As it stands, Florida’s former Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings, former house speaker Allan Bense, U.S. Rep. Tom Feeney, who was Bush’s 1994 gubernatorial running mate, two former state party chairmen, Van Poole and Al Cardenas, and Bush’s former press secretary, Kristy Campbell, and former campaign manager and chief of staff Sally Bradshaw all have signed on with Romney.
And Bradshaw, according to Romney insiders, is continuing to recruit Jeb acolytes to the Romney cause. Many will be attending the Romney fundraiser in Washington on February 27th. “No one is endorsing anyone right now,” says a Romney fundraiser, who was encouraged to look at Romney by the former Florida governor for whom he also raised money. “But I wouldn’t be working for Mitt if I hadn’t been steered in that direction.”
While some social conservatives are balking at Romney, others are looking at the way Jeb Bush has been helping him, and see it as a sign that Romney is the real deal on social issues. Others aren’t so sure how to interpret it.
“I know where Jeb stands, because he’s been consistent,” says one Jeb supporter, who has thus far blunted pressure from her former colleagues to sign on with Romney. “I worry that if Jeb decides to get into the race in some way, or down the road, that his perceived support of Romney will hurt him with the base if Romney fails to gain the support of social conservatives.”p> A FEW DOLLARS SHORT br> There is talk in Republican fundraising circles that while Sen. John McCain ‘s take for the first quarter of 2007 in political dollars will blow the doors off of just about every other Republican candidate, his Federal Election Commission filing may be filled with a few surprises: namely, that smaller donors and direct mail donors are not responding to McCain’s entreaties for support.