Jeb Bush Aides Join Pawlenty Campaign
With former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush insisting that he won’t be a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, three Bush aides have now joined Tim Pawlenty’s White House campaign.
In commentary for the Orlando Sentinel, Mike Thomas observes that among potential GOP candidates, “Mitch Daniels was the most Jeb-like, but like Jeb, he opted out. Mitt Romney is tainted with image makeovers and Romneycare. Newt Gingrich is a study in undisciplined self-destruction.
“This leaves Tim Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota. Last week, a cadre of Bush confidants joined his campaign.”
Phil Handy, who led Jeb’s gubernatorial campaigns and served as his chairman of the Board of Education, will be Florida state chairman for Pawlenty and national finance co-chairman.
Justin Sayfie, a former Jeb spokesman, and Ann Herber, a longtime fundraiser for the Bush family, are also coming aboard the campaign.
Jeb, meanwhile, said in a Twitter message: “I admire truth telling and t-paw sure did it to open his campaign.”
Handy declared: “Those of us who admire Gov. Bush’s character and principles see Tim Pawlenty as coming closest to those characters and principles. When he talks on issues, he reminds me of Jeb in that regard.”
Thomas writes: “Corralling Jeb’s former team was a major coup for Pawlenty. If Romney falters, it sets him up as the alternative among coherent Republicans.”