Thursday, June 09, 2011

Newt loses campaign staff (they're going to work for Rick Perry)

Though they aren't saying so yet. A summary of the reports:

In a major blow to Newt Gingrich's presidential hopes, senior advisers to his 2012 campaign resigned en masse today, citing strategic differences.

The staffers include Rick Tyler, a longtime political adviser and close friend to Gingrich who has worked for the former House speaker for years, as well as Rob Johnson, a former longtime aide to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who had been hired to manage Gingrich's campaign. [...]

"When the campaign and the candidate disagree on the path, they've got to part ways," Tyler told the Post.

Gingrich campaign manager Rob Johnson, who ran Perry’s wildly successful 2010 re-election race, and New Hampshire political consultant David Carney, who has been a close Perry adviser throughout the governor’s rise to power, were among the Gingrich aides leaping off his tempest-tossed presidential campaign ship. [...]

If you remember our recent “Perry Watch” post entitled “Some important clues that will tell you whether Rick Perry is serious about running for president,” we wrote:

Watch Dave Carney and Rob Johnson. Unless you’re a political junkie, you probably don’t know those names. But Carney is Perry’s canny political guru and Johnson managed the governor’s wildly successful 2010 re-election campaign. Both are now working for GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, Johnson as campaign chief. Carney “is from New Hampshire, and he knows presidential politics as well as anyone in his party,” says Democratic consultant Paul Begala, a Houstonian and longtime Bill Clinton adviser who says he has “a high degree of respect for Carney.” If Carney and Johnson leave Gingrich while the Georgian’s struggling presidential quest continues, it’s a sign that Perry is reassembling his campaign brain trust.

During their time with Gingrich, Johnson and Carney have been able to tap into Gingrich’s national network of supporters and his fundraising machinery — two tools that could become invaluable in case Perry decides to go for the gold in 2012.

Yes, Rick Perry is definitely in. His Christian Ramadan scheduled for August is just days prior to an Iowa straw poll. Iowa's Christian conservative primary voters are key to any success Perry might have in the early going.

Carney, you will recall, was a player in the Texas Green Party ballot qualification shenanigans in 2010, during the last Perry re-election campaign against Bill White.

Finally and FWIW there's also an online poll at the Austin Business Journal -- no bastion of liberal media -- you can click on. Currently the results don't look so good for the governor.

Update: All of Gingrich's paid staff in Iowa has also resigned.

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