Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Fred Snags A Big Fish

Captain Ed Morrissey gets the nod.

Both the WaPo's political blog and the AP have the story.

From the WaPo:

Fred Thompson tapped another veteran of the Reagan era to manage his soon-to-be-announced presidential campaign today, naming former Reagan aide Bill Lacy to replace the top adviser Thompson moved aside last month.

Lacy was a low-level campaign operative for Reagan in 1980 and later served in the White House. He also helped in Thompson's 1994 Senate bid and advised former GOP presidential candidate Bob Dole in 1996. He replaces Tom Collamore, a former executive for Altria, the parent company of tobacco giant Philip Morris.

The announcement from Thompson Wednesday took pains to avoid calling Lacy a "campaign manager," instead using the term "committee manager." In a statement, Thompson said Lacy will have "full operational control" and will report directly to him.

Lacy's appointment is an attempt to repair the damage from Collamore's departure, which prompted several other resignations. It's also a recognition that even before Thompson's official announcement, which is expected in early September, things have not been going smoothly.

From the AP:

Fred Thompson on Wednesday tapped the man he credits with saving his 1994 Senate campaign to take over his likely presidential bid.

Bill Lacy, a former strategist for Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and Republican National Committee, will run day-to-day operations of Thompson's committee to "test the waters" for a presidential run.

"He turned around my campaign for Senate in 1994 and, as I move toward a decision on whether to run for president, I am confident he will take our operations to the next level," Thompson, the former Tennessee senator and "Law & Order" actor, said in a statement.

"I'm here for the long haul," Lacy said in an interview from the committee's headquarters in a Virginia suburb. He said he has taken a leave of absence from his current post as the director of the Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kan.

Thompson is expected to officially enter the race Labor Day week, and is showing strongly in national polls and surveys in several early primary states. But a certain measure of turmoil has hit his preliminary campaign this summer.

The all-but-declared candidate collected about $1.5 million less than the $5 million backers had hoped to bring in during June, his first fundraising month. In July, Thompson sidelined his campaign-manager-in-waiting, Tom Collamore, and watched a few other aides follow him out the door amid consternation inside the operation about the active role of Thompson's wife, Jeri.

I would very much like to clear up the misnomer that the media has been fomenting: Tom Collamore was never going to be the guy to run the Thompson campaign. He lacks the skills, the talent, the experience, and the clue as to what a national campaign entails.

Lacy does, and this is a coup for Fred. Yes, he helped Thompson back in 1994, but what's more important if the fact that Lacy has been here before. He has worked for the RNC. He has helped Bob Dole in '88, '92, and '96. He served as a consultant/strategist for President George H.W. Bush. He has what it will take to run a national campaign.

Much of the Collamore hullabaloo came on the heels of the reports that Jeri Thompson dived into the campaign itself, and Collamore might have been pushed out. No might about it. He was. He was told he did not have the credentials to run this campaign. Speculation abounded as to whether or not Mrs. Thompson would take up the mantel, but we knew better. It doesn't suit her. A candidate's wife may have input int he campaign, but she does not run it.

The acquisition of Lacy is a coup. Rudy has a few Reagan people in his campaign, as well. The mantle of being the "next Reagan" is integral not only to the candidates, but the base, too. The base can recognize and relate to Ronald Reagan; a president considered by many to be the greatest and most beloved president of the 20th Century. I know we hold him in high regard. But ultimately, it is not the campaign staff we are voting for. It is the man. And Fred Thompson has made a brilliant move by bringing Bill Lacy on board.



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