The Campaign Spot

Trying to Put Corallo’s Departure Into Perspective

NRO, yesterday:

We’re hearing Mark Corallo, formerly Fred Thompson’s chief spokesman and his right-hand man when it was just a bunch of folks around a kitchen table – is out.

Bloomberg, this afternoon:

Another top aide resigned from Republican Fred Thompson’s campaign as the former Tennessee senator made his bid for the White House official.

The latest staff member to depart is Mark Corallo, a senior strategist and spokesman who was one of the first people to join Thompson’s campaign. Corallo resigned yesterday, hours before Thompson formally declared his candidacy in a video posted on his Web site just after midnight, a campaign official said.

A couple readers have been saying, “Jim, this is all inside baseball, nobody cares about staffers coming and going.” Maybe this just seems like a bunch of little-known names coming and going to folks out there. I’ve been trying to think of appropriate metaphor to describe the roles of the people around Thompson.
Think of Jim Mills as the potential Tony Snow of the Fred Thompson campaign. Talented, smart, funny guy, used to being on the reporter side of things, stepping into the spokesman/communications/press aide role. Now imagine Tony Snow getting dismissed after a week on the job as press secretary. Yeah, it’s as surprising and un-reassuring as that.
As for Mark Corallo… he’s not Thompson’s Karl Rove; I don’t know if anyone plays that role on Team Fred. Maybe the better comparison is Karen Hughes or Joe Allbaugh, somebody who has been with Thompson from the very beginning. As somebody put it in the Corner yesterday, when you could fit the entire Thompson operation in a phone booth, Corallo was there. His departure is… surprising, as surprising as Karen Hughes heading for the door on the day Bush announced. While every campaign goes through some bumps in the road, growing pains, and personnel changes, these most recent ones seem very, very unusual.

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