Bachmann's Campaign Team Quits—And Why It Matters

 Ed Rollins is the only Republican operative in the country who I kind of like. It's probably his blue-collar roots and his history as a boxer that makes him seem like a regular dude. He's a mercenary, like almost all the other great American campaign managers. But he also has a tendency to offer some blunt criticism of his own party. His 1984 "Morning in America" effort set the standard for great campaigns until David Plouffe came along in 2008.

I was a little bit disgusted with Rollins when he accepted Michele Bachmann's offer to run her campaign. He doesn't need the money and he knows better than to think she'd be an acceptable president. Rollins quit as H. Ross Perot's campaign manager when he figured out that Perot had a screw loose. So, why was he going to help Bachmann?

Maybe he does need the money. He took the job and led Bachmann to victory in the Ames Straw Poll. I guess that was the extent of his plan for Bachmann, because he just stepped down as Bachmann's campaign manager. Perhaps Rick Perry's decision to announce his candidacy the same day as the Ames Straw Poll was successful in preventing Bachmann from gaining any positive momentum, and now Rollins's whole plan has blown up. Yesterday, he told the Washington Post that it is a battle between Perry and Romney, which is not the kind of thing you'd expect a Bachmann advocate to say. Of course, he's creating a facade that he's resigning for health reasons and will remain a senior adviser, but that doesn't explain why his assistant is leaving the campaign.


Mrs. Bachmann’s campaign cited health reasons for the abrupt change in the role Mr. Rollins, 68, will play in the presidential campaign.

“Ed is moving away from the demanding day-to-day operations of the campaign and into a senior adviser role,” said the spokeswoman, Alice Stewart. “He is fantastic and will continue to be invaluable on the campaign.”

Politico reported the change in Mr. Rollins’s role. The Web site also reported on Monday night that Mr. Rollins’s deputy, David Polyansky, would leave the campaign. “I wish Michele nothing but the best, and anyone who underestimates her as a candidate does so at their own peril,” Mr. Polyansky told Politico.

It sounds to me like Rollins had a plan and things went according to plan, and yet it still didn't work. So, he and his team are cutting their losses. It's unlikely that Bachmann will regain her former numbers. She's already peaked.

Booman Tribune / By Booman

Posted at September 6, 2011, 7:35am

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