Skip to comments.Romney’s team gets ready [To spend more $$]
Posted on 01/14/2011 11:17:45 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
Belmont, Mass. Long before it came time to actually choose a career, Peter Flaherty knew he wanted do so something exciting.
In Massachusetts, you kind of grow up with two things in your blood: sports and politics, said Flaherty, a Belmont resident and father of three. When I realized I was not going to be a professional athlete, I realized politics was the adult equivalent of professional sports.
Flaherty has always found room for public service in his professional life, which has seen him prosecute homicides, produce big-budget childrens movies and serve as a senior advisor to then-Gov. Mitt Romney.
These days, Flaherty has found away to bring together the public and private sectors, as a principal of the Shawmut Group, a consulting firm that has made quite a name for itself since its formation less than three years ago.
Its two months after Republicans divided Washington, D.C., wresting control of the U.S. House of Representatives away from Democrats by claiming 60 seats in the 2010 mid-term elections. Holed up in a nondescript office building outside of Boston, the Shawmut Group is working behind the scenes preparing to assist two well coiffed Republicans who promise to be key players through 2012.
Mitt Romneys Free and Strong America Political Action Committee is headquartered on Hayden Avenue in Lexington, just miles from the green where farmers took up arms against occupying British Regulars. Its also home base for the Shawmut Group, a trio of former Romney staffers who recently helped Scott Brown write the script for a shot hear round the political world.
The Shawmut Group was born after Romneys presidential bid fizzled out in 2008. One of their first clients was Brown, who quickly evolved from little known state Senator from Wrentham to the truck-driving everyman overcoming the odds to claim the U.S. Senate seat long held by Ted Kennedy, the senates liberal lion.
He was a canary in the coalmine for what was going on in Washington, said Beth Myers, one of three principals for the Shawmut Group. Scott was the first Republican to come out of this cycle.
Another key client is Romney and his PAC, which is devoted to supporting Republican candidates and conservative principles.
We were a real force in the last two election cycles, Myers, a Brookline resident, said.
On the immediate horizon is promoting Browns forthcoming book and the paperback version of Romneys second book, No Apology: The Case for American Greatness, the Shawmut Group expects to ramp up efforts as the all-important 2012 election cycle comes nearer.
While some pundits and bloggers have posited No Apology was an indicator of Romney ramping up for another run at the White House, members of his team said that is not necessarily the case.
Although he will be doing some media around this, he will not be doing another book tour like he did when the book was originally released, said Flaherty. Whether it be in his book, an op-ed, or a speech, Gov. Romney will continue to address and share his insight on the challenges that we face as a nation.
The Shawmut Groups principals are Flaherty, Myers, and Eric Fehrnstrom, also from Brookline. The trio worked in and around Massachusetts politics and public service in the 1980s and 1990s before coming together as the Romney camp claimed Beacon Hill. Their skill sets compliment each other, as do their personalities and, after working together for the past eight years, Flaherty, Fehrnstrom and Myers say they have become like a family. For it to work, they said, their relationship with the client has to be seamless, as well.
It has to be a good fit, said Flaherty. When you have a client like Mitt Romney or Scott Brown, it makes it an easier relationship.
Browns election was good for Republicans across the country, and it was good for the Shawmut Groups business development. They were in-demand during the past election cycle and worked with several candidates, in addition to those supported by Romneys PAC.
[Browns] election really changed the political landscape, said Flaherty. It gave a lot of would-be candidates a reason to believe.
The Shawmut Group provides general consulting services. For political clients, that can mean creating ads, debate preparation, or fundraising assistance, among other duties. In its private sector work, Shawmut Group provides communications strategies for clients who find themselves in the news frequently or are in need of high-profile public affairs advice.
We stay in the background, Myers said. We have a philosophy that our clients come first and we stay in the background.
Republicans who are loyal to the party, Fehrnstrom, Flaherty and Myers were drawn to Romney because they believe he is the kind of leader they want running the country they will turn over to their children. And their relationship with Brown began when Romney supported him as a candidate for the state Senate.
