Palin, Bachmann Camps Feud Over Who Gets To Be Defined As A 'Serious' Candidate
Surrogates from the camps of Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin have been a-feudin' this week, because newly-minted Bachmann consigliere Ed Rollins went on the radio and said that Palin "has not been serious over the last couple of years." Which, relative to Bachmann, who has an actual job in politics and is mounting a presidential campaign, is fairly objectively true. But Rollins caught flak for the statement, and yesterday, did one of those limited walk-backs where he apologized for overstepping while simultaneously scoffing at the Palinistas' demand for a "retraction."
Of course, Rollins has been working pretty hard this pre-primary season, primarily on building a campaign infrastructure for Mike Huckabee. Huckabee declined to take Rollins up on the offer, so now he's trying to seamlessly plug Bachmann into the "campaign-in-waiting" he'd already built. So, from Rollins' perspective, is Bachmann a more serious candidate? Sure! After all, she hired Ed Rollins! The folks at First Read basically agree with this:
Michele Bachmann's emerging campaign team took a shot at Sarah Palin, with new strategist Ed Rollins criticizing her for not being serious. "But the most significant thing about Bachmann's hiring of Rollins is that it should end -- once and for all -- the simplistic/conventional Acela Corridor analysis that always puts her in the same space with Palin. The fact is, Bachmann went out of her comfort zone and hired a top Republican strategist. Palin hasn't, and she probably wouldn't ever do that.
In fact, it's not just that Palin "probably wouldn't ever do that." Palin's going to have a hard time attracting a "top Republican strategist" even if that's what she wanted. Let's recall that in "Going Rogue," Palin went out of her way to torch McCain campaign consultants Steve Schmidt and Nicolle Wallace. So if you were a top strategist, why would you sign up with Palin, knowing that she's got a big bus under which to throw you? Well, you wouldn't. As such, that's going to be a limiting factor to Palin's "seriousness" as well.
But who was the last person Rollins deemed to be unserious? Why, it was Michele Bachmann. That could prove to be somewhat nettlesome.