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 [1] 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 [2] 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 [3] and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty [4]. 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.


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a state staffer bails.. and this is news?

gatorboy on May 4, 2011 at 10:41 AM

Let me get this straight. He’s questioning a GOP candidate’s bona fides in MOTHER JONES?

hawksruleva on May 4, 2011 at 10:42 AM

Not surprised. Who would want to work for the pro-lynching candidate?

ElectricPhase on May 4, 2011 at 10:43 AM

a state staffer bails.. and this is news?

gatorboy on May 4, 2011 at 10:41 AM

Only as far as it could mean Romney’s finished before he begins. Romney absolutely must win New Hampshire in the primaries. It might be nice to know if the bete noir of the rightroots will have his campaign suffocated in the cradle.

KingGold on May 4, 2011 at 10:43 AM

You know who this doesn’t help?

Kataklysmic on May 4, 2011 at 10:45 AM

Yawwwwwner.

moonsbreath on May 4, 2011 at 10:45 AM

Huh, this high level staffer is just articulating what most conservatives have been saying for quite a while. Go back to your beloved RomneyCare, Mittens.

search4truth on May 4, 2011 at 10:46 AM

he’s no longer sure what Romney stands for.

When has anyone ever been sure what he stands for?

BTW, jumping from one RINO candidate to another is not exactly going to impress him very much.

davek70 on May 4, 2011 at 10:47 AM

He gave a Mother Jones interview?

aquaviva on May 4, 2011 at 10:47 AM

MJBrutus hardest hit.

katy the mean old lady on May 4, 2011 at 10:48 AM

a state staffer bails.. and this is news?
gatorboy on May 4, 2011 at 10:41 AM
Only as far as it could mean Romney’s finished before he begins. Romney absolutely must win New Hampshire in the primaries. It might be nice to know if the bete noir of the rightroots will have his campaign suffocated in the cradle.
KingGold on May 4, 2011 at 10:43 AM

Yes, we certainly hope so as you are right, we can’t stomach him!

CCRWM on May 4, 2011 at 10:48 AM

When has anyone ever been sure what he stands for?

BTW, jumping from one RINO candidate to another is not exactly going to impress him very much.

davek70 on May 4, 2011 at 10:47 AM

Darn it, you stole my question! Mitt Romney has always seemed like the Republicans’ answer to John Kerry: willing to believe anything and everything if it will get him votes someplace, but doesn’t have any discernible worthwhile convictions to call his own.

WesternActor on May 4, 2011 at 10:48 AM

Boy this guy is slow on the uptake. It took him this long to realize what everyone has known and has complained about since before the 2008 election?

KickandSwimMom on May 4, 2011 at 10:51 AM

Mitten’s reply: “what do you want me to stand for?”

rbj on May 4, 2011 at 10:51 AM

Romney needs to go clean up the mess he made in Massachusetts so the other 56 States can elect a serious candidate.

wheelgun on May 4, 2011 at 10:52 AM

Wait he couldn’t support the flip-flopper that he supported in 2008 because Mitt is more of a flipflopper this time around…..

And they think us Palin supporters are dumb….

unseen on May 4, 2011 at 10:53 AM

Mitt Romney is not a serious person.

portlandon on May 4, 2011 at 10:53 AM

In an interview with Mother Jones

I see why Romney dumped him.

faraway on May 4, 2011 at 10:54 AM

Let me get this straight. He’s questioning a GOP candidate’s bona fides in MOTHER JONES?

hawksruleva on May 4, 2011 at 10:42 AM

My thoughts exactly.

Vashta.Nerada on May 4, 2011 at 10:56 AM

Let me get this straight. He’s questioning a GOP candidate’s bona fides in MOTHER JONES?

hawksruleva on May 4, 2011 at 10:42 AM

Only a fool would hire him now…

tinkerthinker on May 4, 2011 at 11:01 AM

If the staffer questions the candidate’s direction and goes to Mother Jones for an interview, doesn’t that mean the candidate is moving to the right????

