Friday, December 14, 2007

Message to Huckabee after Hiring Rollins: Watch your Back

With the hiring of campaign manager Ed Rollins, the campaign of Mike Huckabee is claiming that the consultant's stature confirms the former Baptist minister's seriousness as a candidate. However, it is notable that Mr. Rollins' bio continues to emphasize his work for Ronald Reagan. While I would not diminish Mr. Rollins' role in leading the Reagan campaign in 1984, when your primary career achievement occurred over 20 years ago, one wonders about what has happened since then.

What has happened since then is not terribly encouraging for Mr. Huckabee. His new campaign manager has supported a string of losing campaigns, including Jack Kemp in 1988 and Ross Perot in 1992, and has shown a penchant for throwing former clients under the bus. Thus, after working for Christine Todd Whitman in 1993, he claimed to have paid off black ministers to suppress the black vote. After he learned that such an admission could result in a criminal charge, he quickly resorted to the defense that he was a liar, but not a crook. He made it up. After working for Michael Huffington in 1994, he wrote a book complaining that his client, and his wife, were unprincipled and unscrupulous. And, after quitting the campaign of Kathleen Harris, he criticized her for failing to follow advice.

Undoubtedly, some of those criticisms of his clients were valid. Still, who wants to hire a consultant who later publicly demeans you in that way?

Thus, one might offer Mr. Huckabee some advice: once the dust clears from your losing campaign, watch your back.

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