The Politico reports on the decision by Republican strategist and idea man Jim Pinkerton to join the Huckabee campaign:
Pinkerton was lured to the Huckabee team by Ed Rollins, the campaign’s national chairman. Both men are Massachusetts natives. In 1982 and 1983, Pinkerton worked for Rollins when he was President Ronald Reagan’s director of political affairs.
Rollins sold the job to him as a chance to help “restore the Reagan coalition,” Pinkerton recalled.
“I thought, ‘I’m not going to turn THAT down,’" he said.
Restore the Reagan coalition? It seems like it wasn't all that long ago that Rollins was saying that the Reagan coalition was gone, and that he was OK with it.
Oh wait -- it wasn't all that long ago (less than two weeks ago, to be precise):
“It’s gone,” said Ed Rollins, who once worked as President Reagan’s political director and recently became Mr. Huckabee’s national campaign chairman. “The breakup of what was the Reagan coalition — social conservatives, defense conservatives, antitax conservatives — it doesn’t mean a whole lot to people anymore.”
“It is a time for a whole new coalition — that is the key,” he said, adding that some part of the original triad might “go by the wayside.”
Does Pinkerton's statement represent a split within the campaign, or simply a new strategy. There were a lot of people angry with Rollins' comment; they may have decided to pay fealty to the heritage of the Republican party. After all, building a new coalition is hard and some folks might get angry about being left out.
Update: Dan Riehl points out that Rollins doesn't seem to be too popular with some people close to Huckebee and may in fact, be on the way out. (Follow the link through to the Prowler.)