Second look at Mitt????

No thanks, been there, done that…

phreshone on May 4, 2011 at 11:04 AM

Old news to anyone who watches mittens.

Tim_CA on May 4, 2011 at 11:04 AM

Let me get this straight. He’s questioning a GOP candidate’s bona fides in MOTHER JONES?

hawksruleva on May 4, 2011 at 10:42 AM

I wonder if this guy tried to voice his opinion of Romney to conservative media like NRO, and but refused to report it because they have so much invested in Romney.

portlandon on May 4, 2011 at 11:04 AM

MJBrutus hardest hit.

katy the mean old lady on May 4, 2011 at 10:48 AM

I don’t know. Him, or csdeven…

steebo77 on May 4, 2011 at 11:04 AM

Turn out the lights the parties over…

sandee on May 4, 2011 at 11:05 AM

MJBrutus hardest hit.

katy the mean old lady on May 4, 2011 at 10:48 AM

I thought he was a Mitch Daniels guy.

fossten on May 4, 2011 at 11:07 AM

I wonder what will happen with this site when Our Lady of the Quitters say she will not run of have to drop out after the Ames Straw Poll but people will go crazy when Mitt Romney get the GOP nomination.

Falz on May 4, 2011 at 11:09 AM

Well, Mother Jones is surely going to ask though questions, Right? Obama’s folks are busily trying to discredit Romney. I see a pattern here… give me minute…

drballard on May 4, 2011 at 11:09 AM

I’m saddened to hear this. If Mitt is failing this far out it will give some other RINOs a chance to make a play for the leadership position.

unseen on May 4, 2011 at 11:09 AM

I don’t know. Him, or csdeven…

steebo77 on May 4, 2011 at 11:04 AM

nope buy danish will be distraught today.

unseen on May 4, 2011 at 11:10 AM

Well, Mother Jones is surely going to ask tough questions, Right? Obama’s folks are busily trying to discredit Romney. I see a pattern here… give me minute…

drballard on May 4, 2011 at 11:10 AM

Falz on May 4, 2011 at 11:09 AM

stop trying to threadjack

unseen on May 4, 2011 at 11:11 AM

Well, Mother Jones is surely going to ask tough questions, Right? Obama’s folks are busily trying to discredit Romney. I see a pattern here… give me minute…

drballard on May 4, 2011 at 11:10 AM

hmmm you might be right. That’s good news as long as Mitt is the front RINO the primaries should be a piece of cake for the conservative.

unseen on May 4, 2011 at 11:12 AM

Let me get this straight. He’s questioning a GOP candidate’s bona fides in MOTHER JONES?

hawksruleva on May 4, 2011 at 10:42 AM

Only a fool would hire him now…

tinkerthinker on May 4, 2011 at 11:01 AM

People should do their back stabbing more quietly.

But damaging Mitt right now damages the whole party. So you who are celebrating should think twice.

Mitt may not be your cup of tea, nor mine, but is the most serious of the announced candidates. And with the Trump thing we are looking like a freak show act right now.

This would explain why Mitt has passed on the debates. Second thoughts?

Stupid Romneycare!!!! I still think he had so much more to offer than the others… A nearly perfect combination of business and government experience, but how do you tie your hands on repealing Obamacare the way nominating him would?

petunia on May 4, 2011 at 11:16 AM

Mother Jones? Yeah, that doesn’t sound too fishy…What’s next – trashing Mitt in the Utne Reader?

JA on May 4, 2011 at 11:18 AM

Let me get this straight. He’s questioning a GOP candidate’s bona fides in MOTHER JONES?

hawksruleva on May 4, 2011 at 10:42 AM

Be like questioning the sexual modesty of Mylie Cyrus in a “Hustler” magazine interview.

Paul-Cincy on May 4, 2011 at 11:20 AM

Since when do “conservatives” give Mother Jones the time of day much less and interview?

