Friday, March 25, 2011

Mitt Romney Quietly Getting Ready For 2012

While Mitt Romney hasn't made any formal announcements to run for 2012, he's been quietly getting ready for 2012.
Mitt Romney's 2012 Campaign Team
Mitt Romney is getting ready for the upcoming elections by building a powerful campaign team for 2012.
He had a formidable campaign staff in 2008 and as a result of forming such a powerful campaign staff, many of them became key advisors for political candidates who ran in the 2010 midterm elections
In the political campaign industry, it is well known that people who have worked for Mitt Romney are fiercely loyal to him. In fact, many people in Mitt's inner circle who helped him in his last presidential campaign will be back to help Romney in 2012. 
There are three important people in Mitt's inner circle who are definitely coming back. They are Eric Fehrnstrom, Peter Flaherty and Beth Myers. They are loyal staffers who worked with Romney when he was governor of Massachusetts and were key players in his 2008 campaign staff. These three people formed the Shawmut Group which specializes in public affairs consulting for companies and associations, as well as general campaign consulting for candidates.
Another powerful member of Mitt Romney's campaign team was Alex Gage. Mitt Romney saw potential in this man because he would help revolutionize the way campaigns get voters to support a certain candidate. Its called microtargeting. Microtargeting is the process by which vast amount of information about voters who are not reachable by ordinary means such as local television news or local news radio and then using the gathered data to tailor messages to them.

