Today the New Hampshire staffers who quit Michele Bachmann's campaign en masse last week issued a lengthy statement in which they suggest that shockingly, the campaign's troubles go beyond Michele Bachmann and her shaky grasp on facts.
The staffers, who didn't sign their names, say that their issue is with the people running Bachmann's campaign at the national level. The New Hampshire staffers were so committed to the Congresswoman and her batty proposals that some agreed to work without pay last month. However, they insist they didn't leave over money, but the national staffers' refusal to return their calls and tell them that they're special once in a while. They write:
Team-NH regarded themselves as a team ready and willing to help Congresswoman Bachmann win New Hampshire. Sadly, they were deceived, constantly left out of the loop regarding key decisions, and relegated to second-class citizens within a campaign in which they were the original members.
The manner in which some in the national team conducted themselves towards Team-NH was rude, unprofessional, dishonest, and at times cruel. But more concerning was how abrasive, discourteous, and dismissive some within the national team were towards many New Hampshire citizens. These are our neighbors and our friends, and some within the national team treated them more as a nuisance than as potential supporters.
Through all this chaos, Team-NH was never involved in the shifting strategy discussions. Team members were repeatedly ignored regarding simple requests, sometimes going weeks with little or no contact with the national team. Yet the members of Team—NH remained committed to Congressman Bachmann, often at peril to their own personal and professional reputations within New Hampshire.
Sadly, all of this could have been avoided. It saddens this team to see a dedicated patriot — a person so desperately needed in the White House — sequestered behind a wall of pretense, guarded by political operatives consumed by their own egos.
It is distressing that the motives of the members of Team-NH who are now departing the campaign are being questioned. Team-NH has always been dedicated to Congresswoman Bachmann. They've worked very hard over the past several months to ensure her success in NH. We wish her well and will continue to work toward our shared goal of making President Obama a one-term president.
Occasionally political staffers like to publicly hurl insults at each other during the campaign's post-mortem, but it's extremely unusual to former employees air their grievances mid-election. Unfortunately for the crew from New Hampshire, it looks like their effort to make the higher-ups finally acknowledge their existence failed miserably. Keith Nahigian, Bachmann's campaign manager responded:
"The unauthorized news release was sent by a person who doesn't even work for the campaign and has never had authority to speak on behalf of the campaign ... We are not responding to comments made by a person who was not even a staff member in New Hampshire. Our focus is on Iowa."
Later Alice Stewart, the campaign's national spokeswoman, intimated that the NH staffers never contacted them, telling CNN:
"That's unfortunate. They want to call names, that's their prerogative. We wish them the best ... We haven't heard anything from these people. It is unfortunate they chose to make it in such a public way."
Apparently it was clear to everyone but the New Hampshire team that Bachmann is putting whatever eggs she has left into the Iowa Caucus basket, but the memo does provide some interesting new information. The next time you hear Bachamann claim that tens of thousands of terrorists are sneaking into the country as illegal aliens, remember that this is what her campaign looks like when she's guarded by a crack team of political operatives.