Last February, back when Rick Santorum shocked Republicans with a string of primary victories and the once-inevitable campaign of Mitt Romney was teetering on collapse, Woody Johnson held a private meeting in his office in Rockefeller Center.
Mr. Johnson is the heir to the Johnson & Johnson family fortune, the owner of the New York Jets and, over the past year or so, the head of Mr. Romney’s fundraising efforts in the political goldmine that is New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
The meeting was one of several he had held over the course of the campaign with those whose names had shown up on campaign finance filings for some of the other GOP hopefuls, donors who had cast their lot early on with Tim Pawlenty, or Herman Cain, or Rick Perry.
The message was always the same: Mitt Romney will be the nominee. He is only one who can keep Barack Obama from sinking the economy further. There was no political deal-making, no hard sell that said, “Come on, board now, before it is too late.”
Former Congressman Rick Lazio, who is known for challenging Hillary Clinton for the U.S. Senate in 2000 and attempting to challenge Andrew Cuomo for Governor in 2010 (only to flop a bit and lose the Republican primary to bombastic businessman Carl Paladino), publicly emerged to endorse GOP Councilman Halloran for Congress.
Mr. Lazio has not been extremely active in the news cycle in the last couple months; the only recent news stories containing his name before yesterday were ones using his loss to Mr. Paladino to discuss other races, so his appearance at yesterday’s event seemed a little out of the blue.
Mitt Romney’s Manhattan money raising adventures continued today with a breakfast fundraiser at the Grand Hyatt in Midtown. MoveOn.org showed up to protest him because they think he’s the “Poster Boy for Wall Street and the 1%.”
One name that stands out from the Long Island regional economic council Cuomo announced this morning is James D’Addario, who donated thousands of dollars to Cuomo’s opponent last year.