Elizabetty on May 4, 2011 at 11:20 AM

This report from Mother Jones?

lol. No agenda……

rickyricardo on May 4, 2011 at 11:22 AM

Mitt may not be your cup of tea, nor mine, but is the most serious of the announced candidates.

petunia on May 4, 2011 at 11:16 AM

I stopped reading right there.

fossten on May 4, 2011 at 11:25 AM

I get my conservative news from Rolling Stone

faraway on May 4, 2011 at 11:26 AM

Romney doesn’t stand for anything.

He’s pretty much the same as every Republican we’ve elected after Reagan. They’re all “squishies” … “cocktail crowd” – interested more in retaining power than in doing anything for the nation.

They’ll say anything – “Hey, I’m a Conservative – I’ll cut government and give you more liberty” … then they turn around and spend more money, create more liberty crushing programs.

We need a Republican who will finally turn the tide and put true Conservatism in office.

Only chance we have of that is Palin, Bachmann, West – and a few others. “But the independants won’t vote for them!” – sooooo tired of this logic. Especially since the only time we’ve really tried to put a REAL Conservative in the White House was with REAGAN – which was EXTREMELY successful in spite of all the Ruling Class GOP saying he was “unelectable”.

Vote for someone who can change the course we’re on or vote for a pilot to crash the plane. If the GOP gives me Mittens Romney – I’ll vote for Obama because he’s a better “crash pilot” than Mittens.

HondaV65 on May 4, 2011 at 11:27 AM

I don’t see Keogh getting a job from any Republican any time soon. Or ever again.

doufree on May 4, 2011 at 11:27 AM

But damaging Mitt right now damages the whole party. So you who are celebrating should think twice.

petunia on May 4, 2011 at 11:16 AM

Did the NRSC give a damn about “damaging the whole party” when they cut off Christine O’Donnell at the knees as she was making her primary victory speech? Nope.

So criticizing Mittens is going to damage the GOP? Like promising $100B in cuts this year and only delivering $39 didn’t damage the GOP?

Like rolling over on the debt ceiling (and they will) – won’t damage the GOP?

Please – the GOP shoots itself in the foot enough – you shouldn’t blame any of us peons out here who complain about them. We’re not wounding them – they are wounding themselves.

I’ll damage Mittens all I want because – I’m not a Republican. The GOP isn’t a serious party anymore – some of us are trying to make it into one – but we may have to burn it down first it appears.

HondaV65 on May 4, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Let me get this straight. He’s questioning a GOP candidate’s bona fides in MOTHER JONES?

hawksruleva on May 4, 2011 at 10:42 AM

Only a fool would hire him now…

tinkerthinker on May 4, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Exactly! Why would Mitch Daniels, or any other Republican, want Keough working for him now, with the risk that Keough might bash him later in some far-left magazine that hates all Republicans?

Does Keough remember anything about Gen. McChrystal and Rolling Stone?

Note to disgruntled GOP campaign staffers: if you want to dump your old boss and look for a new one, don’t spill your guts to lefty rags who will use anything you say against BOTH the old boss and the new boss.

If you need to blab, talk to a righty magazine like National Review or the Washington Times, or better yet, just keep it quiet.

Steve Z on May 4, 2011 at 11:35 AM

Mitt is failing falling and failing. the only good news Mitt has had this week was Trump decided to go hide under his desk after the WHCD thrashing he recieved.

unseen on May 4, 2011 at 11:39 AM

But damaging Mitt right now damages the whole party. So you who are celebrating should think twice.

petunia on May 4, 2011 at 11:16 AM

Gosh! I feel the same way about Palin. The GOP has never lifted a finger…Mitt and his crew attacked her. I can’t stand mitt/co because of it. good riddance to mitt.

tinkerthinker on May 4, 2011 at 11:40 AM

I don’t see Keogh getting a job from any Republican any time soon. Or ever again.

doufree on May 4, 2011 at 11:27 AM

Like Steve Schmidt & Nicole Wallace?

