Erin McPike at RealClearPolitics writes:
Large GOP gains in Congress may carry some downsides for the Republicans who hope to challenge President Obama next year.
For one thing, with Republicans in charge of a piece of the government, it shoulders the GOP with some responsibility and could hinder the party’s ability to create a full contrast with Obama. But there’s another problem that doesn’t lack significance, either: staffing.
Republicans new to Capitol Hill are hiring key staff: chiefs of staff, advisers, communicators. And there’s already been a bit of a brain drain from former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s last presidential campaign.
Today, Florida Sen.-elect Marco Rubio announced his top staff, which included three former Romney campaign hands. Sally Canfield, who served as Romney’s policy adviser, will be Rubio’s legislative director and chief policy adviser; Joe Pounder, who was in charge of rapid response for Romney, will be Rubio’s communications director; and Alex Burgos, who directed specialty media for Romney, will serve as director of media affairs for Rubio.
A former campaign aide to Romney said it shouldn’t be taken as a reflection on the Bay Stater or his ability to run successfully for the nomination.
“Jobs with Marco Rubio are the most sought-after jobs in politics. And with Scott Brown, too,” the former aide said. “These are jobs of a lifetime.”
Brown, too, has taken a few staffers from Romney’s last campaign. Gail Gitcho, who was a press secretary for Romney, serves Brown as communications director. And Colin Reed, another Romney aide who was deputy director of the rapid response center, is now Brown’s press secretary.
The list extends to other key staff. While the top advisers that amount to Romney’s kitchen cabinet will return in some capacity, a chunk of managers and middle-range staff have moved up and on. And some key GOP operatives who at some point have considered working for Romney or in the presidential field generally have taken other positions in Washington, as well.
Former Romney staffers have explained, not surprisingly, that after four years of adding valuable experience to their resumes, they’re qualified to do more than what was called for in their former roles. Nevertheless, the staffing puzzle puts ever so slight a dent in the argument that Romney can pull together the best team in the field, although most other teams have yet to form.