One day after Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker hired Liz Mair to handle his political action committee’s online communications, the sought after political strategist resigns coming under fire for ill advised tweets about Iowa.
On one hand I can empathize with Mair for making an ill-advised social media post. On the other….there’s making numerous ill-advised social media posts which the Des Moines Register highlighted soon after the news about her hire.
Mair, who has over 12,000 followers on Twitter, during the Iowa Freedom Summit tweeted, ““In other news, I see Iowa is once again embarrassing itself, and the GOP, this morning. Thanks, guys.”
She then tweeted later on, “The sooner we remove Iowa’s frontrunning status, the better off American politics and policy will be.”
Then on January 22nd she tweeted, “Morons across America are astounded to learn that people from *IOWA* grow up rather government-dependent. #agsubsidies #ethanol #brainless.”
The New York Times reported that Iowa GOP leadership called for Walker to dump her.
Jeff Kaufmann, the state Republican chairman, said Mr. Walker, who leads in polls of Iowa Republicans, should dismiss Liz Mair, who was hired by Mr. Walker’s political action committee to lead online communications for his likely 2016 campaign.
“It’s obvious she doesn’t have a clue what Iowa’s all about,” Mr. Kaufmann said. “I find her to be shallow and ignorant,” he added, “and I’ll tell you, if I was Governor Walker, I’d send her her walking papers.”….
….“We play nice in Iowa,” said Sherill Whisenand, a co-chairwoman of the Republican Party in Polk County, who read about Ms. Mair’s tweets in The Des Moines Register on Tuesday. “That’s like slapping someone down who’s in your home.”
The co-chairman of the state party, Cody Hoefert, also took umbrage. “When anybody who works for a presidential campaign thinks it’s O.K. to insult Iowa, Iowa voters and Iowa farmers, I find it absolutely disgusting and repulsive,’’ he said.
I’ve personally met Mair and have had correspondence with her via email and those interactions have been quite professional. She is quite known for a very colorful Twitter feed, however, which is often laced with obscenities. She’s also a professed Libertarian who is in favor of same-sex marriage, abortion, and amnesty. Those are positions that many Iowa Republicans (myself included) disagree with and are seemingly at odds with Walker’s position as well. But those are also issues which Walker has tripped on in recent weeks with the press (prior to Mair’s hire).
Mair was a known quantity for Walker as she has worked for him in the past. She has also worked for the Republican National Committee.
Her position isn’t one that would drive policy, and if it were not for the Tweets she probably could have survived that criticism unless it became apparent her views were impacting his online communications. With those three tweets she made herself a liability and distraction for Walker. It also, fair or not, reflects poorly on a prospective Walker campaign as the Tweets happened prior to her hire. While I personally would not have called for her resignation (an apology perhaps) it would have been extremely difficult to continue on.
So note to future campaign staffers… It’s not wise, even on your personal social media, to trash any early caucus or primary state. Lesson learned for Mair as well who I’m sure will recover just fine. I just doubt she’ll be doing much work in Iowa in the near future.
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