Your morning jolt: Staffing becomes an unwanted topic for Tim Pawlenty campaign

Anytime you see the staff become the topic in a political campaign, you know a candidate is in trouble.

Today, it’s the turn of GOP presidential wannabe Tim Pawlenty – and his Atlanta-based campaign manager, Nick Ayers.

The Huffington Post started the ball rolling last week with a few lines suggesting that Ayers, a twenty-something wunderkind who only a few years ago was a go-fer for Sonny Perdue, was ready to jump ship to the campaign of Texas Gov. Rick Perry. It was forcefully denied:

“That’s insane. That’s on the record,” said Pawlenty spokesman Alex Conant. Ayers laughed out loud when asked about the rumor and dismissed it out of hand.

On Monday, it was the turn of Matt Lewis and the conservative Daily Caller, with this harsh assessment:

If Mitt Romney was the most hated candidate among his 2008 GOP peers, Nick Ayers is probably the most hated among the political operative set — and for many of the same reasons: His self-promotion is utterly transparent — and his early successes have made him a target of jealous contemporaries.

As if Romney and Ayers had the only two egos in all of Iowa.

That said, Jennifer Rubin over at the Washington Post today has the proper feel for the situation:

What is clear is that Pawlenty’s campaign is in danger of losing any semblance of professionalism. It is taking on a frazzled, if not chaotic, aura. And that’s the last thing the campaign needs as it tries doggedly to make a respectable showing in Ames.

***
GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is in town today and Thursday.

He’ll start the morning off with a trip to the Genesis Shelter in Atlanta, which specializes in care for homeless infants and their families. Then it’s off to lunch with state GOP leaders.

A 1 p.m. session with volunteers sending phone calls into Iowa and New Hampshire will be capped with a session with local reporters. If you’re at the Pirates-Atlanta game tonight, look for the Pennsylvania-born Gingrich to be shaking a few hands there, too.

Thursday will include a date with Cartersville Rotarians – the noon topic is banking – and a few minutes touring a nearby cowboy art museum.

***
Attorney General Sam Olens on Tuesday threw out a few ideas on agriculture and immigration. From the Savannah Morning News:

What Georgia really needs, Olens said, is a guest worker program much like North Carolina’s, which provides fast, uncomplicated access to farmers who need help with crops.

Georgia’s procedures require farmers to understand and comply with 160 pages of regulations that most attorneys can’t follow. In North Carolina, farmers can go through co-ops that arrange for workers.

***
Where do they keep the detention hall for principals? From the Associated Press:

FORT VALLEY, Ga. — Documents show the teaching certification for Peach County High School’s principal was suspended for two weeks after he used school funds to support a fraternity brother’s campaign for a state fraternity office.

Georgia Professional Standards Commission documents show that Principal Bruce Mackey’s certification was suspended from April 26 to May 11. After the suspension, he returned as principal.

The commission documents show Mackey’s secretary issued a $100 check for the campaign at Mackey’s request last Aug. 24.

Mackey said Tuesday he does not see the donation as a personal benefit to a fraternity brother, but as consistent with donations the school makes to other civic organizations.

\

***
The AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at state Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers’ claim that “the state of Georgia is near the bottom among states for SAT scores and graduation rates.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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30 comments Add your comment

The Snark

July 27th, 2011
9:55 am

Who elected Sam Olens to be Commissioner of Agriculture? And where exactly are these supposed “160 pages of regulations”? It’s obvious that guy is just warming the Attorney General’s chair while he waits to run for Governor.

ByteMe

July 27th, 2011
9:56 am

Sam Olens is correct in his assessment, but why hasn’t our Department of Labor head mentioned any of this? Isn’t that his job?

Ol' Timer

July 27th, 2011
10:06 am

Looks like Pawlenty and Gingrich are just going through the motions, but can’t find their behinds with both hands.

I’m thinking the American people will finally have an epiphany and send Bachmann to the sidelines and then it’ll come down to a beauty contest between Perry and Romney.

