1988 to fill the unexpired term of Buddy Roemer. In-house counsel and regional manager for governmental affairs for Georgia Pacific Corporation. Worked for Congressman Buddy Roemer as district manager and then legislative assistant, 1981-84. Assistant City Attorney in Shreveport from 1979-80. Practiced law, 1975-78. B.A. in English and History from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, 1971; J.D from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, 1975. Born in Shreveport and grew up in Leesville.

IOWA Chairman Doug Gross
(announced May 23, 2006) Attorney at Brown, Winick, Graves, Gross, Baskerville and Schoenebaum PLC. The 2002 Republican gubernatorial nominee. Lawyer and lobbyist. Chief of staff to Gov. Terry Branstad, 1984-89. Legislative liaison to Gov. Robert Ray, 1981-83. Director of the Fuels Division for the Iowa Energy Policy Council. Chief legislative assistant to Congressman Tom Tauke; worked on Tom Tauke's successful 1978 campaign for Congress. Law degree from Drake University, 1985. Bachelor's degree from Iowa Wesleyan College in 1977. Born in Earling, Iowa (Shelby County).

Campaign Manager Gentry Collins
Political director at the Republican Governors Association in the 2006 cycle; also did consulting for the Commonwealth PAC and the Massachusetts Republican State Congressional Committee. Deputy chairman/executive director of the Iowa Republican Party in 2004. Managed Doug Gross' 2002 campaign for governor. B.A. in political science from Iowa State University in Ames, 1998.

Field?Political Director Jill Latham
(reported by Caucus Cooler on Jan. 1, 2007) Political director for the Republican Party of Wisconsin in the 2006 cycle. Field staffer on Bush-Cheney '04 in Wisconsin. Legislative clerk for the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Daughter of Rep. Tom Latham (R-IA).

Field Staff (reported by Krusty Konservative on Jan. 3, 2007)
Chad Airhart, Marcus Branstad, Sarah Craig, Derek Flowers, Tim Moran, and Candace Turitto.

Event Planning - Straw Poll Coordinator Nicole Schlinger
(reported by The Caucus Cooler on Dec. 12, 2006) President and founder of Capitol Resources ("Iowa's leading fundraising service provider for Republican candidates") based in Brooklyn, Iowa (Poweshiek County). Two years as finance director of the Republican Party of Iowa. Finance director on Bud Walker's congressional campaign in
New York through May 2006. B.A. in economics and policy studies from Syracuse University, Dec. 1995. Originally from New York.

Consultant David Kochel
(served as Treasurer for The Commonwealth PAC-Iowa) Principal at JDK Marketing & Public Affairs in Des Moines. Executive Vice President at DCI Group. Managed Lamar Alexander's 1999-2000 Iowa caucus campaign. Executive director of the Michigan Republican Party in the latter part of 1996. Executive director of the Iowa Republican Party, 1995-1996. Graduate of Iowa State University in Ames with a degree in political science, 1992.

The Commonwealth PAC Iowa Advisory Committee.
On June 17, 2006 Romney announced creation of this group "composed of fifty distinguished Iowa leaders from all across the state."
also June 17, Radio Iowa's O. Kay Henderson reported that Gross announced Romney has hired three staff people to work in Iowa on GOP campaigns.
Advisor House Speaker Christopher Rants
(announced Sept. 27, 2006) Represents District 54-Sioux City. First elected to the Iowa Legislature in 1992; elected Speaker Nov. 12, 2002. B.A. from Morningside College, 1989.

NEW HAMPSHIRE Chairman of NH Steering Committee Bruce Keough
(announced Sept. 26, 2006) Principal in Islington Woods LLC, a New Hampshire real estate development company. New Hampshire Vice Chairman of President Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign. Candidate for the 2002 Republican nomination for Governor; finished less than 5,000 votes behind winner Craig Benson in the September 10 primary. Served on the Board of Trustees of the University System of New Hampshire; twice elected chairman. Elected to the State Senate in 1994, defeating State Senator Beverly Hollingworth; served one term. Appointed by Gov. Gregg to serve on the New Hampshire Business Finance Authority. Degrees from Dartmouth College and Yale University. Born and raised in Berlin, NH.

