Top Romney Staffer Jumping Ship
posted at 10:40 am on May 4, 2011 by Jazz Shaw
Candidates who run multiple campaigns can often expect some shakeups among the staff from one season to the next. People move on, take other jobs or retire, so these things are to be expected. But it’s a bit more telling when one of your high profile staffers is so blunt about their reasons for passing up a return engagement.
In the 2012 presidential race, New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary  is make-or-break for Mitt Romney, and to win it, Romney’s campaign will need the savviest operatives it can find. But Team Romney will have to go without one key player: Bruce Keough. The New Hampshire Republican who oversaw Romney’s 2008 campaign  in the Granite State says he’s no longer sure what Romney stands for.
In an interview with Mother Jones, Keough, a businessman, says he declined an offer join Romney’s 2012 effort and instead is sizing up other potential candidates, including Indiana governor Mitch Daniels  and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty . A former gubernatorial candidate in New Hampshire, Keough says Romney’s wishy-washy political identity and inability to stake out firm, consistent positions as a candidate were the reasons for his decision to cut ties with Romney. “He struggled with that in the last campaign,” Keough explains, “and to some extent I think he’s still struggling with it.”
Sure enough, Keough is listed in Romney’s 2008 staffing report as the chairman of Romney for President in New Hampshire. He’s got a hefty resume, having held elected office himself and and coming within a hair’s breadth of being the GOP nominee for Governor.
What’s unusual about this move is the rather public nature of the in-fighting. Even if he’s lost faith in the candidate, these things tend to happen a bit more quietly with other reasons given for the departure. For Keough to not only decline Romney’s invitation to the 2012 dance, but immediately take to the pages of Mother Jones to trash his former boss’s bona fides is fairly remarkable.