Brawling with the Bible

As Huckabee’s ambitions expand, he’s hired Ed Rollins to manage his campaign.

Since 1995, Rollins campaigns are designed around religion. “The action is now with the religious conservatives. Give me a choice between someone offering to hold a fundraiser and a preacher with a churchful of 1,000 activists, and I’ll take the preacher anytime.”

Incidentally candidate Mike Huckabee told the Christian Broadcasting Network he had a theology degree, he told voters in Iowa he had a theology degree, he repeated the claim in last month’s CNN YouTube debate … but, his campaign now says, it was not true.

Huckabee's Ed RollinsEd Rollins is a pollster and political consultant who became known during the 1984 Ronald Reagan George Bush campaign and later as Campaign Manager of Ross Perot’s failed 1992 campaign. As well, Rollins managed the failed campaigns of Michael Huffington and Jack Kemp [link].

Rollins has also been paid by Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.

Many many times Rollins has been paid to talk on television.

While switching the Republican Party to the far right during the 1970s, Lyn Nofziger and Ronald Reagan found and tutored Ed Rollins. His top lift at the Whitehouse was Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff for Political and Governmental Affairs. His earlier steps were in the National Fire Academy and as Assistant to the Speaker of the California State Assembly.

Today, Rollins remains connected to the White House, perhaps to Karl Rove’s ‘Black Bag Unit’. But Rollins can bully his peers. Saying that BushCo has lost their touch, he told Lou Dobbs that the entire Bush administration is inept. “Every week it’s something that just reinforces the message that these guys don’t know what they’re doing. They’re incompetent.” Rollins is at best lukewarm about Bush’s deteriorating relations: “There are Republicans defecting from him now. He’s not going to have any great success on anything that’s controversial.”

The Justice Department and the Federal Election Commission are watching Ed Rollins as he maneuvers petitions that will rig California’s Electoral College to favor Republican candidates for president. [link]

Ed Rollins has been taken to court for breaking election law.

Rollins gathered votes by distributing ‘walking around’ money to inner cities and African-American pastors. Ministers who cooperated, Rollins said, received contributions to their “favorite charities.”

As a result, Rollins said, “I think, to a certain extent, we suppressed their vote.”

He defended himself declaring his tricks were “no more than part of a psychological warfare game.”

Advising her campaign, Ed Rollins repeated his conversation with Katherine Harris, infamous while defending Florida’s voting procedures, when she told him: “God wants me to be senator.” [link] While investigating Katherine Harris’ dealings with admitted briber Mitchell Wade, Justice Department lawyers and FBI agents spent considerable time investigating Ed Rollins as well. [link]

Ed Rollins works to select candidates. He recently warned Oklahoma’s governor to raise $200 million if he seriously wanted to be President. Who is the governor of Oklahoma? Why would Frank Keating seek the Presidency? They say if younger Bush hadn’t chosen Dick Cheney there would have been a Bush-Keating ticket. As if armed with Cheney’s rifle, Governor Keating at Oral Roberts University grinned and said “homicide” would be his best way to deal with an Oklahoma education union. [link]

Ed Rollins follows the money. While others were searching for Ferdinand Marcos’ illegally tranched $10 million in cash set aside for Ronald Reagan’s 1984 campaign, Rollins easily revealed it was stashed “in some offshore bank”.

Ed Rollins knows Washington. For example, he’s successfully informed Charlie Rose:

“The use of prostitutes and what`s occurred in Washington that I think everyone`s disgusted at, is we promised we were going to be different than the Democrats; we weren`t going to basically be beholden to K Street, we were going to be term limits and we weren`t going to be the big PACs and all the rest of it. That`s all gone by the boards, and if anything we may even be worse.

“In order to be a chairman of a committee today, you have to go raise millions and millions of dollars to be able to dole out. Not that there`s competitive races, but that`s part of the process. So we have — let me just finish — we have created a culture in which a whole bunch of people have taken a whole bunch of money….”

Ed Rollins is a self-described “bare knuckles” brawler. For Huckabee, Rollins said, “We are going to be full bore here.”

While Huckabee jokes about his lack of foreign policy experience, hiring ‘Bare Knuckles Rollins’ reflects Huckabee’s fighting global vision:

“My administration will recognize that the United States’ main fight today does not pit us against the world but pits the world against the terrorists.”

Ed Rollins said, “You can fool all the people all the time if the advertising budget is big enough.” [link]

Yet Ed Rollins may not be entirely happy with his new contract, saying it’s “the only campaign I’ve been in with no doughnuts and no booze.”