Friday, February 18, 2011

Meet Michael Glassner, Gov. Palin's New Right-Hand Man

"He's the guy that's always three steps ahead"
According to Michael Glassner's friends and associates, Michael Falcone of ABC News reports, it was Todd Palin who recruited him to join Gov. Palin's team. Now Glassner is tasked with organizing her aides and advisers:
At a speaking appearance in Long Island, New York on Thursday Palin said she "hired a chief of staff because, to tell you the truth, Todd's getting kind of tired of doing it all for me." And her comment likely rings true for just about anyone who has seen the ad hoc nature of her political operation.

It now falls on the shoulders of Glassner, a veteran of Sen. John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign and a long-time aide to former Sen. Bob Dole, to professionalize Team Palin.

"Governor Palin's done incredibly well flying by the seat of her pants," said Glassner's friend Scott Reed, a former presidential campaign manager for Sen. Bob Dole. "But Michael will be trying to get a semblance of a structure in place so they can operate better and service her better."

At least initially, sources close to Glassner expect him to do the job from New Jersey where he lives with his wife and two young daughters. Former colleagues describe him as a detail-oriented, fiercely loyal person who "takes great pride in flying under the radar."


Palin's handful of aides seemed to welcome his arrival. With individuals working for her in California, Texas and Washington, coordination has been difficult.

During the 2010 election cycle Glassner was a supporter of Alaska's GOP Senate candidate Joe Miller, whom Palin endorsed. Campaign aides said he offered advice and helped make important contacts throughout the campaign in an unpaid role.

Glassner first met the Palins when he joined the McCain campaign as the director of vice presidential operations in 2008. He was responsible for scheduling and logistics, and perhaps most importantly, keeping Sarah and Todd Palin happy.

Glassner earned the praise of Sheila Burke, who was Dole's chief of staff for a decade, for his deep "knowledge of the Republican Party system and a knowledge of campaigns":
"He's remarkably detail-oriented, unbelievably well-organized, even-tempered, and able to manage lots of balls in the air at the same time," Burke said in an interview. "Mike was always discrete; he was never a person you would worry about repeating something he had seen or heard that undermined the person with whom he was working."
Considering how some of the McCain people turned on Gov. Palin and tried to blame her for their own incompetence in the 2008 presidential campaign, Glassner's loyalty and discretion should serve him well in his new role.

- JP

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