Dang it’ll be tough trying to chose the purdiest from those two egoists.

yuzeyurbrane

July 27th, 2011
10:09 am

Topics:
1. Olens–I am not a big Olens fan but at least he has some ideas. Labor Secy. is just political hack and doesn’t know or care beans about his job. But we elected him.
2. Chip Rogers–he is accurate about stating statistics that reflect prob. but he is part of the prob. He has actively worked to gut rather than improve Ga.’s educ. system.

td

July 27th, 2011
10:15 am

Why is any school allowed to take tax payer funds and give them to any civic organization?

td

July 27th, 2011
10:17 am

The Snark

July 27th, 2011
9:55 am

More than likely Olens will be the next Governor of this state if Deal does not run for a second term.

double

July 27th, 2011
10:47 am

TD I think Ralston may want that job.Or go too DC.

Bill Smith

July 27th, 2011
10:55 am

Who will Sonny boy jump to now in his support for President. I predict Perry.

tom mitchell

July 27th, 2011
11:02 am

Sonny Perdue first endorsed Newt, and then jumped ship…next he went with Pawlenty…now he’s ditching that candidate and endorsing Rick Perry. He and his punk side-kick Nick Ayers haven’t been able to get it right since.

mb

July 27th, 2011
11:08 am

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

July 27th, 2011
11:16 am

I guess the GayOldPervert party needs pansies Perry and Romney as “fronts:” who can pretend closet-queen draft-dodger Bush and Cheney didn’t commit 9/11 better than a fake “man” cut from the same cloth?

Plan 9 From Outer Space

July 27th, 2011
11:24 am

Newt may end up being the default GOP candidate after all.

GO NEWT!!!

Road Scholar

July 27th, 2011
11:37 am

Olens is correct and within his responsibility as AG to suggest a guest worker policy. He’ll be responsible to try any case concerning illegals and the ga law. The only question I have is why wasn’t it a part of the original legislation? Why didn’t the legislators think out the ramifications and possible needs ?

Big Daddy

July 27th, 2011
11:47 am

Palin’s propaganda movies grosses $24,000. that thousands — not millions. And the deluded distributors, citing “intense demand,” send it to PPV and VOD. Yep, Palin is sure popular among mianstram/independent voters. another lesson in how not to let a few fanatics tail-wag the dog. which brings to how the tea-tards

clem

July 27th, 2011
11:53 am

get sonny to answer the phones

RGB

July 27th, 2011
12:17 pm

So a WaPo reporter I’ve never heard of thinks the Pawlenty campaign is “frazzled”.

Stop the presses……

I’ve heard Pawlenty has a budget plan though.

Atlanta87

July 27th, 2011
1:34 pm

Two peanuts walked into a bar, and … one was a-salted…

Atlanta87

July 27th, 2011
1:38 pm

These two strings walk up to a bar. The first string walks in and orders and the bartender throws him out and yells “I don’t serve strings in this bar. The other string ruffs himself up on the street and curls up and orders. The bartender shouts, “Hey, didn’t you hear what I told your buddy?”
The string says “Yeah.”
The bartender says, “aren’t you a string?”
The string says, “No, I’m a frayed knot…”

boots

July 27th, 2011
2:03 pm

The media’s attack on Michelle Bachman is alarming. Where are the journalistic standards and impartial attempt at truth? If the attacks on her and Palin were going on with candidates with “D” beside their names, it would be called a witchhunt. What a joke.

Btw, Newt – call it off. You are embarrassing yourself.

GaBlue

July 27th, 2011
2:38 pm

Why no Republi-LOV for Governor Pawlenty? He’s a common-sense, life-long Republican with a SOLID, impressive base of experience. He FINISHED his first term as Governor, and after that, a second! He didn’t ditch his responsibilities to go galavanting in search of cameras, close-ups, book tours, and controversy! He’s a solid, hard-working Republican who has demonstrated over two decades that he takes those responsibilities seriously.

