Sarah Palin's chief of staff returned fire today, in response to comments by Michele Bachmann's newly-hired strategist Ed Rollins criticized the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee. Rollins had suggested to POLITICO that his candidate would benefit by comparison to Gov. Palin and told a radio host that the former Alaska governor was "not serious":
"Beltway political strategist Ed Rollins has a long, long track record of taking high profile jobs and promptly sticking his foot in his mouth," said Sarah PAC chief of staff Michael Glassner in an emailed statement. "To no one's surprise he has done it again, while also fueling a contrived narrative about the presidential race by the mainstream media. One would expect that his woodshed moment is coming and that a retraction will be issued soon."Rollins demonstrated incredible arrogance by first bashing Gov. Palin and then telling CNN, "In the long run we want Palin and her people as our allies." Memo to Ed Rollins: you don't gain allies by trashing their candidate of choice. Too late, Mr. Rollins. That train has already left the station, and you were the one driving it.
Rollins, a top aide to Mike Huckabee in 2008, has a history of blunt talk, and his words exposed developing tensions between the Bachmann and Palin camps.
Rollins also told CNN that his recent criticism of Gov. Palin is "not part of an electoral strategy." Not a successful one anyway, in our opinion.
Now Rollins is saying that Sarah Palin is serious, and with his comment yesterday, he "missed a step."
That wasn't a step. That was a flying leap worthy of Wyle E. Coyote.
Rep. Bachmann has issued a statement:
“The Congresswoman has nothing but admiration and respect for Governor Palin. The two enjoy a good friendship, and Rep. Bachmann looks forward to working with the Governor for the common goal of making sure President Obama is a one-term President.”Somehow we missed the apology to Gov. Palin and the rebuke of Ed Rollins in that statement.
Jim Geraghty comments "That’s Just Ed Being Ed":
I found this still-revelant quote from a 1992 New York Times profile of Rollins: “One thing I respect about Ed is that he doesn’t leak,” said James Lake, a Washington lawyer and longtime associate who is advising the Bush re-election team. “He does more damage on the record than any leaker that I’ve ever seen.”Jonah Goldberg tweets:
"Ed Rollins would be better suited being Anthony Weiner's press secretary."Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin, no Palin fan buy any stretch of the imagination, advises that perhaps the Congresswoman should drop Rollins like a burning ingot:
Bachmann has a reputation on the Hill as a tough boss. Perhaps she’ll keep Rollins around, but no one would think ill of her if she canned him. In fact, the sign of a good executive is the willingness to cut dead wood that is dragging the team down.Greta weighs in:
A campaign for President should be about the candidates’ positions on issues and we have very important issues to discuss and debate. Rollins’ start with Congresswoman Bachmann makes him look like a has been resurrecting old tactics. She won’t look Presidential with him. She will look strong if she dumps him now and says “not my campaign.”Blogger and Cornell Law Professor William A. Jacobson posted this today:
A successful career and lifetime of achievement is turned into a caricature based on a handful of misstatements or mistakes. That's what Rollins is doing to Palin, and it's what will be done by others to Bachmann.John Hayward, in a Human Events op ed Tuesday:
Michele Bachmann has a chance to carve out a successful insurgency campaign by uniting the non-establishment base of the party, particularly if Palin does not run. Bachmann's chance will disappear quickly if Ed Rollins' smash-mouth tactics towards Sarah Palin continue much longer.
It seems like an odd tactical mistake to try appealing to people who like both Bachmann and Palin by trashing Palin. I would imagine some of them will view that as a species of contempt, as if their own support for Palin were not based on sound matters of policy. If a Palin supporter is going to gravitate to Bachmann, it will happen because they view her as a superior champion of the causes they believe in, or because Palin doesn't enter the race. The Rollins approach implies that Palin's supporters are as unserious as he claims Palin is.Ace opines:
What is this, a bid for the coveted Andrew Sullivan endorsement?- JP
This is horrifically stupid. I am not on Team Palin but if I were part of someone's campaign I would not be deliberately alienating Palin supporters, who already are alienated and feel betrayed by a party which increasingly refuses to take their preferred candidate seriously.
I think this is read not just as a snub of Palin, which would be one thing, but as a snub of Palin supporters -- primary voters -- on a personal level, a rejection of them and their own values, which is, of course, intensely personal.
And Rollins, and this other unnamed aide, just told them all they could go to hell and he didn't have any regard whatsoever for their beliefs or opinions.
Rollins will be fired by the end of next week.