He’ll find a job. Bet on it.

portlandon on May 4, 2011 at 11:43 AM

Mitch Daniels has his own problems …

If Sarah Palin had given a squishy interview like this – she’d have been excoriated.

She’s not Ruling Class though – rules are different for us scumbags.

HondaV65 on May 4, 2011 at 11:43 AM

Mitch Daniels has his own problems …

If Sarah Palin had given a squishy interview like this – she’d have been excoriated.

She’s not Ruling Class though – rules are different for us scumbags.

HondaV65

YES!!! I need to know from one Mitch Daniels supporter out there….or should I say from THE one Mitch Daniels supporter out there.. how do you stand by this guy who is so WISHY WASHY about running for the presidency of the United States. I understand that Washington needed to be talked into it..but if you have to moan and whine about whether or not you want the job..it is NOT FOR YOU! Talk about DITHERING. What is going to happen when he needs to make a decision as POTUS????

Dan Pet on May 4, 2011 at 11:46 AM

Sorry … Mitch Daniels linky here.

HondaV65 on May 4, 2011 at 11:44 AM

wow that man is not ready for primetime. He needs to bone up on the issues and go study how to be a leader.

unseen on May 4, 2011 at 11:46 AM

YES!!! I need to know from one Mitch Daniels supporter out there….or should I say from THE one Mitch Daniels supporter out there.. how do you stand by this guy who is so WISHY WASHY about running for the presidency of the United States. I understand that Washington needed to be talked into it..but if you have to moan and whine about whether or not you want the job..it is NOT FOR YOU! Talk about DITHERING. What is going to happen when he needs to make a decision as POTUS????

Dan Pet on May 4, 2011 at 11:46 AM

Jetboy is the Lone Mitch Daniels supporter. He wouldn’t be in this thread though. It has nothing to do with Palin.

portlandon on May 4, 2011 at 11:47 AM

Mitt may not be your cup of tea, nor mine, but is the most serious of the announced candidates.
petunia on May 4, 2011 at 11:16 AM
I stopped reading right there.
fossten on May 4, 2011 at 11:25 AM

So did I!

CCRWM on May 4, 2011 at 11:47 AM

What is going to happen when he needs to make a decision as POTUS????

Dan Pet on May 4, 2011 at 11:46 AM

All he has that covered. He will simply call for a truce and give up the farm

unseen on May 4, 2011 at 11:48 AM

Jetboy is the Lone Mitch Daniels supporter. He wouldn’t be in this thread though. It has nothing to do with Palin.

portlandon on May 4, 2011 at 11:47 AM

Petunia and MJcrapus also are daniels supporters formt heir posts.

unseen on May 4, 2011 at 11:48 AM

But damaging Mitt right now damages the whole party. So you who are celebrating should think twice.

petunia

Petunia, look around you. Mitt and his flip flopping are so 2008. We have moved on. Now even his team can’t tolerate it. My advice to you is pick the next establishment DRONE on your list and support him. Mitt has been revealed…..and while it might damage your Big R, republican party..it doesn’t damage we conservatives one bit.

Dan Pet on May 4, 2011 at 11:49 AM

Petunia and MJcrapus also are daniels supporters formt heir posts.

unseen on May 4, 2011 at 11:48 AM

Sounds about right.

portlandon on May 4, 2011 at 11:55 AM

One gets the impression of someone who is much more cautious about foreign intervention than Mitt Romney or Tim Pawlenty, but also cautious about saying so. He 9Daniels) was asked if he were ready to debate President Obama on foreign policy. “Probably not.” (He is candid.)

