Thursday, July 06, 2006

Bush Hires Professional Campaign Operatives

Governor Jeb Bush's Foundation for Florida's Future has been paying three of his former campaign operatives and a number of other leading campaign consultants, including:

Nearly $99,000 to Ann Herberger, Bush's campaign finance director during two campaign and a longtime political fund-raiser for his family.

Nearly $70,000 to Neil Newhouse of Washington-based GOP Public Opinion Strategies for polling last October.

$48,000 for "management services" to a lobbying and public-affairs firm whose staff includes Mandy Clark and Mandy Fletcher. Both worked on Bush's reelection campaign and on his brother's presidential reelection campaign.

$23,500 for "legal services" from Patton Boggs, the largest lobbying shop in Washington, DC.

$20,000 in February to GOP political strategist Adam Goodman's the Victory Group.

These actions are not the actions of a man moving into a life of quiet
philanthropy. This is what a man does when he raising his profile in preparation for a national campaign, which should to put to rest any suggestions that Gov. Bush does not want the presidency. However, it does raise the question as to whether he is moving up his schedule and planning run as early as 2008.


At 7/10/2006 04:52:00 PM, Blogger Jim Johnson said...

There are two potential problems with that prediction. Bear in mind that Jeb had planned to use his Foundation to promote two constitutional amendments on his education legacy. The first to alter the class size amendment, the second to reinstate vouchers.

Unfortunately for the Governor, Senator Villalobos worked to prevent the passage of these amendments. Sure, Villalobos is reaping what he has sown ... but you are most likely wrong to think that the Foundation was a scheme to build a national presence.

Now that the amendments are gone, he may turn that machine to something else ... but that was not the original intent.

Just my thoughts.


Oh, and while Columba Bush is a wonderful woman and an amazing First Lady for Florida - I am not sure she would like the spotlight her mother-in-law and sister-in-law have faced. That could be the ultimate reason Jeb declines a run for the White House in 2008.

At 7/10/2006 05:14:00 PM, Blogger Campaign Manager said...

I myself thought that Jeb Bush would wait until 2012 (if a Democrat is elected in '08) or 2016 (if Republican is elected in '08). But this seems like an awful lot of money to a lot high powered operatives - including $70,000 in for polling. While he could not poll on his own electability through the foundation, this smacks of the actions of a future candidate.

I would be very curious to know if they are only polling in Florida or if they are polling nationally or in other key states. If he is only polling in Florida, it doesn't disprove a 2008 run - but if he is polling elsewhere, it almost proves it. If he is polling in Iowa, New Hampshire, Alabama, Michigan, South Carolina or any other early primary state, well then, Florida's top Republican operatives should start packing their bags for a road trip with the Governor.


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