People who come out of Republican politics in Massachusetts are a different breed than those who come out of more traditionally Republican states, said Fehrnstrom. I think it makes you more aggressive, thicker-skinned and a batter all-around strategic thinker. When a Republican wins in Massachusetts, its never a cakewalk, but were not complaining about it.
Brown and Romney winning office were big deals, both here and on a national scale. However, the lack of press and nature of coverage during Browns latest primary indicated just how blue the commonwealth can be.
On primary night, Dec. 8, 2009, the Shawmut team was in Browns suite awaiting the result just them and the family and found themselves assuring their client the coverage from there out would be 50-50. The next morning, however, a Boston daily splashed an Its Coakley headline across the front page.
And you had to go to like page 27 of the Metro section to see Scott, said Flaherty. As far as your client goes, it can be pretty tough sledding when there is no focus or coverage.
But they were able to turn that around thanks to some morale building, creative advertising, and an energetic candidate with a truck who didtnt quit. The race really began to turn after a Rasmussen poll showed Brown narrowing the gap to 9 percent, and then Fehrnstrom designed the killer Kennedy-morphs-into-Brown campaign ad.
It made the point that Eric wanted it to, Myers said. It was bold, and it got peoples attention.
A political consultant, according to the trio, is never off the clock. Blackberries are forever buzzing and reading the morning papers can constitute a workday.
But thats OK, Flaherty said, because its interesting enough work, and they believe they are fighting the good fight with candidates like Romney and Brown.
The Shawmut Group is in daily contact with both clients, working in an office with Romney and remaining Browns in-state advisors.
Theyre working on strategies, fundraising and in other areas as they prepare for 2012, an election year regarded by many as an crucial for the direction of the country and one in which a Republican, like Romney, could rise up and take the White House from democratic President Barack Obama.
The last election was a referendum on the first two years of the Obama presidency, said Fehrnstrom. I really think the onus is on the president to deliver on the promise of his own candidacy. The challenge is on him to show the American people he has learned from his mistakes.
Right now, government in Washington is divided, and Americans are going to look for progress in areas they care about, such as jobs and the economy two of Browns primary areas of focus this year, according to Fehrnstrom.
A central talking point of the Brown campaign was that he was an independent voice, who would represent the will of the people while occupying what he dubbed The Peoples seat.
I think he has delivered on that promise, said Ferhnstrom. Hes a Republican, and hes proud to be a Republican, and he will vote with his party more than he will break from it, but he is not an ideological warrior. He wants to get things done.
So for Brown to stay in Washington, the Shawmut Group says he will need to continue that route. And, while they do not know what Romney plans for 2012, they do know they will remain by his side, whatever he chooses to do.
We all care about the country, the world that we live in and that we will leave to our children, said Ferhnstrom. I cant think of a better person that I would like to see running this country than Mitt Romney.
No more RINOs
We can enjoy great coffee and tea and watch the politics unfold as Sarah causes the lefts minds to melt.
Mitt, you can run if you want to. Spend your own money, even. Don’t expect any money from me, and don’t expect any vote from me either. I am just goddam not gonna vote for another quisling equivocator again. Juan McLame cured me of that. If you want to put the final nail in this country’s coffin and let Obama be the Funeral Director then you’re goddam gonna do it without my help...I’ll just have to make other plans.
Wow, what a ringing endorsement THAT is. < /s>
I think Myth has to be the biggest vanity candidate in the history of US elections.
Sorry, Myth, I’d vote for Obama before I’d vote for you. At least he doesn’t lie about being a liberal.
“A central talking point of the Brown campaign was that he was an independent voice, who would represent the will of the people while occupying what he dubbed The Peoples seat.
Fell for that one lock, stock and barrel. But fool me once...
Romney is my last choice of the Republicans. I will not vote for him, even over Osama.
I clicked on the HARRY INFO and gleaned absolutely nothing from it. Could you please bottom-line it for us, in a sentence or two (really, one should do it), what that chart means. Palin has 1547 what?
Romney will never get my vote or anyone I know.
Romney is the reason we should eliminate open primaries in the Republican Party.
Most of the votes he got last time were from dems trying to wreak havoc.
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