ROFL…..

unseen on May 4, 2011 at 12:00 PM

What a set of headlines…

‘Top Romney Staffer Jumping Ship’

and just prior to it…

‘Huntsman One Step Closer to Running’

Not cause and effect… but read it too fast and an idea does start to sink in… I can only think of one sort of guy that a staffer who would go to Mother Jones for an interview would go to after that…

Probably not. Still….

ajacksonian on May 4, 2011 at 12:01 PM

Bruce Keough acted stupidly.

ornery_independent on May 4, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Vote for someone who can change the course we’re on or vote for a pilot to crash the plane. If the GOP gives me Mittens Romney – I’ll vote for Obama because he’s a better “crash pilot” than Mittens.

HondaV65 on May 4, 2011 at 11:27 AM

About time you finally let your true RINO colors fly. Did you feel guilty about voting for Obama in 2008?

Either we nominate someone who’d unelectable, or you’ll vote for Obama. How interesting that either option amounts to support for a second Obama term…

Hollowpoint on May 4, 2011 at 12:35 PM

But damaging Mitt right now damages the whole party.
petunia

Good. Burn it down and rebuild it. Beats starting a third party. Either that or get another pusillanimous stiff stuffed down our throats in the name of “unity.”

But your premise of “damage” is wrong. What gets damaged is not the party but Mitt’s interests and supporters within the party. The larger party gets reinvigorated. If, that is, it’s a true party — one dedicated to the concerns and cause of its constituents. That’s what campaigns and elections are about anway. Some persons and some ideas get damaged (i.e., discredited and demoted), others get discovered and advanced. Welcome to American politics.

rrpjr on May 4, 2011 at 12:46 PM

Mitt may not be your cup of tea, nor mine, but is the most serious of the announced candidates.
petunia on May 4, 2011 at 11:16 AM

By what measurement?

powerpro on May 4, 2011 at 1:37 PM

This report from Mother Jones?

lol. No agenda……

rickyricardo on May 4, 2011 at 11:22 AM

Funny. We’re supposed to discount stuff from lefty media that makes Mitt look less than stellar, but are supposed to swallow every anti-Palin piece of crap out there.

pseudoforce on May 4, 2011 at 1:44 PM

Well, Mother Jones is surely going to ask though questions, Right? Obama’s folks are busily trying to discredit Romney. I see a pattern here… give me minute…

drballard on May 4, 2011 at 11:09 AM

Life is SO unfair.

pseudoforce on May 4, 2011 at 1:46 PM

^ But then Mitt’s damage-proof and eminently electable, so no worries.

pseudoforce on May 4, 2011 at 1:47 PM

It is crystal clear where Romney stands on the issue of the day:

He wants Mitt Romney to be President.

Really Right on May 4, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Either we nominate someone who’d unelectable, or you’ll vote for Obama. How interesting that either option amounts to support for a second Obama term…

Hollowpoint on May 4, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Stop with the “electable” crap. We don’t know right now, today, who is going to be the GOP choice in Feb/March 2012 or America’s choice in November 2012. Donald freaking Trump is at the top of the polls right now and that’s just nonsense. Polls are useless. As for me, “electable” and “serious” pretty much just mean “boring”.

alwaysfiredup on May 4, 2011 at 2:04 PM

Mitt may not be your cup of tea, nor mine, but is the most serious of the announced candidates.
petunia on May 4, 2011 at 11:16 AM

Sometimes, especially on Palin threads, petunia says sh*t that begs for a Downfall parody or a Picard Facepalm picture.

That was one of them.

The notion that Mitt Romney, who sold Reagan down the river in an attempt to beat Ted Kennedy, is a serious conservative candidate, begs for a turn at stand-up comedy.

victor82 on May 4, 2011 at 2:20 PM

instead is sizing up other potential candidates, including Indiana governor Mitch Daniels [3] and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty

Thank goodness Tim Pawlenty never blatantly flip flopped on Cap and Trade or he wouldn’t be any better… oh, wait…

Well at least Mitch Daniels is a well known alternative and not some dark horse long shot that nobody outside of the political chatting class has heard about…

scotash on May 4, 2011 at 3:02 PM

Stop with the “electable” crap.
alwaysfiredup on May 4, 2011 at 2:04 PM

Agree. It’s a total and unprovable chimera, but the easiest “serious”-sounding meme to peddle. So it won’t stop. It’s used every cycle by those who most fear debate and challenge. A dead giveaway.

