Looks like the Bushies seem to have found their candidate.
First heard this from Peter Schorsch on Twitter, but now the Miami Herald has confirmed that lots of “Jeb Bush people” are joining Team TPaw:
Phil Handy will serve as Pawlenty”s Florida state chairman, as well as a national finance co-chair. Handy was Bush’s gubernatorial campaign state chairman in 1994 and 1998 and a co-chairman in 2002. Until January 2007, he served for six years as chairman of the Florida State Board of Education, appointed by Bush. Handy in 2008 was John McCain’s Florida chairman and national co-chair.
Former Bush aide Justin Sayfie will serve as a Florida co-chair of Pawlenty’s campaign. Sayfie was a senior policy advisor, spokesman and speechwriter for Bush and is the founder of the web aggregator, Sayfie Review.
Pawlenty already had longtime Bush family fundraiser Ann Herberger as the campaign’s national senior finance advisor and Gretchen Picotte as the Florida finance director. Picotte was on Gov. Rick Scott’s fundraising team. During the 2008 election, she served as Florida finance director for Rudy Giuliani’s presidential committee. She also worked for McCain 2008.
If I were to read this cynically, the Bushies are getting behind the guy they think is least likely to seriously impact Jeb’s plans to run for president in 2016. That’s if I were to read it cynically.
Now, if TPaw could just get that whole “Iraq”, “Iran” thing straight, he’d be all set:
BTW, TPaw has finally been pinned down on vouchercare: he’d sign it as president. Pawlenty yesterday finally told reporters who have been trying to corner him on the issue for at least a week:
“First of all, I applaud Congressman Ryan for his courage and his leadership in putting his plan forward. At least he has a plan. President Obama doesn’t have a plan. The Democrats don’t have a plan. And I really applaud his leadership and his courage in putting a plan on the table. Number two, we will have our own plan; it will have many similarities to Congressman Ryan’s plan, but it will have some differences, one of which will be we’ll address Social Security. He chose not to; we are addressing Social Security. And the Medicare part of our plan will have some differences, too. It will have some similarities also. So we’ll have our own plan. But if I can’t have my own plan — as president, I’ll have my own plan – if I can’t have that, and the bill came to my desk and I had to choose between signing or not Congressman Ryan’s plan, of course I would sign it.”
Still, he’s trying to keep at least some distance from Ryan’s — or at this point, the entire Republican Party’s — toxic budget:
As Pawlenty said yesterday in Washington and reiterated today in New Hampshire, he is planning to release his own budget proposal, with key differences from Ryan’s plan on how to handle Medicare, sometime in the coming months.
Too late, buddy. You’re locked in. And that leaves only one major candidate not publicly wedded to ending Medicare, and it’s the Mittster.
Speaking of the putative frontrunner, Mitt Romney will make his formal announcement for president on June 2nd from New Hampshire. He’s in Iowa today, putting together his leadership team, apparently to compete, if lightly, in the state. Romney would probably just as soon skip the right wing Christian cauldron of the Iowa caucuses, but doing so would piss people off, so he’s going to have to at least have a presence.
Rick Santorum (who’d prefer, I think, to be known as “God’s candidate,” will make his announcement June 6th from near the place where his father worked in the Pennsylvania coal mines.
If I had to guess, I’d say Bachmann is more likely “in” than “out.” Plus, she doesn’t have an ongoing contract with Fox News, so you know… she’s actually available to run for president.