News came out this week that political operative Gentry Collins will be the RNC’s new Political Director. As mentioned on this site, this may be a sign to the nation Iowa is keeping its first in the nation status. This is also a sign by Steele he knows talent when he sees it.
Gentry has worked on numerous campaigns, including most recently McCain’s and Romney’s. Now those two candidates would never be on my resume and usually I don’t support a move to reinstate staffers of failed candidates…especially in high positions such as RNC’s Political Director. But, Gentry is good. In every campaign he has run, the ground game has been top notch. Let’s look at Romney’s campaign as an example.
Romney had all the money and most of the great staff. He came in to Iowa early and redistributed his wealth more than any other candidate to date. Romney had masses of people (not necessarily supporters) at his events – turn out couldn’t have been better. Their message was good and their marketing was even better. All of this managed by Gentry. The problem? Romney is/was a moderate. You can’t win in Iowa with a moderate.
Now let’s look at the Gross campaign. Once again, a very well run campaign. At the time, we didn’t realize Gross was a moderate – an unabashed one now. He ran in the primary as a conservative who could win. Unfortunately most believed him. I don’t know that the Gross campaign can be considered a model of how to run all campaigns but you won’t find too many people blaming Gentry for the loss. Gross is just not the most electable Des Moines lawyer candidate.
So is Gentry a rock-ribbed conservative? Apparently not as much as I am because there is no way I’d ever work for a McCain campaign. But is he a very good political strategist? Damn right and we should all be thrilled he is the RNC Political Director.
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