It’s been said too many times already, I suppose, but still bears repeating — it was exactly what was said about Reagan at exactly the same time and even up to the convention.

rrpjr on May 4, 2011 at 3:38 PM

Romney’s wishy-washy political identity and inability to stake out firm, consistent positions as a candidate…

Pretty much the great majority opinion here on HA…what took him so long?

right2bright on May 4, 2011 at 4:18 PM

it was exactly what was said about Reagan at exactly the same time and even up to the convention.

rrpjr on May 4, 2011 at 3:38 PM

First of all, Romney is no Reagan, especially since he threw Reagan under the bus.
But second, and almost as important, this is much more of a “media” society. The candidates are more like American Idol, than an election. You have to have the “it” factor to win, Obama is a perfect example. No history, no experience, not real bright, but “moved” his supporters.
Mitt can’t fill a high gym of supporters, he just has money and influence.
Trump has the “it” factor, and look where he is, no experience, several marriages, bankrupt (at least his companies, not him), spotty (at best) Republican credentials certainly not conservative. And he is the talk of the town…the reason, he just connects, for whatever reason…you gotta have the “it”…

right2bright on May 4, 2011 at 4:26 PM

First of all, Romney is no Reagan…
right2bright on May 4, 2011 at 4:26 PM

I agree. I was disputing the argument that only Romney (or some other RINO) was “electable.”

rrpjr on May 4, 2011 at 4:34 PM

I agree. I was disputing the argument that only Romney (or some other RINO) was “electable.”

rrpjr on May 4, 2011 at 4:34 PM

Got it, thanks…
I don’t think it has anything to do with being a RINO or conservative.
If a person connects with the public, they could be most anything and get elected, as long as the voters like the person, and sees a refreshing, different kind of politician.
Obama was that, I can’t stand the man, but he connected with his base and the independents.
Palin connects to her base, but not the inpendents…Trump’s got the independents but not the conservative base. The rest of the field are the typical cooking cutter politicians that don’t excite anyone. Stock answers, no real leadership, afraid of the press, etc.

right2bright on May 4, 2011 at 4:51 PM

Palin connects to her base, but not the inpendents…

I don’t agree, right2bright.

When she campaigns and people see and hear her message, she does connect.

Don’t use polls this far out as a basis to determine who does and doesn’t connect…especially when we don’t have any campaigns and the evidence we do have regarding Palin is that when regular folks hear what she says, they agree with her.

powerpro on May 4, 2011 at 5:29 PM

LOL!

So let’s get this straight; he loves Romney in 2008, he declines Romney in 2012, bad mouths him basically using the tired 2008 meme “flip-flop” and immediately say he is shopping his “talents” to the other primary candidates.

Keough working for Romney in 2008 and dissing him in 2011, in fact makes him a flip flopper AND the worst kind of political scum and why most good people hate politics.

What is remarkable is that kind of behavior could ever be a bona fide for getting your next campaign gig. This guy is classless and low rent. Yeah I’m sure Pawlenty and Daniels will be anxious to hook-up to this guys karma.

Whatever, life goes on, as Romney losses one lout:

Mitt Romney has picked up two key New Hampshire supporters — former lawmakers who endorsed Rudy Giuliani in 2008.

Ex-New Hampshire House Speaker Doug Scamman and former state Rep. Stella Scamman — his wife — are set to announce Wednesday that they’ll back Romney, the Union Leader reported.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0511/54304.html#ixzz1LQp24dqi

sheryl on May 4, 2011 at 8:05 PM

Another one of many “Jazz Shaw hates Mitt Romney” posts.

chansen9 on May 4, 2011 at 8:21 PM