While one presidential campaign has lost its staff, Mitt Romney continues to add staff.
Prior to his stirring visit to Michigan these past couple of days, Romney already had illustrious campaign staff in place in The Wolverine State:
WASHINGTON – With Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney headed to Michigan for events this week, he announced his in-state campaign staff on Tuesday.
Lori Wortz, a consultant who previously served as chief of staff to former state Senate Majority Leader Dick Posthumus, joins the campaign as senior advisor, and Rob Macomber, who served as director of candidate and party assistance for former state Republican Party chairman Saul Anuzis, takes over as state director.
Lauren Rakolta joins the campaign as finance director in the state. The daughter of John Rakolta — the head of Detroit-based construction firm Walbridge Aldinger who served as a national chairman for the Romney campaign in 2008 — Lauren Rakolta worked as a fundraiser for Romney’s 2008 run and his 2002 campaign for Massachusetts governor. Bryce Sandler, who was finance director for former U.S. Rep. Joe Knollenberg, comes on as deputy finance director in Michigan.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will be in Atlanta next week for a high-end fund-raiser in the backyard of two of his rivals, Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain.
[...] It’s loaded with business types. Tickets are $5,000 per couple (photo included) or $1,000 per head for general admission.
The event is at a private residence. [...]
Hosts include Attorney General Sam Olens; former state House leader Mark Burkhalter; and John Brock, CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises and current chair of Metro Atlanta Chamber. Long-time Romney supporters Eric Tanenblatt, Mark DeMoss and Ric Mayfield are part of the shindig – but the freshest name may be that of Heath Garrett, former chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson.
I was surprised yesterday! There’s been a shift in attitude toward The Gov from a used-to-be Romney naysayer. I can’t predict the permanency of the shift, but the contrast is so stark it is worth mentioning. FOX News commentator and political strategist, Dick Morris (former campaign advisor to Bill Clinton and Mike Huckabee; Huckabee says Morris is a personal friend), formerly dismissive of Romney, now calls him ‘Reaganesque’. This change is significant in its potential to initiate more balanced coverage for Romney on FOX News.
Yesterday, on FOX and Friends, Morris sang Romney’s praises. He explained that he [Morris] spoke at last week’s Faith & Freedom Coalition; while there he talked with all the GOP presidential candidates except Herman Cain (Gingrich was a on a cruise). He said he was very, very impressed with Gov Romney; he called Romney’s remarks at the podium a ‘fantastic speech‘ that reminded him of Reagan. While Romney was speaking he thought to himself this guy could take Obama. He further said he was not impressed with Tim Pawlenty; Herman Cain could be a phenomenon. Morris concluded by saying he came away very impressed with Romney.
Later in the day, Morris was on the The O’Reilly Factor (FOX News) and repeated his praise for Romney, “Reaganesque. Absolutely incredible.” He also added that he thought Michele Bachmann was charismatic at the Faith & Freedom gathering. (Bachmann recently hired Ed Rollins, Huckabee’s 2008 campaign manager, to lead her yet-unannounced presidential campaign.)
In the following video, Dick Morris recounts his visit to the Faith & Freedom Coalition in Washington D.C. (June 3-4, 2011) where he saw Romney, Bachmann, Trump, Paul, and Pawlenty speak. F&F analysis begins @2:24. Although Morris’ flippped-flopped-flipped statement on Romney’s pro-life belief is wrong, take a listen:
Morris is closely affiliated with Tea Party Patriots.
Speaking of FOX News, Romney tops their most recent poll.
I like the way John Ellis from Business Insider (noting the Washington/ABC poll showing Romney ahead of Obama) sums up the 2012 presidential race thus far:
Nothing causes politicians to look anew at a presidential candidate like a poll that shows him or her winning. Romney is beginning to look like a winner.
The Republican field for 2012 is basically set. The candidates who will compete in the primaries next year are the ones who are in the race now. It’s possible that Texas Governor Rick Perry will join the race this summer. And a minor candidate or two might also get in, for whatever reasons.
But the field is the field. And Romney — in terms of executive experience, intellect, quality of character, work ethic, discipline — is clearly the class of the field. Now that he’s “beating” President Obama in a major national poll, a lot of Republicans are starting to look at him with renewed appreciation.
► Jayde Wyatt