EDITOR OF REDSTATE
Time to Fire Up the Ed Rollins Strategy
It is time for the Democrats to fire up the Ed Rollins strategy. Back in 1990, Ed Rollins, who earlier this year had served as Michele Bachmann’s campaign manager, ran the National Republican Congressional Committee. This was “read my lips” time and the country really felt betrayed by President George H. W. Bush.
Rollins took a gamble. He wrote a memo to GOP candidates in which he dared put in writing the famous sentence, “Do not hesitate to distance yourself from the President.” He’d already gone to war with Bush over reading a lie on Bush’s lips in the budget deal. This escalated things.
George Bush demanded House leaders fire Rollins until it leaked out that they had asked Ed Rollins to write the memo. The GOP went on to lose only 9 seats after many of them campaigned aggressively against Bush’s betrayal.
In April of 1991, Rollins resigned from the NRCC. George H. W. Bush had gone up to 90% approval after the Iraq War and it was payback time. Bush refused to campaign for House candidates as long as Rollins had a job. Bush went on to famously implode in polling and lose to Bill Clinton.
But Rollins leading the House GOP into an outright revolt against George Bush drastically mitigated their 1990 losses. The Democrats could not do that in 2010 because most people blamed Congressional Democrats, not Obama, for the national failings in that election. But now? Now the public is unemployed and angry. They are looking at the White House and see Obama playing golf.
It might be time for the Democrats to steal a page from Ed Rollins’ 1990 play book. And several signs point to this happening soon.