By Max Pizarro | September 6th, 2011 - 1:09pm
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Campaign manager bow-out on Bachmann produces NJ echoes
Ed Rollins Credit: PBS

Ed Rollins, who served as campaign manager to Christie Todd Whitman's 1993 gubernatorial campaign, is undertaking a reduced role in the presidential campaign of U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), according to Politco.

 

Switching from campaign manager to senior campaign consultant, Rollins told Politco, "I wish I was 40 years old, but I'm not. I'm 68 years old, I had a stroke a year and a half ago. I'm worn out."

The much-sought-after Republican strategist helped get Whitman elected over incumbent Gov. Jim Florio, and sparked controversy in the aftermath when Time Magazine quoted Rollins on the campaign.

 

"We went into black churches and we basically said to ministers who had endorsed Florio, 'Do you have a special project?' And they said, 'We've already endorsed Florio.' We said, 'That's fine, don't get up on the Sunday pulpit and preach," read the Rollins quote. "We know you've endorsed him, but don't get up there and say it's your moral obligation that you go on Tuesday to vote for Jim Florio.'"

Rollins's bow-out came as national news reports show Bachmann floundering in the polls after the August entry into the presidential contest of Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Just after Perry's entrance and immediately following Bachmann's Ames Iowa Straw Poll victory, a Tea Party operative told PolitickerNJ.com that news was imminent regarding a New Jersey political operation for the Minnesota congresswoman.

But nothing has happened since as herky-jerky, back-channel communications emanate from would-be Bachmann backers.

"Waiting for news," the operative, speaking on condition of anonymity, told PolitickerNJ.com, referring to Bachmann's Washington, D.C., headquarters. 

Running as the self-proclaimed most vocal Tea Party-backed presidential candidate, Bachmann's underwhelming public show of support in the Garden State contrasts with fellow Tea Partier, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, (R-TX), who has grassroots supporters here connected via Facebook and with a headquarters in Hightstown. This week, the Paulites have at least two events scheduled: a fundraiser at the home of Ramapo economist Murray Sabrin, and a debate-watching party.

Sources say conservative GOP leader, state Sen. Mike Doherty, (R-23), of Oxford, leans Paul, while failed 6th Congressional Republican Tea Partier Anna Little appears to be in the Perry camp, according to Art Gallagher of More Monmouth Musings.

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"This is the only Tea Party group that endorsed Mitt Romney. These guys are the Vichy French of the Tea Party movement. They're the guys who say 'Viva la France,' and then you can't find them when the fighting starts. Come on." - GOP strategist Rick Shaftan, on the Independence Hall Tea Party group.

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