The window is closing for an effective, public shake up of the Perry campaign. What should have happened in the last 48 hours stretches on to the weekend news cycle.I’m a firm believer that the shake up needs to be public and fill the campaign with new blood at the top of the campaign. I have no doubt the campaign hesitates because it only has two weeks. But in that two weeks it must convince South Carolina that there has been a true turnover recommitting Perry to victory.One of the issues that I keep running into is my suggestion that the Perry campaign let Joe Allbaugh go. Joe is, objectively, credited with turning the campaign around. Lots of people both inside and outside the campaign say Joe is the man who saved it from being even worse.I don’t disagree with that at all. But I also know there are as many people internally and externally who disagree. And I am afraid that because the campaign broke into factions if one faction is removed completely and the other left to stay, we’ll spend the next two weeks not having “Perry reboot” stories, but insider accounts of what went wrong.
I hate to suggest throwing a guy under the bus who many people cite as the savior of the campaign, but something needs to happen. A few weeks ago I questioned whether Allbaugh was being purposed right in the campaign. He is a genius when it comes to crisis management and response. He puts out fires better than anyone. He excels at reacting to events and dealing with them decisively.But the Perry camp needs someone proactive, not just reactive and it is unfair to ask Allbaugh to do both. I don’t think he can. And the criticisms of Allbaugh may very well stem from him having to be both the reactive crisis manager and the proactive political director of sorts. If Allbaugh stays, the Perry campaign needs to rapidly supplement him with a proactive political director who can call the shots moving forward and rely on Joe to make sure the crises that will crop up get responded to while the political director keeps moving the campaign forward.The Perry campaign missed the Virginia ballot.It underperformed polling in Iowa. A good campaign can come in higher than polling based on ground game. A mediocre campaign stays even with polling. A bad campaign’s ground game underperforms polling and Perry’s campaign was a bad campaign.There needs to be a real and visible shake up if anyone in South Carolina is going to be expected to take him seriously. With or without Joe Allbaugh it is possible, but only if it is really visible with some more concretely defined roles between the proactive and the reactive sides of the campaign.There are two weeks and the campaign needs itself fixed before the news cycle turns over Monday morning, which means there needs to be a plan in place today.