Romney's Hiring Whirlwind Snags Madden

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The Mitt Romney hiring machine continues to plow through Washington. It's latest pick: Kevin Madden, the battle-tested spokesman for House Majority Leader John Boehner. Even if you don't know his name, you've seen his work. Of note: He was the Bush-Cheney '04 New England press coordinator, worked for the troublesome Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, jumped to Rep. Tom DeLay's operation before the Texan was sent packing and handled the Rep. Mark Foley page scandal. We hear he told Boehner last night about the new job and plans to move to Boston in two weeks, where Romney is setting up shop in the Italian North End. It could be awkward: The Irishman is a Yankees fan.

Associates say the handsome Madden is a good fit in the Romney machine: Both like a lean operation, an intense focus, and a positive message.

We also hear that Romney expects to make his presidential campaign official around the first of the year probably by filing papers to establish his campaign. At that time, he expects to have a bare-bones campaign operation and staff ready to go pedal to the metal. In fact, campaign associates say Madden's press operation and others in the campaign are continuing to seek key players to join the Romney effort.

Who might join Madden? How about Maria Comella, the spokes-hottie for Jim Nussle, who lost the Iowa gubernatorial campaign? Yes, Madden and Comella know each other: She ran the Bush-Cheney New Hampshire PR machine for Madden's New England operation. Iowa, New Hampshire? Yeah, she'd be a "get" for any presidential campaign.