Ron Paul and Karl Rove don’t mix.

Okay, this is about hiring the right people at the right time and how that is critical for Ron Paul.  But there is no way you will even comprehend what we are talking about unless you get caught up.  So, if you haven’t read the following posts, start with the first one.  If you are a veteran of this chain, skip the links below and dig right in.

Previous posts in this chain:

1.) Why he should run for president?

2.) But isn’t he too old?

3.) How Ron Paul Wins: The Iowa Straw Poll.

And now….. for your reading pleasure

4.) Immediately hire an inexpensive political advisor.

To win, Ron Paul has to hire the right people.  There are only 24 hours in a day and he cannot do it all.  Others have to think things through for him and present him with options.  And, of course, he cannot run his own campaign.  He will be too busy.  He needs help.

Well, you say, shouldn’t he hire his political advisor before he commits to wining the Iowa Straw Poll?  Isn’t hiring the first step? Answer? Nope.

In the first place, he has to decide about the Iowa Straw Poll right away because it affects the decision on whom he hires. He will want someone who agrees with the plan and who can bring something to the table to help make it work.  Finally, if the person he hires doesn’t see the Iowa Straw Poll as a no brainer, he shouldn’t hire him or her anyway.  So that is why I list the hiring of the political advisor after the ISP (Iowa Straw Poll) commitment.

Keep in mind, there are several kinds of hires Ron Paul may have to eventually make.  There is the big shot political pro who has run numerous presidential campaigns and will cost a fortune and will have a brother in law or girlfriend who will have to be allowed to get rich off of commissions selling the television advertising and there is the less expensive, worker bee, who will stay in the trenches and get things done.  The later is almost always a woman.  They are the only people who work in political campaigns.  And, shame oh shame, they are less expensive.

You say, well doesn’t Ron Paul need to get the very best? A real professional?  Not now.  That’s like walking into PricewaterhouseCoopers and asking them to do your taxes.  And they say, “Okay, well put together a list of all your donations for the year and medical expenses and make sure you have receipts and cancelled checks for them, and travel for business, with the boarding passes if you can….”

And you say, “Whooooa.  Wait a minute, hold on.  That’s why I am hiring you.  YOU… do my taxes.  I will pay you to do all that.”

The point is, you really don’t want to be paying $600 an hour for someone to be ransacking your house looking for cancelled checks.  “Do you keep them in this drawer maybe?”

As odious as it may be, there are some things you have to do yourself and you can do it in thirty minutes instead of three weeks.  And if you can’t, you hire someone at $15 an hour to do it in three weeks, not the fellow from PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Ron Paul needs someone like Sydney Hay, who just lost her congressional run in Arizona, but who has experience running presidential campaigns.  At this stage of the game she is more important than the big shot political advisor with the national name.  Why?  Because she knows more.  She ran Alan Keyes presidential campaign which had to operate on a shoestring, which means she did the FEC filings herself at a kitchen table over days and nights of sleepless work.  She got him registered in every state, in spite of the complex, arcane state party rules designed to keep pretenders off the ballot.  And like any pol, she brings something to the table, in this case the whole Right to Life movement in Iowa.

Big shots don’t know how to file FEC financial reports.  Karl Rove wouldn’t know.  James Carville wouldn’t know.  Charlie Black wouldn’t know.  They outsource that sort of thing to specialists.  They just know how to bluster, “You better be doing this right.  That’s all I’ve got to say. Harrumph.”

So with Sydney, or someone like her, and by the way, I haven’t talked to Sydney about this, you get someone who is a generalist, a rare breed, someone who knows a little about all of it and a lot about some of it.  This is critical.  Because everyone else on staff are specialists.  One is pulling you to this constituency and a second is pulling you to another.  One worker says you have to do a fundraiser tonight, another says you have to have a private dinner with the State Chairman.  Yet another says you have debate practice.  Only the candidate and the generalist know enough to make the call.

Right now, he needs an economical, reasonably priced political advisor with experience in Iowa and the whole national scene, so he or she can prioritize with the congressman.  It is a good hire until you break into the national spotlight and hire your prima donna, famous, celebrity advisor, who gives you credibility, makes a lot of noise as a surrogate on television, raises you some money, makes a few good calls and some bad ones and drains your pocket book.  You want him, yeah okay, or her.  You just don’t want him or her now.  He is not only not worth it, he can do more harm than good at this stage.  First get your act together, find your receipts and then go to PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Well, you say, but Sydney Hay ran the Alan Keyes campaign and he lost.

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. 

I hate to tell you this but they have all lost.  Anyone you hire with experience has lost.  The only political advisors who have won are Rahm Emmanuel and David Axelrod, both headed for the White House, Karl Rove who is under contract with FOX and a major publisher, Ed Rollins who won Reagan’s re-election (Ho hum,) and lost Huckabee’s bid in South Carolina, James Carville and Paul Begala who are Democrats.  And even these geniuses have all lost, it’s just that they once won a big one, which makes them all high priced.

