Opinion: Another staff loss for Fred

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The presidential campaign of Fred Thompson, which has yet to start but has already experienced several staff shakeups and setbacks, had another one today. After only a few weeks as the communications director of the not-yet-quite-ready-for-prime-time campaign, Linda Rozett, a veteran U.S. Chamber of Commerce official, was let go.

Campaign manager Bill Lacy, who himself assumed control in a shakeup not long ago, made the announcement in a staff e-mail: ‘I will have to make a lot of tough decisions to make our venture successful and this was one of them.’ He called Rozett ‘a talented, professional and gracious lady’ but said ‘in the limited amount of time we have I feel it critical to have a communications point person with significant campaign experience.’

Asked about the firing of his top communications official in St. Paul, where he was visiting the state fair, Thompson didn’t seem to have been communicated with. ‘I don’t know what the story is,’ he admitted. ‘I don’t know what to say about it except that she’s a wonderful lady.’

Thompson was sampling the fair food and posing for pictures. He was asked about the resignation of Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales, which he did know about. ‘It was mishandled,’ Thompson said. ‘He doesn’t have a monopoly on that in Washington.’

Rumor has it that the oft-postponed Thompson campaign, which came up $1.5 million short of its $5-million fundraising goal in June, will launch shortly after Labor Day. But the former senator is running so well in the polls, usually second place, without formally running that who can know for sure?


--Andrew Malcolm