The XX Factor

The Palin Principle Now Extends to Bachmann’s Old Campaign Manager

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

What I’m calling the Palin Principle is now blindingly clear: No matter how unqualifed you are for office, if you run for President or Vice President on the GOP ticket and make a splash, it’s a hop, skip and a jump to cable glory and scads of money. In about a year after she ankled the governorship of Alaska, Palin was able to earn $12 million. In one of his Savage Love podcasts from earlier this year, Dan Savage commented that his nemesis, GOP hopeful Rick Santorum, was not really running for office—he was running for a quality contract with Fox News. And now it seems like the Palin Principle is so powerful that you don’t even have to go through the trouble of running for office to enjoy the benefits: Michele Bachmann’s erstwhile campaign manager Ed Rollins is using his former role to make appearances on MSNBC in which he criticizes Bachmann for a variety of missteps. According to the New York Times:

Since stepping aside Sept. 5, he has given television interviews in which he declares his personal fondness for her but offers withering comments. On MSNBC, he called her vaccine-mental retardation comments a “mistake,” something Mrs. Bachmann has not conceded; and on another occasion he averred that she lacked “the ability or the resources” to continue her campaign beyond Iowa.

Nothing Rollins says is incorrect—saying it doesn’t look presidential for Bachmann to be hanging out in meat lockers and decrying her HPV vaccine idiocy is completely reasonable—but it’s pretty slimy to start negging your former employer before her campaign is even cold. I guess sour grapes taste excellent under bright studio lights.