Director Jim Merrill
(reported by John DiStaso in "The Granite Status" on Jan. 11, 2007) In the '06 cycle Merrill served as Chairman of The Commonwealth PAC NH. Member of the Devine Millimet Law firm and served as legal counsel to the New Hampshire Republican Party. Prior to joining Devine Millimet, Merrill spent over two years on the staff of former New Hampshire Gov. Stephen E. Merrill. New Hampshire Field Director for the successful 2000 general election campaign of George W. Bush and New Hampshire Grassroots Co-Chairman for President Bush’s re-election campaign in 2004. J.D. from Franklin Pierce Law Center, 2001. B.A. from Gettysburg College, 1994.

Political Director Jamie Burnett
(reported by John DiStaso in "The Granite Status" on Jan. 11, 2007) Legislative director for Sen. John Sununu. In 2004 served as the Southern Hillsborough Co./Nashua field rep. for the Republican campaign ("NH Victory").

Senior Advisor Tom Rath
(announced Sept. 25, 2006) Founder of Rath, Young and Pignatelli, P.C.; started in private practice in 1980 and has been involved in government relations since then. Member of the Republican National Committee; delegate to every Republican National Convention since 1984. Attorney General of New Hampshire, 1987-90. Appointed by President George H.W. Bush to be a director of the Legal Services Corporation. Chaired the campaigns of Sen. Warren Rudman and Sen. Judd Gregg. Senior advisor to the presidential campaigns of Howard Baker, Robert Dole (1987-88), Lamar Alexander (1995-99) and George W. Bush (1999-2000). J.D. from Georgetown University Law School, 1971. B.A. from Dartmouth College, 1967.
Advisor Rich Killion
(announced Sept. 7, 2006) Vice president of Elevare Communications, a political and strategic communications firm in Concord. Director of the Marlin Fitzwater Center for Communication and director of the Polling Institute at Franklin Pierce. Campaign manager for Bruce Keough's gubernatorial bid in the 2002 NH Republican primary. Executive director of N.H.Citizens for a Sound Economy during the 1999-2000 NH primary campaign. Worked at Franklin Pierce College doing fundraising and college relations and was also was an instructor in the Political Science division and help found the polling center, 1995-99. B.A. from Stonehill College in No. Easton, MA; M.P.A. from George Mason University.

The Commonwealth PAC NH Steering Committee .
On Oct. 4, 2006 Romney announced creation of this group "consisting of prominent Republicans and business leaders in all ten New Hampshire counties, from Coos to the sea." (58 people including Keough).

SOUTH CAROLINA Senior Advisor for the Southeastern Region J. Warren Tompkins, III
(announced Nov. 27, 2006) A veteran of South Carolina and national politics, Tompkins' experience includes work on six presidential campaigns. He started a political consulting practice, now Tompkins, Kinard & Associates, in 1991. Atlantic Region Chair for the Bush-Cheney ’04 campaign. Strategist for the 1988 Bush presidential campaign. Tompkins helped elect Carroll Campbell governor in 1986 and served as Campbell's chief of staff, supervising a staff of more than 230 people and budgets totaling more than $91 million. Executive director of the South Carolina Republican Party starting in 1981. Executive director of both South Carolina Reagan-Bush campaigns (1980 and 1984), the first at age 28. Volunteered on Strom Thurmond's 1978 Senate campaign. First campaign was a 1974 magistrate’s race. University of South Carolina.
Field Director Nic Breeding
(reported by Hotline On Call late June 2006) Previously deputy political director at the RGA. Worked for the South Carolina Republican Party in the 2002 cycle.
Field Director George Ramsey
(reported by Chris Cillizza in The Fix on Aug. 11, 2006) Campaign manager for State Sen. Greg Ryberg's unsuccessful campaign for state treasurer in the June 2006 primary. A grassroots manager for Direct Impact, a public affairs company in Alexandria, Virginia. Political director on then Rep. Jim DeMint's successful 2004 campaign for U.S. Senate. Native of York County.
Fundraising Consultant Leslie Gaines
(reported by the Spartanburg Herald-Journal late June 2006)
Senior Advisor (National) U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC)
(announced Jan. 9, 2007) Elected to the U.S. Senate in 2002. Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1998, and elected president of the Republican freshman class. Owner of a Greenville based market research firm. Bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee and M.B.A. from Clemson University. Born and raised in Greenville, SC.

