The Campaign Spot

Rollins Overcomes Health Issues to Downplay Chances of Former Employer

As Katrina Trinko mentioned in the Corner, former Michele Bachmann campaign manager Ed Rollins is back on MSNBC talking about the candidate he worked for as recently as September 5. You may recall he stepped down for “health reasons” and that he was to continue on as a “senior adviser.”

Part of coming out of the House of Representatives is that it’s a different environment than running statewide as a governor does. Her entire political career has been in one area of Minnesota, where she was elected to the State Senate and elected to Congress. It’s a very big arena, and there’s a scrutiny in the media… sometimes you say things that are not appropriate, and that you shouldn’t say, and I think that’s been part of her history.

He also appeared to put blame on her remaining staff for her vaccine comment: “What we had tried to always do was vet everything that was ever told to her,” Rollins told Andrea Mitchell. “We sort of tried to put a system in play, that, if someone walks up and gives you a good idea or a good concept, you basically vet it; that obviously wasn’t vetted.”

Then Rollins concludes, “She doesn’t have the ability or resources to go beyond Iowa at this time.”

The scenario of Rollins hurting the candidate was, perhaps, not quite that difficult to imagine. Back on June 8, in Campaign Spot:

As noted in the Jolt, we shouldn’t be stunned that Ed Rollins has made headlines within days of joining Team Michele Bachmann; this is what he does.

Obviously, candidates like Mike Huckabee and Michele Bachmann keep hiring Rollins, so he must do something that reassures them a great deal. Even after he attributed Christie Todd Whitman’s 1993 gubernatorial win to giving “walking around money” to African-American ministers. Even after he shocked Republicans by signing on with the presidential campaign of H. Ross Perot on June 3, 1992; even after he shocked the Perot folks by quitting on July 15, 1992. Even after he trashed former client Katherine Harris after quitting her campaign six months before Election Day. Even after he wrote a June 2007 Washington Post op-ed where he practically begged New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg to run for president in a third-party bid, declaring the mayor “one of the nation’s most popular and effective politicians.” (Bloomberg had just officially departed the GOP.)

I found this still-relevant 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.”

This is just Rollins being Rollins. Whatever his health issues, he’s still hale and hearty enough to wield a shiv.

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