A Catholic Irish American is playing one of the most crucial roles in the Romney campaign.
Peter G Flaherty II, a Massachusetts lawyer, was described recently by the New York Times as Romney's "unseen but crucial weapon."
A senior adviser to the Romney campaign on religious issues, Flaherty has been tasked with winning over religious conservatives and tapping into Obama’s Catholic vote.
“We're going to have outreach to Catholics in a co-ordinated, organised effort -- state by state, diocese by diocese, parish by parish and pew by pew," Flaherty told The New York Times.
An influential man, during the battle for the Republican presidential nomination, it was Flaherty who convinced former senior Vatican ambassadors to publicly endorse Romney over his Catholic opponents, rivals Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich.
Read More: Mitt Romney’s secret Irish Catholic Weapon - Senior Adviser Peter Flaherty
Flaherty also played a key role in getting influential Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan to deliver the closing prayer at the at the Republican National Convention in August.
Family is everything to Flaherty, who lives less than three miles from Romney's expansive home in the quaint suburb of Belmont, in Boston.
Despite not sharing the same religious doctrine, Flaherty is inspired by Romney’s love for family: "I think [Mitt is] always happiest when Ann is around him," Flaherty said. "Pope John Paul II said: 'As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live.' Mitt sets a wonderful example for a young father like me."
Peter Flaherty at a glance:
-Born Sept. 20, 1965, Brighton, Mass.
-Education College of the Holy Cross, B.A., economics, 1987; New England School of Law, J.D., 1992.
-Career Assistant district attorney, homicide unit, Suffolk County, Mass.; vice president, Walden Media, film production company; deputy chief of staff, Massachusetts governor’s office; principal, Shawmut Group, political consulting firm.
-Campaigns Deputy campaign manager, Romney for President, 2008; senior adviser, Romney for President, 2012.
-Boards New England School of Law; St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center; Children’s Advocacy Center of Suffolk County.
-Family Married to Jennifer, 1994; children: Peter, William, and Matthew.
(Source: NY Times)