In New Hampshire, Romney’s Loss is Santorum’s Gain

Claira Monier

Bookmark and Share Confirming Mitt Romney’s very tentative hold on to frontrunner status in the evolving Republican president field, is the naming of Claira Monier as former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum’s New Hampshire political action committee chair.

Monier, a veteran of New Hampshire political campaigns, endorsed Mitt Romney in 2008.

But in 2012, Romney’s loss is a big gain for Santorum. Monier is the widow of former state Senate president and legendary New Hampshire conservative, Robert Monier. Her resume includes such positions as being an aide to former Gov. Meldrim Thomson, a regional administrator for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the Reagan administration and a 20 year stint as executive director of the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority. She also chaired U.S. Senator Judd Gregg’ss commissions on Health Care Costs and Availability and is the past Chair of the Manchester Chapter of the American Red Cross. In , Monier was named the 2004 Citizen of the Year award from the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.

Former Senator Santorum declared that Claira Monier’s “roots in the Granite State run deep, and there is no doubt her connection to many grassroots activists and party leaders will be a great asset as I can continue to consider a run for President.”

In her voluntary role as Chairwoman of Santorum’s America’s Foundation for New Hampshire PAC, Monier will be most responsible for recruiting other volunteers and grass root activists to Santorum’s likely presidential campaign. The job is an extremely one in the big scheme of the small state’s political game. In the Granite State’s first in the nation primary, the personal touch and ground game plays a much more critical role in campaigns than it does in states of vastly larger populations. For Santorum, Claira Monier’s “deep roots help add the type of personal touch will need in New Hampshire.

In a statement to the press, Monier told reporters that Santorum’s “conservative message is resonating well in New Hampshire. He has demonstrated a deep understanding of the many challenges our country faces, both domestically and internationally, and I believe he has the right message for our state and our country at this critical time.”

While Claira Monier’s change of heart from Romney to Santorum is a boost for Santorum, it is a negative sign for Romney, who needs to show his supporting solidifying and growing, not shrinking. While Romney has developed a very substantial support system in the state which neighbor’s Massachusetts, the one that Romney governed, losing an endorsement like Monier’s to a first time presidential candidate like Rick Santorum shows signs of weakness in Romney’s own candidacy. Weighing him down the most is his Massachusetts health care plan that is often compared to Obamacare.

As for Rick Santorum, he is not showing any organizational weakness in the Live Free or Die state. Last week he became one of the few potential Republican presidential candidates to hire some top level, paid staffers when he announced that Mike Biundo will serve as the State Director for Santorum’s political action committee. Biundo has served as a senior advisor, campaign manager and grassroots director to numerous statewide and congressional campaigns, including Congressman Frank Guinta’s 2010 victory over incumbent Carol Shea-Porter.

For someone who is supposedly still in the thinking stageof a run for president, Santorum is not wasting anytime and insuring that he hits the ground running. As for Mitt Romney, he might just be limping as he gets to the starting line.

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One Response

  1. […] who is an experienced veteran of Florida politics and top notch strategists. This would mark the second defection from Romneys 2008 campaign, to the 2012 candidacy of one of his potential opponents. Little more […]

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