When it comes to preparing for the 2012 campaign, Mitt Romney’s avoiding Tea Party leaders. The Boston Globe reports:
As the former Massachusetts governor lays the groundwork for a possible second presidential run, he has largely shunned Tea Party activists in key primary states, including the state he must win if he enters the race, New Hampshire. Thus far, Romney is on track to present himself as the establishment candidate — a responsible, mainstream Republican leader with the necessary financial resources and credentials to beat President Obama. …
Romney declined requests for an interview. His advisers said it is too early to speculate on the Tea Party movement’s influence on the Republican primary field or how Romney may seek to expand his appeal. Short of courting individual activists, they said he can win the support of fervent populists by talking specifically about issues that stir their passions — tackling the national debt, reducing taxes, and cutting the size of government. They also say that Romney could begin reaching out to activist leaders later.
Interestingly, this is the opposite of the approach Sarah Palin’s taking in Iowa, where one PAC staffer and another friend have reportedly been reaching out to Tea Party leaders, not established GOP operatives.