Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Rep. Michelle Bachmann's Presidential Aspirations Going Down In Flames

You know your campaign is toast when your own political consultants are jumping ship saying that you're a third-rate candidate.

Your career-warning light is now flashing in the red Rep. Bachmann. Ed Rollins has health issues, which is the basic reason that he's leaving the campaign, but Rollins' deputy is also quitting, and that leaves a vacuum at the top.
Citing health reasons, veteran GOP strategist Ed Rollins stepped down as campaign manager. Bachmann said one of her strategists would take over on an interim basis as Rollins moves to a senior adviser role.

"In less than 50 days and with fewer resources than other campaigns, Ed was the architect that led our campaign to a historic victory in Iowa," Bachmann said in a statement released late Monday, pointing to her win in the Ames Straw Poll last month.

"I am grateful for his guidance and leadership, and fortunate to retain his valuable advice even though his health no longer permits him to oversee the day-to-day operations of the campaign," she added.
Video: Meet the Candidate: Michele Bachmann (on this page)

Speaking to CNN, where he was a contributor before the Bachmann campaign, the 68-year-old Rollins said the front-runners were now former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

He said Perry's late entry into the race slowed Bachmann's buzz and fundraising.

"I think legitimately it's a Romney-Perry race," he said. "I think she's the third candidate at this point in time — which is way different and better than we'd thought when we started this thing — and she's very much in this thing."

'Great affection for her'
Rollins, who suffered a stroke a year and a half ago, said his plan had been to put together a team and get through the Iowa straw poll and then make a transition.

"I have great affection for her. I'll do everything I can to help her. It's still very much the team I put in place. I just don't have the endurance to go 12-, 14-hour days seven days a week anymore," he said.

Rollins' departure as campaign chief was first reported by Politico.

His deputy, David Polyansky, who worked with him when they ran former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's presidential bid in 2008, also planned to step aside, Rollins told CNN.

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