Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Anita Perry brutalizes Dave Carney

Maybe you missed it. It's being called a 'campaign shake-up'. WaPo's Right Turn:

Time’s Mark Halperin reported yesterday that Texas Gov. Rick Perry is bringing in two nationally known GOP insiders, Nelson Warfield and Curt Anderson, to help turn around his ailing campaign. Halperin writes, “In some ways, the Texan’s original, relatively small team had been overwhelmed by the demands of getting a campaign up and running.” 

Burka has the skinny.

An advisor to Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) tells [Politico's] Ben Smith that the Texas governor has reassembled the team that helped run Scott’s “unlikely, big-spending, and successful 2010 campaign.”

It’s about time. It is my understanding that Anita Perry was the driving force who insisted upon a reorganization.

She's on a mission from God, you see. After the brutalizing her man took at the hands of ... well ... everybody, something had to be done. Which gives me the opportunity to insert this barely-a-sequitur, starring Mandy Patinkin as Governor Goodhair, fresh off the farm in Paint Creek or maybe the campus of Texas A&M University.

Back to the story.

It is hardly surprising that Perry has decided to shake up his campaign staff. (For some time Right Turn has suggested a major overhaul of Perry’s campaign would be in order.) A GOP operative told me last night, “I had heard about a week ago that there was a move to get rid of Dave Carney. This was almost 100% predictable given the collapse of the Perry campaign. Plus, when Perry was deciding if he should run, Carney had made assurances to him that he could do very well in New Hampshire.” Perry is now in the low single digits there. Carney is expected to remain on the campaign but plainly has lost his perch as the top campaign guru.

Sure enough ...

Joe Allbaugh, who headed George W. Bush’s presidential campaign and served as director of FEMA in the Bush administration (pre-Katrina), will hold the title of Senior Adviser in the Perry campaign. He specifically did not want a title that suggested he was in charge of the campaign (although he is).

Allbaugh seems to have a good sense of timing: bailing out of FEMA right before Hurricane Katrina -- leaving the debacle to Heckuva Job Brownie -- and now parachuting in to a Perry campaign that may or may not be swirling the drain. If things go well he gets the credit, if they don't Rick Perry still gets the blame.

The house-cleaning comes just before Perry’s major policy rollout Tuesday, and to a large extent, will dominate political coverage. Why release the news now? Well, given a choice between being overshadowed by a staff shakeup and having the press focus on Perry’s bizarre interview on birtherism and secession, I suppose the former seems preferable. Interestingly, the shakeup follows Perry’s meetings with K Street lobbyists, an effort to staunch concern about his campaign. It may have been essential for Perry to demonstrate swiftly that he understands the campaign’s dire straits and is willing to shove aside even longtime aides to get his campaign on track.

Warfield was Bob Dole’s press secretary in his 1996 presidential campaign, and he acquired a reputation for a sharp tongue and pointed humor. Interestingly, in that capacity Warfield led the attack on Steve Forbes’s flat tax. Forbes is now a Perry adviser, and a flat tax will be part of Perry’s policy initiative unveiled Tuesday. Back in 1996, the Dole campaign criticized a flat tax as a “soak the middle class” plan that would increase the deficit. Presumably, that experience will help Warfield fend off attacks on the flat tax plan Forbes developed for Perry.

Warfield also spent time on the ill-fated Fred Thompson 2008 presidential campaign. He joined in June 2007 and jumped off the sinking ship in October. More recently, Warfield worked on Rick Scott’s successful Florida gubernatorial campaign, during which the candidate used the illegal immigration issue to savage primary opponent Bill McCullough. ...

Let's finish with Burka again.

The first thing Allbaugh ought to do is send Perry to Dallas to apologize for badmouthing W. all over the country.

Yeah, that oughta fix things right up.

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