Hotline says that Romney has already established a strong political presence in New Hampshire. His Free and Strong America PAC registered in March with that state's office of The Secretary of State. Romney's PAC has also made a sizable contribution to former GOP congressman Jeb Bradley, who won a special election in April for a state Senate seat that includes Wolfeboro.
The political blog also reports that Romney's foot soldiers from his losing GOP primary effort in NH stay in communication with one other. His state campaign manager, Jim Merrill, keeps up a busy e-mail exchange with Romney supporters in the state and occasionally meets with them. Merrill insists that he performs this task "on my own" and the effort is not coordinated with that of Romney's PAC.
"No doubt in my mind that they are doing the necessary maintenance to keep their network in New Hampshire together," noted veteran Granite State GOP operative Mike Dennehy, who was a senior adviser to McCain's 2008 campaign.The news has set off a round of speculation that Romney may run for retiring Republican Sen. Judd Gregg's seat, especially if former U.S. Senator John E. Sununu decides not to throw his hat in the ring. Many believe that this course of action would be Romney's surest possible path to the presidency. At this point, only Romney people are denying that the move to New Hampshire is another step in the process of Romney positioning himself for a run for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.
One GOP political insider quipped, "He's had as many home states as positions on abortion." Make no mistake: Mitt's running. Watch your back, Gov. Palin! Romney's people take no prisoners. Just ask Fred Thompson... but you probably know that already, as the people in McCain's campaign who sold you out were former Romney operatives. Hmmm... come to think of it, most of the sydicated "conservative" columnists who savaged you with their keyboards had shown a prior preference - or at least acceptance - of Romney as a viable GOP presidential candidate. There seems to be a pattern here. What do you know, another coincidence!