Ed Gillespie Joins George Allen’s Team

Hotline reports thatformer GOP chair Ed Gillespie has signed on as George Allen’s money guy.

Ed Gillespie, one of the most well-respected, most well-connected Republicans in Washington — he’s the RNC chair once removed — has signed on to be the treasurer of Sen. George Allen‘s political action committee, Good Government for America. “I am a big fan of Sen. Allen’s,” Gillespie, a fellow Virginian, said in a brief interview. “I’m proud that he’s my Senator.”

The papers were signed last week; the PAC’s former treasurer retired in December. Associates say Allen broached the idea several months ago. Gillespie was receptive, though he could not commit to outside political work because he was helping the White House get John Roberts’ through the Senate. When Gillespie returned to his government affairs practice in the fall, he told Allen he’d love to help.

Allen will spend his ’06 raising money for his Senate re-election campaign. But to keep his options open for 2008, he’d need a firm hand to manage the financial affairs of his leadership PAC and help develop a larger network of donors. “I told him I wanted to do anything I do to help him,” says Gillespie. “He told me that he’s not going to be able to focus on his PAC, so I said I would become its treasurer until the end of the cycle.”

Allen is my senator as well and a good one. He is being talked up quite a bit as a presidential candidate and certainly has the credentials: A sitting senator who has been a large state governor and a House Member. He’s sufficiently Southern and conservative to get enthusiastic support of the base but sufficiently moderate to appeal to swing voters.

That Gillespie has signed on is a good indication that seasoned pros think Allen has a shot. The names most often touted for the 2008 nomination are John McCain, Rudi Guiliani, and Condi Rice. My bet is that the last two won’t run. McCain has been running in all but name for years. Allen would have difficulty competing with McCain for media attention and money but he may well be more attractive to the Republican nominating electorate.

via Kevin Drum

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. legion says:

    I don’t have much opinion on Allen one way or the other just yet, but it’s a sign of the times that getting a good fundraiser on your committee is a sign that he might be a viable candidate, rather than, say, the person’s own views or qualifications…

  2. James Joyner says:

    legion: I’d say that getting a first rate fundraiser aboard is a proxy for a lot of things. Basically, it’s an objective measure that political pros think a candidate is viable. An Ed Gillespie isn’t going to sign on with a surefire loser, since he’d much rather be on the winning team.

  3. legion says:

    Oh yeah…
    I’m a Democrat, y’see, so I’m used to seeing our biggest names hooked up with the most _in_competent campaign managers. Like Bob ‘shutout’ Shrum, et al… 🙂