A little nudge from Team Jeb to remind the new and improved Romney that this race will be new in lots of ways, many of which he won’t like.

Interesting timing.

David Kochel, a Republican strategist based in Iowa who worked on both of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaigns, is joining Jeb Bush’s political action committee as a senior strategist and is in line to serve as Mr. Bush’s national campaign manager…

“I really believe Governor Bush is the right person for the right time,” he said. “He has a successful conservative record in Florida, and I’d put that record up against anybody else.”…

“This is a reflection of Governor Bush’s intent, should he go forward with a campaign, to make the race focused on early states, Super Tuesday states and running governors-style races,” said a senior adviser to Mr. Bush. “This is not going to be a D.C.-driven, top-down structure. That’s not the Jeb Bush way.”

Kochel’s based in Iowa, huh? One theory of Jeb’s 2016 strategy was that he’d skip that state and focus on winning more moderate New Hampshire instead. Hard to believe he’ll do that now. Imagine how it’d look if his new campaign manager, who knows Iowa intimately and who helped Romney nearly win it three years ago, decided that Jeb should pass because he has no chance.

But back to the timing. This splashy announcement about a key player in Romneyworld defecting to Bush just so happens to coincide with a splashy new story from the AP about lots of key players in Romneyworld defecting to Bush.

“I’ve got great respect for Gov. Romney, and I busted my buns for him,” said Chicago investor Craig Duchossois, whose wife contributed $250,000 to a pro-Romney super PAC while he collected tens of thousands more for Romney’s last campaign. “But I have turned the page.”…

Duchossois and several of his fellow former Romney supporters plan to host Bush in Chicago next month for a fundraiser arranged by Lisa Wagner, Romney’s 2012 Midwest campaign finance director. She helped raise $25 million for Romney in 2012.

Along with Wagner and Durkin, Bush has also claimed Romney’s 2012 Texas finance director, Allison McIntosh, and Sondland, who helped raise millions for Romney and the super PAC that supported his candidacy…

“Jeb represents the different traits, that are qualifications to hold the office and those required to be elected,” said Terry Graunke, co-founder of a Chicago private equity firm. “He and his team appear to be much more capable of contemporary strategic policy.”

That comes a day after CNN reported, per GOP sources, that Bush is raising money in the mid- to high six figures — every day. And all of this comes while Romney is still weighing whether to run again or not, with a decision expected within the next two weeks. Clearly the goal of all this is to convince Mitt to decide against running after all by making it painful enough that he concludes it’s not worth the trouble. No one could compete with him on fundraising in 2012; Bush not only can, he’s raising the bar. No one could command as many top-shelf establishment political pros as Romney 2012 could; Bush not only can, he’s stealing coveted strategists right out from under Romney’s nose. The goal, I think, isn’t so much to push Romney out of his campaign comfort zone as it is to give him a whiff of the humiliation that might be in store if he goes through with this. If he runs and finishes with, say, eight percent of the vote, the whole complexion of his image will change from “successful nominee who fell short against incumbent president” to “pathetic hanger-on who overstayed a welcome that wasn’t all that welcoming to begin with.” Bush is giving him a taste of pain now to hint that there’s much more to come.

Probably won’t work, though. It was Bush’s aggressive attempt to line up Romney 2012 donors that apparently bruised Romney’s ego and enticed him back to the edge of running again in the first place. He’ll probably take Kochel’s hire as another affront that’ll be avenged when he runs with a whole new team and wins the nomination anyway. Alas, poor Romney: He should be listening to the experts. Right, Meg?