So… why no LUV, y’all? What, he’s not cute? Not stylish enough? No sex appeal, 4-inch heels, or pencil skirt? He doesn’t brag about the number of pups he squeezed out? He doesn’t drive his RV around the country trying to differentiate what constitutes “real Americans” vs. Americans who are…. um… “less real?” What’s UP with that, Gopper faithful? Inquiring Dems want to know!

td

July 27th, 2011
2:50 pm

GaBlue

July 27th, 2011
2:38 pm

I sort of like Pawlenty for the reasons you stated but I do not know why. It is sort of like in the 2010 race for Governor of Georgia. I thought Eric Johnson was the best choice for the job but he did not even make the run off.

BTW: Why did the Dems choose Obama over Clinton? She was more qualified to hold the office than he was. Could it be for some of the same reasons?

RGB

July 27th, 2011
2:52 pm

I was in Home Depot a little while ago and asked the associate in the paint department if he had any deck stain. He told me that he did and that he also had a budget plan–which is two things more than the president.

Sam I Am

July 27th, 2011
3:13 pm

When Obama gets re-elected this place will finally be worth reading again. Palin gave him the win and Perry will give him a repeat.

GaBlue

July 27th, 2011
3:21 pm

td,

Yeah, I’m kind of feeling for the sane, rational Repubs I know whose party seems to have been hijacked by those preferring sensationalism over substance. Substance is boring, sure, but it’s what we need and should expect from our elected officials. We have plenty of other sources for glitz, glam, and inflammatory rhetoric. I have no problem considering the other side of an issue when it comes from a rational source. I’m big enough to admit I’ve been enlightened and have even changed positions on issues after listening to a reasonable, fact-supported “other side” argument. This partisan garbage –from both sides– is beyond getting old. It stinks, and needs to be chunked in the disposal, like, yesterday.

Regarding the 2008 Dem primary… That’s a tough question, td. Not because it’s tough to answer, but because the answers are tough to re-live. Since we’re being honest (and civil!), I’ll shoot straight: I have many strong mixed feelings. I voted for HRC in the primary because I believed she was not only the most qualified, but that she had the ‘nads to stand tough and do what needed to be done. (Save the sexist jokes, whoever is thinking them right now.) Who has handled more pressure of more varieties with more GRACE than she has? She’s the ultimate Catch-22, criticized for everything her husband did, for not being feminine enough, for being too feminine when she cried once, for not keeping her husband “at home” and for not leaving him… etc, her looks, her fashion, her voice, her body, her laugh, is she fake, is she too ambitious…, and a never-ending train of disgusting criticism that MALE candidates do not get. Meanwhile, the BHO handlers decided to play the “she’s a racist” card on her, when everyone knew it wasn’t true. I wonder if he chastized his people when they did that?

Flip side: Palin & Bachmann are demeaned on the other side of the same sexist coin. They’re hot, they’re submissive to their husbands, (uhhhh-huh), they crank pups and pray, they’re “real” women — (because they campaign all day in pencil skirts and 4-inch heels??? wha???) Two sides of the same ugly coin.

Why did BO take it over HC? It was close. It was VERY close. I guess it was his time. As always, I hoped for the best. Still do.

danny terrio

July 27th, 2011
3:25 pm

My sources tell me newt came in 3rd place at a wing eating contest in woodstock.

RGB

July 27th, 2011
3:29 pm

I spoke to a woman walking her dog on our street and asked if she had a veterinarian she could recommend.

She replied “yes I do. And I also have budget plan that would get our deficit under control….which is more than the president”.

Seems like everyone has a plan except Dear Leader.

pat tillman

July 27th, 2011
3:39 pm

bush lied, soldeirs died

RGB

July 27th, 2011
3:48 pm

AJC.com is running an AP front-page story:

U.S. facing nearly impossible choices

Analysis: Huge debt, aging population, high health-care costs, low taxes leave nation with little room to act.

No bias there.

After reading the story earlier in the day, the Obama-supporter-wife has a conversation with her husband that goes like this: “Why Jim, the AP story says our taxes are too low and the nation has little room to act. I want you to call our congressman right now and tell him he must agree to raise taxes…..on other people.”

Mary Davis

July 27th, 2011
3:54 pm

rgb- it’s time for you to schedula another high colonic.

double

July 28th, 2011
1:35 am

Where you been Will?