The big shot whom Ron Paul eventually hires will also be a loser.  That’s not so bad.  The all lose before winning.  They don’t lose on purpose.  They try.  And eventually some of them win.

But sometimes, those early, less expensive hires, bond with the candidate, learn while they are on the job and become national names.  All of the biggies started small at one time.

Finally, you don’t want someone who is only Iowa.  You need someone who has done it national.  And there aren’t very many.

I once quizzed Jimmy Carter about his race to the White House and what he had that no one else did.  He mentioned Iowa, of course, how he came to the state with a 2% name recognition.  And then he said that the difference between him and the other campaigns is that he had a national plan.  He had several alternate scenarios of how he could win it all, while the others were taking it one state at a time.

So I am not suggesting that Ron Paul not have the national plan.  I am just saying that if he finishes fifth in the Iowa Straw Poll in the summer of 2011, he is out, no matter how good his national plan may be on paper.  But if he wins….. or even threatens, look out.  All hell will break lose.  And he better have a plan ready to go all the way.

So he needs both.  He needs a national plan tucked away somewhere, drawn up by a generalist and he needs to focus on the next football game as if nothing else matters.  And the next football game, the big one, the only game, is the Iowa Straw Poll in August of 2011.


Published by Doug Wead

Doug Wead is a New York Times bestselling author whose latest book, Game of Thorns, is about the Trump-Clinton 2016 election. He served as an adviser to two American presidents and was a special assistant to the president in the George H.W. Bush White House.

10 thoughts on “Ron Paul and Karl Rove don’t mix.

  1. This is much more fun than talking about the outgoing Bush or the incoming Obama. They are just more of the same, while Paul is a breath of freshly needed air.

    I like the fact that Sydney Hay worked with Alan Keyes. Any guess why Michael Medved downplays Chuck Baldwin, Alan Keyes, and Ron Paul so often? He also gets very angry about the mention of a 3rd party candidate? Not that Ron Paul would be a 3rd party candidate, but people like to paint him with that brush.

  2. I certainly agree that Ron Paul and Karl Rove don’t mix. Paul is a man of honor, but Rove doesn’t even know what the word means. Paul was an athletic champion as a young man, and Rove looks like the kind of person who is getting revenge because of all the abuse he took as a child. That all said, I still believe that Paul has the brains, but not the personality, to be President.

  3. The trick is this all seems to hinge on the idea that Ron Paul will become a media darling if he wins the Iowa Straw poll. That’s a big turnabout from being blacklisted from the NYT primary results (when he was besting others whom they listed).

    If the thesis is that he won’t be seen as a threat to Obama, then the corollary must be that last year he was seen as a threat to Obama (and maybe Clinton?) to need to be blacklisted.

    If that’s so, then the obvious difference this time around is that Obama is incumbent. So his incumbency has to be so strong that Ron Paul won’t be seen as a threat, which leads to the obvious question:

    If come the Iowa straw poll Obama has really bombed, won’t the media then see any challenger as a real threat, especially Paul?

    So we have to further assume that Obama will be doing a good job for a few years such that Ron Paul’s win will merit more than a fleeting obligatory mention in the evening edition.

    I’ve never seen a political candidate more ostracized and demeaned in the popular media than Ron Paul (at least Dan Quayle got coverage). For the media owners it’s good business sense to keep Ron Paul out in the cold, they stand to lose considerably from his election, but nonetheless it seems like too large a problem to bet on optimism.

  4. Doug – There are some problems with your strategy:

    1. The ISP’s Diebold OCR machines, apart from general reliability, were proven easily and quickly hackable and they also have wireless card slots for remote operation.

    2. Are the OCR machines’ paper ballot bays empty when the voting commences?

    3. Are the bays stuffed after the voting ends?

    4. Do items 1-3 matter anyway give that the ISP is a private GOP fundraising affair? The GOP can “count” the votes in secret after the vote; i.e., make up numbers.

    There is one solution: IA needs legislation to jettison these machines in favor of manually-counted paper ballots counted in PUBLIC on streaming internet coverage. Failing that, there must be a better-managed effort at securing affidavits signed by each and every person who voted for Ron Paul, as a parallel voting system to shadow the ISP’s results. Bob Schultz of We the People still appears pissed off at Ron for the fact that his campaign staff stifled his (Bob’s) affidavit efforts from the last ISP, so he may be out of the picture.

  5. Great blog series! This installment leads to the question of whether or not you’d be interested in the grand strategy for Ron Paul’s 2012 campaign. Keep up the great work.

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