Taking a quick hop away from the bunny trail to bring you the latest…
Here’s an intriguing look at a day with Mitt Romney through the eyes of the guy I call ‘Shadow Man’. In political speak he’s known as Mitt’s ‘Body Man’ – Garret Jackson:
Starting the Day, and Ending It, at Romney’s Side
By Ashley Parker
April 6, 2012
MILWAUKEE — Garrett Jackson and Mitt Romney are stuck together like the
peanut butter and honey sandwiches they both love.
Mr. Jackson, 25, is Mr. Romney’s “body man,” the personal assistant who spends more time with the candidate than even Mr. Romney’s wife, Ann, does. Mr. Jackson is often the first person to see Mr. Romney in the morning; the candidate is dressed and ready, waiting with his iPad, at least 15 minutes before Mr. Jackson arrives at his hotel room to fetch him. And Mr. Jackson is the last person to see Mr. Romney each night, before leaving him alone to call his wife and catch up with what Mr. Jackson calls “his fun books” — “The Hunger Games” trilogy most recently, he said.
Perhaps more than anyone else in the campaign, Mr. Jackson understands the likes and dislikes, the rhythms and moods, the quirks and habits of the famously reserved Mr. Romney. Mr. Jackson knows him so well that he recently began blogging about his days with Mr. Romney, an acknowledgment that a young, energetic and devoted aide might help voters connect to a candidate who has been called out of touch.
Mr. Jackson knows, for instance, that Mr. Romney’s preferred breakfast is McDonald’s pancakes (“We eat in the car most of the time”) and that for snacks and drinks, he likes Cherry Coke Zero, chocolate milk, water and Peanut M&Ms. Often on hand are the supplies for their beloved peanut butter and honey sandwiches.
He knows that Mr. Romney always wants a plan, so first thing each morning he lays out that day’s itinerary — everything from political events (“two town halls”) to appropriate attire (“business casual”).
“He always goes, ‘What’s up, boss?’ Or, ‘What’s up, doc?’ ” Mr. Jackson said, referring to Mr. Romney’s prompt for a schedule update. “He’s a very good listener, and then if he’s confused by something, he’ll start quizzing me.”
Mr. Jackson also knows that, more than almost anything, Mr. Romney hates being late. He views it as the ultimate politician’s affront, one of the few things that can rile him. Before the campaign started, if Mr. Jackson was running a few minutes behind in picking up Mr. Romney at his townhouse in Belmont, Mass., Mr. Romney’s bags would be waiting in a tidy pile outside the front door. “I knew that was his little nudge, his way of saying, ‘I walked out and you weren’t here; you were a little late,’ ” Mr. Jackson said.
The two once hopped out of a traffic-snarled taxi in Midtown Manhattan and sprinted — in the heat of summer, in jacket and tie, both carrying briefcases — seven blocks to a luncheon to arrive on time.
Mr. Jackson’s job is to anticipate the candidate’s every need, and his black briefcase is stocked with Sharpies, batteries, granola bars, collar stays, flag pins, hand sanitizer, Advil, Tide pens, chargers, note cards and half-eaten meals wrapped in napkins. He has offered his back as a hard surface on which Mr. Romney can sign posters and, at an event in Mason City, Iowa, Mr. Jackson dived to the floor to steady a rickety chair that his boss stood on to address a large crowd. Mr. Romney teased that Mr. Jackson only had to catch him if he fell — but a photo of Mr. Jackson crouched awkwardly, holding the chair, flooded the Web.
“After the infamous chair photo came out, he was calling me Mr. Chairman or Chairman Jackson,” Mr. Jackson said.
“I talk about his underappreciated sense of humor, the fact he’s just a normal guy,” Mr. Jackson said. “I’m always, like, ‘Gov, let me take your laundry,’ but he’d rather wash his own shirt in the sink, using an iron to dry it.”
He added, eyes wide, “I did not know that was possible.”
Mr. Romney usually does laundry once a week — either by hand in the sink or in a hotel’s coin-operated washing machine — and refuses Mr. Jackson’s attempts to send it out. “He’s so cheap,” Mr. Jackson said. “It costs, like, $5 per shirt in the hotel laundry.”
This article is an enjoyable must-read; continue here. Hats off to Mr. Jackson for taking good care of The Gov!
UPDATE – VIDEO Life of the Body Man; check out the fantastic image @1:02!
The Boston Globe published an update today on what may be going through Santorum’s mind…
… Santorum has scheduled no public events over the holiday weekend and has made no major media buys, fueling speculation that he might quit. Polling in Pennsylvania that shows him slipping against front-runner Mitt Romney raises the prospect of an embarrassing home-state loss that could hurt his chances if he were to make a run for the nomination in 2016.
A Santorum campaign spokesman said the candidate had a busy slate of events scheduled for next week and promised that a list would be released soon.
Romney is campaigning hard in Pennsylvania, and when Election Day rolls around Santorum’s home-field advantage may have evaporated.
“He’s already lost Pennsylvania once, why not twice?’’ said Tom Parsley, 64, a construction contractor who also thinks Santorum should quit the race. Parsley twice voted for Santorum for the Senate, but could not support his third run. “The way he presented himself was just way too extreme.’’
Haven’t heard an update today on little Bella Santorum; continued prayers for her recovery…
There’s a growing consensus from Republican National Committee members: