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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Bush allies back Romney, Oct.straw poll

I saw this coming (blog entry nearly 1 month ago) . . . looks more solid after this article: "Bush allies back Romney, Oct.straw poll"

Some good exerpts:

Bush has not publicly committed to Romney, McCain or another frequently mentioned likely candidate, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

But anyone familiar with Bradshaw, and her deep devotion to Bush, understands that she would not have agreed to join Romney's campaign without a nod from Bush.

Bradshaw is a detail-oriented campaign manager. She believes in building a strong organization, a solid fund-raising base and a dependable grass-roots campaign. She has been working on Florida campaigns since Bush's first run for governor in 1994.

With Bradshaw on board, it quickly became clear to other key Bush supporters that Romney is the former governor's favorite. Last week, two top Bush fund-raisers, Mark Guzzetta, a Boca Raton developer, and Mel Sembler, a Tampa shopping center developer, joined Romney.

Former Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings and former state House speaker Allan Bense also are supporting Romney.

"I think it is very noteworthy that in a very short period of time, Gov. Romney has been able to lock down a number of significant finance and political players in Florida," Bradshaw said.

In the first phase of a presidential campaign - building staff and raising the first dollars - Romney is well-positioned but not so far ahead that others cannot catch up quickly, said a Washington-based GOP strategist who has worked with McCain.

"There is no question that Romney has taken an early lead in the staffing primary and that Ann Herberger may let Romney take an early lead in the early money primary," said the strategist, who expects to work again for McCain.

And later . . .

Bush, on the other hand, has said the straw ballot convention - dubbed Presidency IV - would be "a great idea."

The assumption is that Bush's campaign machine will do a better job of recruiting and wooing convention delegates. Picking county delegates will take place at county caucuses in May.

Some of the wooing began Friday, when Romney met with nearly 100 Republicans in the downtown Orlando offices of the Gray-Robinson law firm. He was introduced by Orange County Mayor Richard Crotty. After the introduction, Romney gave a brief speech and then answered a few questions.

One participant described it as a "low-key" event without "a lot of hard sell."

"I really like the guy," said William A. "Hoe" Brown, a Tampa-area developer who attended the Gray-Robinson event. "I like his business approach to things, and he's very, very smart."

I've said it before and heard it said plenty too (and I'll say it again). The "Smart Money" is on Romney.

1 comment:

Mark LeRette said...

Jeff, I was North Liberty precinct captain from 2000-2005 for JC Rep. Central Commmittee. Ran caucus in 2004.

Moved to Muscatine over a year ago, wondering if you know who is heading things up for Romney over here.