I like Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN). I like her spunk. I like her policy positions. I like her record and experience. She is someone I could seriously look at supporting during the Iowa Caucus. I enjoyed the two opportunities I’ve had to interview her. Her campaign went off the rails today. Her first mistake was hiring Ed Rollins as a strategist, and now we see the fruit of that decision.
Rollins opens mouth and inserts foot, during a radio interview with Brian Kilmeade yesterday when he trashed former Governor Sarah Palin (R-AK)…
“Sarah has not been serious over the last couple of years. She got the vice presidential thing handed to her. She didn’t go to work in the sense of trying to gain more substance. She gave up her governorship.”
He doubled down in an interview with POLITICO:
Bachmann will “be so much more substantive,” Rollins said. “People are going to say, ‘I gotta make a choice and go with the intelligent woman who’s every bit as attractive.’”
“I’m not afraid of Palin,” he said, adding the strategy would have been the same for Mike Huckabee.
Full disclosure, it’s no secret that I like Palin, however substitute Palin for Herman Cain, Rick Santorum or another candidate I would feel the same way. This is a horrible strategy. It is a sign of an undisciplined campaign. If they truly want to sway voters who like Sarah Palin is this the way to do it?
In a word, no. This type of thing turns people off. I understand that distinctions need to be made in regards to policy and positions. Characterizing a potential rival in a campaign as unsubstantive and unintelligent is poor conduct for a campaign. It makes those who engage in it look bad, and the aides that do tarnish their candidate.
Unfortunately this doesn’t stop with Rollins. Another “ally” speaking under the condition of anonymity said that Bachmann is well positioned to take on Palin in the Iowa Caucus. Ok if this person stopped there that would have been fine, but this person went on to say, “The view in Iowa is that she’s unstable. When she resigned her position as governor that whole event seemed odd, and people in Iowa saw that.”
I’ve talked with many people, both who like Palin and those who don’t. I’ve never heard anyone call her “unstable.” That statement is over the top. Since this person alleges to know the mind of Iowans I would assume this aide is one of her Iowa staff. Maybe I’m wrong, but I suspect a certain outspoken State Senator. Anonymity doesn’t seem to be State Senator Kent Sorenson’s (R-Indianola) style though. As he had no problem going on the record questioning Palin as a credible candidate.
Palin “doesn’t seem like a credible candidate,” said Iowa state Senator Kent Sorenson, who will reportedly serve as Bachmann’s political director in the state. He said he thought Bachmann would beat Palin there head-to-head if need be. “She has not made any inroads at all to people in Iowa.”
Then there are the rumors I’ve heard from people in Iowa close to Bachmann who have said that a Palin endorsement is in the works. Discredit her and then say she’s endorsing your candidate? It seems like we’re getting a clinic in dirty politics here.
This is a campaign strategy sure to backfire. Congresswoman Bachmann is not being served well by her staff. I would hope that distances herself from this strategy. Again, drawing distinctions and promoting your positions, qualifications and record is one thing, but for her to allow her campaign to smear a person who endorsed and campaigned for her in 2010 would be tasteless.