MICHIGAN Consultant Katie Packer
Vice president of The Sterling Corporation and director of Sterling's Washington, DC office; joined the firm in 1995. Worked for two years at the U.S. Department of Energy as a senior advisor to the Secretary. Chief of staff to Michigan Lt. Gov. Dick Posthumus, and managed the 2002 Posthumus for Governor campaign in Michigan. A senior aide to Sen. Spence Abraham (R-MI) first on Capitol Hill and then as deputy campaign manager of his 2000 campaign. Director of Senate Majority communications for the Michigan Senate and executive director of the Senate Republican Campaign Committee. Deputy state director for the Dole for President campaign in Michigan, 1996. Worked on many state legislative campaigns in Michigan. Graduated in 1990 from Evangel University in Springfield, MO.

75-Person Steering Committee
On Aug. 23, 2006 the Commonwealth PAC announced a 75-person Steering Committee comprising "7 members of President Bush’s Ranger/Pioneer finance team, 37 members of the Michigan House of Representatives, including Speaker Craig DeRoche, grassroots activists who serve as County and District Chairs, and members of the Michigan Republican State Committee. Other members of the Steering Committee include: Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, Congressman Joe Knollenberg, Peter Karmanos of Detroit-based Compuware and J.C. Huizenga of Grand Rapids."
Co-Chair (announced Aug. 22, 2006) Speaker of the House Craig DeRoche>
Elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in 2002; elected Speaker in 2005. Elected to the Novi City Council in 1997; re-elected in 1999. Regional marketing representative for Safety National Casualty, a workers’ compensation insurer, since 1997. Graduated from Central Michigan University with a degree in finance.
Co-Chair/Finance Committee (announced Aug. 22, 2006) John Rakolta, Jr.
Chairman and CEO of Walbridge Aldinger Company, a Detroit-based construction company. Started with the company as an estimator in 1970 and took over from his father in 1993.
Co-Chair/Finance Committee (announced Aug. 22, 2006) David Fischer
Chairman and CEO of the Suburban Collection, Michigan's largest vehicle dealership group. Fischer's father Richard started the Suburban Collection's first dealership in 1948.

Florida Steering Committee
Ann Woods Herberger-announced as National Finance Advisor on Oct. 26, 2006.
Sally Bradshaw-announced as an advisor on Oct. 17, 2006.

Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings (announced as an advisor on Dec. 7, 2006).
LT. Governor, sworn in in March 2003. Ran her family owned construction business, Jack Jennings and Sons, while serving in the State Legislature. Served in the Florida State Senate for 20 consecutive years, including two terms as State Senate President from 1996 to 2000. Served two terms in the Florida State House. Began her professional career as a public school teacher at Killarney Elementary in Orange County. Native of Orlando.

former Florida House Speaker Allan Bense (announced as an advisor on Dec. 7, 2006).
Panama City businessman. Speaker 2004-06. First elected to the House in 1998. Unsuccessfully ran for the state Senate in 1992. Switched from Democrat to Republican in 1989. Graduate of Florida State University, B.S., 1972 and M.B.A., 1974.

Al Cardenas (announced as an advisor on Dec. 7, 2006).
Partner in the Tew Cardenas LLP law firm. Served two terms as Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida. Has represented the Florida at every Republican National Convention since 1976. J.D. from Seton Hall University, 1974.

GEORGIA Georgia Finance Team Chair Eric Tanenblatt
(announced Nov. 29, 2006) A Senior Managing Director at McKenna Long & Aldridge, LLP. Finance Chair for Gov. Sonny Perdue’s 2006 successful re-election campaign. Georgia Victory Chair and a Bush Ranger in the 2004 cycle. Gov. Perdue’s Chief of Staff, 2003-04. Georgia State Chairman for President Bush’s campaign in 2000. Senior Political Advisor to the late U.S. Senator Paul Coverdell from 1989 to 2000.

