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Citing Frustration With Strategy, Bachmann’s Paid N.H. Staff Quits

Filed by KOSU News in Politics.
October 21, 2011

Rep. Michele Bachmann’s paid New Hampshire staff quit Friday, according to a report by James Pindell, political director at WMUR-TV.

It’s not that the staffers, a half dozen or so, had soured on the Minnesota congresswoman, Pindell told NPR, it’s that her campaign has pretty much ignored New Hampshire since her visit to the state in late June to kick off her candidacy.

“If you’re sitting in New Hampshire, you’re thinking, ‘what am I doing,’ ” Pindell said, referring to the candidate’s staff.

“The final straw was last week when she came up for the Dartmouth debate, and there were tensions with the staff and with what’s going on with the campaign,” he said. “It was not her, and not a lack of confidence in her.”

Bachmann has made clear in recent weeks that her struggling campaign for the Republican nomination runs through Iowa, where her win in last summer’s straw poll has so far proved to be the high point of her effort.

Iowa holds the primary season’s first contest, caucuses that are scheduled for Jan. 3; New Hampshire is traditionally the first primary contest state. It has not yet set its primary date.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has been the GOP presidential frontrunner in New Hampshire since 2010, Pindell said. But the answer to “who’s in second?” has ranged from former New York Mayor Rudy Giulian (who declined to enter the race), to Texas Rep. Ron Paul, to Bachmann, and to former pizza company CEO Herman Cain.

There was a period from late May to June when [Bachmann] was hot, Pindell says, and she had pretty much solidified the Tea Party constituency in New Hampshire, such as it is.

The WMUR Granite State Poll in July had her support at 12 percent; two weeks ago, a new Granite State Poll showed her support at 2 percent.

“She’s all but given up here,” he said.

At least one of Bachmann’s staffers will join Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s presidential campaign staff, Pindell reports.

Pindell’s story is behind pay wall here. [Copyright 2011 National Public Radio]

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