Thompson Could Scoop Up Fired McCain Aides
Fred Thompson may hire a large number of the campaign staffers fired by John McCain last week, reports Russell Berman speculates in the New York Sun.
While there is no evidence of an outright pillaging of Mr. McCain’s departed aides, Republican sources in those states say Mr. Thompson’s emerging campaign is the likeliest landing spot. Aside from Mr. Thompson’s obvious need for staff — assuming he enters the race — the two are closely aligned ideologically, and Mr. Thompson even endorsed Mr. McCain when he sought the White House in 2000.
Aides to Mitt Romney say the former Massachusetts governor has already filled his paid staffing positions in Iowa and New Hampshire, and while Mayor Giuliani is still hiring, his campaign said they have not yet signed any of Mr. McCain’s former staffers. “I think a staff person working for McCain would be comfortable working for Thompson, as opposed to Rudy,” an unaffiliated Republican consultant in Iowa, Robert Haus, said.
Michelle Malkin thinks it would be a mistake for Thompson to pick up “McCain’s leftovers” and remind the grass roots just how similar he is to McCain. Ed Morrissey, though, notes that a lack of organization seems to be Thompson’s key weakness and that this would be a way to get up to speed in a hurry.
Ed’s instinct strikes me as correct. It’s not as if the other campaigns aren’t going to point out Thompson’s negatives and campaign staffers are largely invisible to the public, anyway. Thompson is getting into the race late and he has a reputation for being a rather lazy campaigner. Picking up McCain’s people — who are surely among the best in the business, the apparent implosion of his candidacy notwithstanding — would seem to have little downside, essentially taking advantage of the former frontrunner’s efforts without having to invest the time, effort, and resources.