Georgia Finance Team
Nancy Coverdell - wife of the late U.S. Senator Paul Coverdell

Fred Cooper - Chairman of the G8 Summit Host Committee in 2004, Bush Pioneer in 2004, Georgia Victory Chair in 2002, General Chairman for Bush 2000, Georgia State Chairman for George H.W. Bush’s presidential campaign in 1988 and 1992, and a successful businessman (Cooper Capital) and longtime Republican leader.

James Edenfield - Georgia Victory Chair in 2006, Bush Pioneer in 2004, Bush Finance Chair in 2000, and Chief Executive Officer of American Software.

Joe Rogers, Jr. - President and Chief Executive Officer of Waffle House, a successful businessman and longtime Republican fundraiser.

Top staffers in the Governor's Office included: Chief of Staff Mark D. Nielsen
(announced Aug. 21, 2006; succeeded Beth Myers who moved over to become Director of The Commonwealth PAC) Previously Chief Legal Counsel in the Governor's Office since Sept. 2004. Practiced law in Connecticut. Republican nominee for Congress in Connecticut's 5th CD in 2000, losing to Rep. James Maloney (53.6% to 44.3%) and in 1998, losing to Maloney (49.9% to 48.4%). Served two terms in the Connecticut State Senate and one term in the State House, starting in 1993 through 1999. A.B. from Harvard College, 1986 and J.D. from Harvard Law School, 1989.

Communications Director Eric Fehrnstrom
Joined the Romney campaign in March 2002. Corporate communications for Hill, Holliday advertising agency. Media relations for state Treasurer Joseph Malone and campaign manager and communications director on Malone's unsuccessful 1998 campaign for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. Worked for a decade as a journalist, starting at a Boston-area weekly and then for nine years at the Boston Herald finishing as Statehouse bureau chief. Graduate of Boston University's College of Communication, 1984.
Counselor Cindy Gillespie
Vice president of federal relations for the Salt Lake Organizing Committee.

Other Senior Staff:
Chief Legal Counsel Brian Leske; Senior Legislative Director John O'Keefe.

Top staffers on Romney's 2002 campaign included Ben Coes (campaign manager), Brian Shortsleeve (deputy campaign manager for political operations), Alex Dunn (deputy political director), Martha Chayet (deputy campaign manager for finance).

Former Commonwealth PAC:
Executive Director - Trent Wisecup.
(The Boston Globe reported Jan. 27, 2006 that Wisecup would be taking leave from DC Navigators starting Spring 2006 to work full time as a strategist for Romney; Chris Cillizza reported in The Fix on March 11, 2006 that Wisecup quit after clashes with CoS Beth Myers). Partner at DC Navigators, announced April 2005. Policy aide, researcher, and debate preparation strategist on Arnold Schwarzenegger's gubernatorial campaign, 2003. Vice President at The Murphy Pintak Gautier Hudome Agency (MPGH), where he advised The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and The Financial Services Coordinating Council. Consulted on Lamar Alexander's U.S. Senate campaign and Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM)'s re-election campaign, 2002. Media spokesman to former Sen. Spencer Abraham (R-MI), 2000. Spokesman on Ronna Romney's 1994 and 1996 U.S. Senate campaigns. Worked for Congressman Joe Knollenberg, 1993-99. Graduate of Michigan State University's James Madison College.

"Top political strategist" - Mike Murphy.
(through the end of 2005) Murphy was consultant on Romney's 2002 campaign. He was chief political consultant to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and lead strategist for Sen. John McCain's 2000 presidential campaign. He is a longtime Republican consultant; in 2003 he co-founded Navigators, LLC. Previously he was founder and principal at The Murphy Pintak Gautier Hudome Agency (MPGH).

Commonwealth PAC/Iowa - Matt Elliott.
(briefly; reported by Chris Cillizza "The Fix" severing ties Feb. 2006) Previously director of Iowa Republicans' Legislative Majority Fund. Graduated from Drake University with a degree in political science, 2003. From Farragut, Iowa.