Mitt Romney will also be bringing back Gail Gitcho for 2012 to work as the the communications director of his presidential exploratory committee:  
"For Gitcho, it’s something of a homecoming as she worked on Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign — serving as a regional press secretary. After Romney left the race, Gitcho worked as mid-Atlantic communications director for Sen. John McCain’s (Ariz.) presidential bid and then did a stint as Republican National Committee press secretary.
Gitcho is one of many members of Romney’s senior staff heading into the 2012 race that also worked for his first presidential bid. Campaign manager-in-waiting Matt Rhoades served as Romney’s 2008 communications director; Peter Flaherty, Spencer Zwick, Kevin Madden and Eric Fehrnstrom are also all expected to reprise roles as Romney senior strategists in the coming race."
In 2008, Mitt Romney hired Alex Gage and his consulting firm TargetPoint Consulting to use to use this ground breaking method for his campaign:
"Now Gage is working for another Republican presidential candidate entranced by the possibilities of microtargeting -- Mitt Romney. A Harvard Business School graduate who went on to head Bain Capital, Romney has made a point of adapting modern business techniques to politics, and it was in his successful 2002 campaign to be governor of Massachusetts that Gage's methods were first tried. "The governor believes in accountability, benchmarks and metrics," said Beth Myers, Romney's campaign manager, explaining his interest in microtargeting. "He believes in using data when it comes to making decisions."
Mitt Romney and his staff were surprised that microtargeting had not been used in political campaigns:  
"Gage said that when he pitched microtargeting to the Harvard MBAs advising Romney in his gubernatorial campaign, they were stunned that the idea had never been used in politics. "You guys don't do this already?" they asked, according to Gage." 
However, Mitt Romney didn't sign Alex Gage on to the 2008 campaign staff immediately:
Gage made the trip up to Boston to meet with Myers. At a Beacon Hill restaurant, the two old friends chatted about Romney's potential as a presidential candidate and microtargeting's ability to help deliver him the GOP nomination.
Over the next months, Gage and Myers talked from time to time about how microtargeting might best be used to make a difference in a presidential primary. One Saturday last fall, Myers, Gage and Will Feltus, a member of National Media Inc., the company that handles Romney's advertising, gathered for a final bull session.
At issue was whether microtargeting could find meaningful -- and measurable -- differences in a primary electorate that was Republican to begin with and similar in its demographic and ideological traits. After hashing out the details on maps and graphs, Myers and the rest of the Romney team reached a decision. "The question was whether you could differentiate between the eight kinds of chocolate," she said. "I became convinced that the power of microtargeting was enhanced by segregating a generally homogenous universe."
Myers's conversation, like that of her candidate, is more from the business world than from the political one. She likes to talk about the "seamless web" that allows the campaign not only to "see at any given time what the left hand is doing" but also to use the "right hand [to] tell us what impact it has."
There is no public information that I can find to determine whether or not he will be back on Mitt Romney's team for 2102. Hopefully, he will be.
While old faces will be seen in the 2012 campaign team, Mitt Romney also is well known for picking rising stars who are making names for themselves in the political campaign industry:
"This is classic Romney -- hire the best people. Although he came up short in 2008, it was widely agreed upon in GOP circles that the Romney staff was the best organized, the most effective and took its candidate as far he could go in that election cycle. A GOP operative familiar with Romney's operation (but not on the campaign) sees something else: "These are really strong moves that bring a fresh perspective to Boston." In other words, the Romney team in 2012 won't be identical to the 2008 team." 
Some of the new faces in Mitt Romney's 2012 team are:
"Neil Newhouse, a partner and co-founder of Public Opinion Strategies, has reportedly signed on as Team Romney’s pollster. Newhouse was named “Pollster of the Year” by the American Association of Political Consultants in recognition of his work on Scott Brown’s improbably successful campaign against Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley for the Senate seat vacated by Teddy Kennedy.  The New York Times has called his firm “the leading Republican polling company” in the nation."
"Romney’s campaign has also reportedly retained the services of Rich Beeson, a GOP operative and partner with the voter contact firm FLS Connect, to serve as its political director. Beeson served as the political director for the RNC in 2008 and has worked on federal-level campaigns since 1989." 
Mitt Romney has also hired Lanhee Chen to be his policy director for his campaign:
"Chen worked for Romney's 2008 presidential campaign after a stint in George W. Bush's administration.
Chen also advised Republican Steve Poizner's failed bid for California governor in 2010."
Mitt Romney's 2012 War Chest
Not only is Mitt Romney getting his campaign staff in line for 2012, but he's also getting his donors in line for 2012.
Mitt Romney made waves recently when it was made known that Mitt Romney intends to raise $50 million by the beginning of this summer: 
"About 100 fund-raisers gathered at Manhattan’s venerated Harvard Club this morning to hear former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney lay out his ambition: Raise $50 million fast.
One Romney fundraiser said the $50 million figure was what the governor wanted to show by early summer, at the time of the first financial filing deadline of what is likely to be his official presidential campaign.
But others said it was the number Mr. Romney said he would need to be competitive through the full primary season, not what he needed out of the gate."
That's alot of cash to raise. Romney is hoping to start his 2012 campaign with $50 million to remain competitive for the elections and to make other potential 2012 candidates think twice about throwing their hat into the ring: 
“Our fundraising will be a knockout blow to anyone who is squeamish,” said one Romney fundraiser, speaking of potential Republican challengers still flirting with a race by early summer. Mr. Romney’s money machine raised a little more than $60 million in the primary campaign of 2008, according to finance records.
Mitt Romney is an intimidating force to contend with when it comes to raising campaign funds. In April of 2009, Steve Schmidt, campaign manager for John McCain, said that Romney's ability to raise large amounts of money was very scary:
"But the history of the Republican Party nominating process is that it almost always goes to someone who’s been around the track once before. And in that instance, in this instance, it would be Governor Romney. I thought he was a very scary opponent looking from the other side of the table in that he was almost like a learning organism at the end. He just kept getting better week by week by week, and kept becoming stronger. And I think these national campaigns are very unique, and I think most people learn a great deal with they go through them. And I think one of the reasons that President Bush was able to make it through the process the first time, unlike most people on the Republican side, is because he had been up close and personal through a couple of national races. And I think Mitt Romney is a candidate, is a far stronger candidate, prospectively, for the ’12 race because of his experience in ’08 than he was heading into the ’08 race."
In order to meet his goals, Romney is set to go on a country wide tour to solicit funds from big donors:
"Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has quietly launched a 15-city push to secure financial commitments from big-money "bundlers," hoping to reveal a fund-raising network that would establish him as the prohibitive frontrunner for the Republican nomination for president.
Mr. Romney and top aides will meet Thursday in New York with nearly 100 donors—many from Wall Street— at the Harvard Club. Attendees are being asked to raise between $25,000 and $50,000 for Mr. Romney within 90 days, in an effort to post large fund-raising totals quickly, one person familiar with events said."
"Finance meetings are also scheduled for March 30 in Los Angeles, as well as in Detroit, Dallas, Houston and Atlanta, people familiar with plans said. Romney fund-raisers are set to converge on Las Vegas on May 16 for a final push ahead of the first financial filing deadline. The Las Vegas meeting will include a marathon phone-a-thon to reach donors, according to one fund-raiser involved in the plan.
"When the day is done and we're in the thick of a presidential race, money will not be an obstacle for Gov. Romney," said Lewis Eisenberg, a prominent hedge fund manager who will attend Thursday's event.
"By early summer, the world will know what we've done," another prominent fundraiser said."
Given that Mitt Romney is announcing his candidacy sometime in April and has an ambitious plan to raise $50 million dollars, he will be a formidable candidate to President Obama if he wins the Republican nomination. If Romney faces Barak Obama in the 2012 election, he'll be in good shape since Obama will have trouble raising money for his reelection campaign.
If you want to help Mitt Romney meet his goal of $50 million, the best thing you can do is to donate to Romney’s Free and Strong America PAC here in whatever amount you can afford to give to Mitt's PAC.

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