Just when we thought Republican Sen. John McCain was surging in the political buzz machine, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has come roaring back. Mostly it's because he's been on a fundraising blitz that's brought in millions of dollars and he's also lining up an impressive array of supporters and paid staffers.
What GOP political analysts say he brings to the table is a fresh face and a track record of accomplishment, not just in the Bay State but also as the chief exec at the 2002 Olympics. He's also handsome and articulate. He does, however, face some hurdles. Namely, he's a Mormon, he's been too liberal on abortion and gays, and he faces the McCain machine. But his aides say he's working on all three. He's planning to talk about his religion in a bid to shift attention away from it much as JFK had to in the 1960 race. He's wooing conservatives with success by promising that he's antiabortion. And his youthful vigor is a big advantage over McCain's white hair, says a GOP analyst.
And aides tell us not to underestimate the value of running a campaign in Boston, way out of the Washington media spotlight.
"The fact that joining this shop requires a move to Boston is actually an advantage," says an insider. "It requires a personal and professional investment that yields a valuable return for Governor Romney. There's a greater sense of teamwork and commitment because of it."