Photo: Courtesy of CNN
In his second go at the presidency, Mitt Romney’s campaign staff are firing on all cylinders to get their man into the White House this time around. With the clock ticking down to Election Day, we’ve compiled a list of four of the campaign’s most visible faces, who are leading the charge to get Romney a win in November. Romney’s rising superstars and what they’re doing to win in November.
With the exception of Romney’s senior advisor Eric Fehrnstrom, these high-level staffers represent a clean slate for the former Massachusetts Governor, with no hold-overs from his 2008 loss to Sen. John McCain in the Republican primary.
These energized leaders not only snagged wins in swing states for the presumptive GOP candidate in a vicious primary earlier this year, but also provide a window on to a dressed-down version of the Republican candidate.
Jackson rocketed to campaign stardom as 'Mitt's Body Man,' tweeting out casual, behind-the-scenes remarks and photos of life on the campaign trail.
Jackson tweeted this picture of Ohio Senator Rob Portman and himself caught in the same outfit, adding, '@robportman and I are wearing the same shirt today. The man has good taste' on June 17.
Jackson worked at the Brookhaven Country Club in his hometown, Brookhaven, Mississippi, in high school. Jackson's mother, Jennifer, told their hometown newspaper that 'the men who golfed there referred to her son as the 'governor' and told him he was going to be a politician.'
There are some golfing perks to his new job, including meeting golf legend Arnold Palmer. He tweeted, 'Gov just met with a living legend, Arnold Palmer,' on July 17.
Following his 2009 graduation from Ole Miss, Jackson was hired by Mitt Romney's political action committee, Free and Strong America Political Action Committee before he was tapped to join Romney on tour.
'I was the young, single guy on the team. So when Romney went on a nationwide book tour they stuck me out on the road with him,' Jackson told the Daily Leader in 2011.
An active tweeter, averaging several tweets and pictures a day, Jackson allows voters to get to know a dressed-down candidate.
He tweeted this photo on July 16 with the caption, 'PIC: Got some great Mississippi BBQ at the Hickory Pit. Gov managed to get more BBQ on him than he ate.'
Jackson often tweets behind-the-scenes moments on the campaign bus, including photos of the numerous Romney family members.
He tweeted this photo June 17, with the caption, 'The Gov's grandson, Nick, snuck his slingshot past the secret service. This is going to be a fun bus ride.'
As the candidate's 'body man,' Jackson spends more time with Romney than almost anyone, including his wife Ann. According to a recent New York Times article, Jackson is often the first person to see Romney when he wakes up in the morning, and the last person to see him before he turns in for the night.
He accompanies the candidate everywhere on the campaign trail, including on his recent trip overseas.
Jackson tweeted this photo of the British Prime Minister's home last Thursday with the caption, 'PIC: Gov enters 10 Downing Street to meet with the Prime Minister.'
A fierce New Englander who has been described as Romney's 'backbone and balls,' Fehrnstrom has worked for the candidate for more than a decade and remains one of Romney's closest advisors.
''Eric gives Mitt a capability that Mitt doesn't have,' Ben Coes, Romney's 2002 gubernatorial campaign manager, told GQ for a recent profile. 'It's a streetwise savvy; it's an on-the-ground Boston-smarts mentality; it's a back-alley-politics, survival-of-the-fittest point of view. Mitt is not a knife fighter. Eric is a knife fighter.''
Fehrnstrom, a Boston native and Boston University graduate, worked as a journalist at Rupert Murdoch's Boston Herald, tasked with the mission to take down Massachusetts Democrats.
In 1994, switched sides to earn more money, working aggressively and ruthlessly for Republican Joe Malone's gubernatorial campaign. After Malone lost, Fehrnstrom settled into a public relationship gig for an advertising company, but got back into politics as a press secretary for Romney's 2002 campaign in Massachusetts.
In between Romney's presidential runs, Fehrnstrom worked for Scott Brown during his surprise 2010 upset campaign.
Following Romney's 2008 defeat, Fehrnstrom, along with two other Romney aides, formed a political consulting group that was hired then-Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown, who was running in the special election to fill the Ted Kennedy's Massachusetts Senate seat.
Despite his busy schedule working for Romney, Fehrnstrom still works for Brown, helping out with the Republican Senator's re-election campaign against Democrat Elizabeth Warren.
He retweeted this photo of the Massachusetts senator in April 2012, with the caption, 'Who's walking who?'
Fehrnstrom has gotten into some pretty epic Twitter battles over the course of the campaign.
His most frequent target? Obama's chief strategist David Axelrod. Here's a sample, from July 16:
'Boston Red Sox beat White Sox tonight 5-1. Starting pitcher for Chicago named Axelrod,' he posted on July 16.
Fehrnstrom has caught his fair share of flack over the Romney campaign's messaging slipups, most notably for his infamous Etch-A-Sketch remarks.
During a March CNN interview, Fehrnstrom was asked if the Republican primary was forcing Romney too far to the right and might scare moderates.
'You hit the reset button for the fall campaign,' he replied. 'Everything changes. It's almost like an Etch-A-Sketch. You can kind of shake it up, and start all over again.'
The comment prompted a firestorm, giving Romney's primary opponents and the Obama campaign ammunition -- and a convenient prop -- to attack the former Massachusetts governor as a flip-flopper.
Saul, a Vanderbilt graduate and Georgia native, has worked in virtually every communications position in politics, from national campaigns to Capitol Hill.
Saul worked in public affairs before joining Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign in 2007. After McCain's loss, Saul joined Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch's Washington team as a press secretary.
Source: The Dalton Daily Citizen
Julian Saul, her father, was a carpet executive at a Dalton-based company, before retiring to focus on property development of the historical Barnsley Gardens in northwest Georgia into a high end destination.
In May, Saul was awarded the key to her hometown. Ryan Williams, the Romney regional press secretary, posted this photo with the caption, 'The pride of Dalton, GA @AndreaMSaul received the key to the city at her @MittRomney fundraiser last night.'
Williams, a Boston College graduate, played a key role on the Romney campaign during the 2012 Republican primary -- a performance that helped Williams land a bigger job with the national team during the general election.
Before signing on to work for Romney, Williams worked as communications director at the New Hampshire Republican Party and briefly worked on the communications team for former New Hampshire Senator John Sununu's failed 2008 re-election campaign.
He tweeted this picture with the caption, 'Watching results in war room with @dgjackson @MittRomney @Rick_Gorka and @Mkdonlin #mitt2012' on April 12.
Williams was tasked with muddying the Santorum campaign's message to local reporters. Williams was reportedly removed from several Santorum's events, but would just set up camp in the parking lot.
Williams has apparently gained a lot of cred with the candidate — he even got to vacation with Romney at his lake house this summer.
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