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As his once-soaring campaign enters a second month of political freefall, Rick Perry is pulling out all the stops to resuscitate his White House bid.
On the eve of Perry’s major flat tax policy rollout and a multimillion ad launch in Iowa, the Texas Governor’s presidential campaign has announced that it is adding some national political muscle to what has so far been a tight-knit, Texas-centric operation.
Headlining the new hires is Bush campaign veteran Joe Allbaugh, a big-name GOP operative who will work with Perry’s chief strategist Dave Carney as a senior advisor. Allbaugh will be joined on the strategy side by California-based political consultant Fred Maas and Tony Fabrizio, a leading Republican pollster who has been advising Florida Gov. Rick Scott.
Perry also tapped into Scott’s team on the media side by hiring Curt Anderson and Nelson Warville, two big-name media consultants who, along with Fabrizio, were key to Scott’s unlikely — and expensive 2010 win. Their new presence in the Perry camp indicates that the Texans are looking to run a similar big-spending, upstart campaign.
Rounding out the new hires are top political ad man Jim Innocenzi and Stanton Anderson, a senior counsel to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce who will be the campaign’s point man on Capitol Hill.
Although sources on the campaign insist that Carney, Perry’s longtime right-hand man, will still be calling the shots, they concede that the additions will bring some much-needed experience to a team that has been overwhelmed by the demands of a presidential campaign.
And Texas Monthly’s Paul Burka reports that the new hires — and Allbaugh in particular — indicate that Carney is out of his element, and will take a backseat as the national talent takes over.
According to Burka, a well-sourced Texas journalist, the candidate’s wife, Anita Perry, was the driving force behind the shakeup.
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