This is a follow-up to my post yesterday, Michele Bachmann’s First Big Mistake – Hiring Ed Rollins, regarding Rollins out-of-the-gate attacks on Sarah Palin:
Hiring Rollins is an enormous mistake for Bachmann. It could be campaign killing. The people who hate Palin are the same people who hate Bachmann, and no amount of trashing of Palin by Rollins will change that. Bachmann needs to focus on building, not tearing down.
The profound mistake Bachmann made by bringing Ed Rollins on board cannot be overstated.. (Several commentators to my prior post think Bachmann is a stalking horse, but I’ll prefer to call the Rollins hire a simple mistake.)
Salon.com gets it right, Rollins is instigating a fight which is damaging to each candidate and the Republican Party:
For weeks commentators have tried to set up Tea Party darlings Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin, both of whom may end up launching presidential bids, in opposition. Both women have, however, fought the catfight narrative. Bachmann, for example, told “Good Morning America” last week, “I like Sarah Palin a lot, we’re friends.”
But that was before Ed Rollins, Bachmann’s new campaign manager with a checkered path of dirty and aggressive tactics, entered the scene.
Bachmann and her supporters are kidding themselves if they think bashing Palin will immunize Bachman from the treatment. The mocking of Bachmann started long ago, but now will kick into full gear. They will portray every slip of the tongue or error by Bachmann as reflective of a lack of intelligence and wingnuttia.
Witness TPM’s article about Bachman’s hire of Rollins:
Of course, this has often lead to some amusing off-the-cuff fumbles. She once told a conservative rally at the Capitol: “It’s the charge of the light brigade!” (The Light Brigade lost) She also misplaced the historic Revolutionary War towns of Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts, into New Hampshire. And in an infamous House speech, she blamed Franklin Roosevelt for something call the “Hoot-Smalley” tariffs.
But at the end of the day, the same qualities that often lead Bachmann to the edge of rhetorical cliffs, are the same that ignite fervor among her base in the far right wing of the GOP.
A successful career and lifetime of achievement is turned into a caricature based on a handful of misstatements or mistakes. That’s what Rollins is doing to Palin, and it’s what will be done by others to Bachmann.
Michele Bachmann has a chance to carve out a successful insurgency campaign by uniting the non-establishment base of the party, particularly if Palin does not run. Bachmann’s chance will disappear quickly if Ed Rollins’ smash-mouth tactics towards Sarah Palin continue much longer.
Update: Nice job Ed (h/t commenter Viator), is this how you wanted to launch your campaign, Michele?
(added) and this:
Rollins has put Bachmann in a horrible position. If she sticks with him, she damages if not completely destroys her campaign; if she reverses the error and lets him go, she’ll be portrayed as having caved in to Palin’s supporters and Rollins will use it as a launching pad on the TV circuit to bash Palin some more.
It was a bad hire, Michele. For your own sake, don’t let him move in his furniture.
And, lie down with Ed Rollins, this is what you get thrown back in your face:
“Michele Bachmann obviously is a member of Congress and a representative of the tea party,” Rollins told CNN viewers [in January 2011]. “But at the end of the day, we have to get our serious players out front and talking about the things that matter to be the alternative to the president and Democrats.”