The GOP candidate lost two of her top aides over the weekend: Campaign manager Ed Rollins and his deputy, David Polyansky. Rollins will continue in a senior advisory role, and cited his health as the reason for his departure: “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…I want nothing but the best for [Bachmann], she’s a great candidate, I’ll continue to be there for her.” But maybe not the best candidate. Later, on an appearance on MSNBC, he said suggested that Rick Perry may be stealing much of Bachmann’s tea party thunder. He added:
“I think legitimately it’s a Romney-Perry race. 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.”
Polyansky, meanwhile, has no plans to stay on in any capacity. According to a Politico source, he’s leaving over “strategic differences on the path forward.” Other sources “familiar with the situation” predicted that the campaign, which has lost momentum of late, would lose additional employees in the next few weeks.
Rollins — a political veteran who had worked for Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Ross Perot, and Mike Huckabee — was credited by some with imposing discipline on her message and helping Bachmann to her remarkable success in Iowa. Bachmann, in a statement, referred to Rollins as the “architect” of the Iowa victory. She also said the turnover was “planned” and that Keith Nahigian, formerly a campaign strategist, will take over for Rollins.