Some time ago, New York Sun columnist Ryan Sager opined that if former Sen. Fred Thompson were to enter the Republican field in the race for the presidency, he would effectively end former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s run for the White House. Shortly thereafter polls started showing Fred Thompson, who is not running at the moment, ahead of Romney, who is running aggressively. We believe there is growing evidence that Thompson may be poaching senior staff from Romney, as well as poll numbers.
In late March Romney media advisor Alex Castellanos, a partner at National Media, was spotted having lunch with his old client Fred Thompson at Landini's in Old Town Alexandria. Speculation after the sighting was that Castellanos was either attempting to talk Thompson out of running … or to preparing to jump on board if he does run.
NH Insider is now hearing rumors from Washington, D.C. insiders that another top Romney strategist with close ties to Fred Thompson is definitely planning on leaving Romney if Thompson enters the fray. NH Insider sources tell us that Barbara Comstock, who currently serves as senior advisor to Romney, is all but ready to jump to Thompson if and when he jumps into the race.
Comstock, who is close friends with Thompson recruited him to help raise money for “Scooter” Libby’s defense fund last year. Even more important, Thompson’s wife Jeri Kehn (who is urging her hubby to go for it) is among Comstock’s best friends. Our sources in Washington tell us that Kehn and Comstock speak on the phone “almost daily” and that the Romney camp is beginning preparations for the Comstock exodus.
http://hotlineblog.nationaljournal.com/ (scroll down to see rebuttal)