George Allen's Big Gun
Former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie's decision to sign as treasurer for the Sen. George Allen's leadership political action committee is already paying dividends for the Virginian's 2008 aspirations.
An e-mail from Gillespie arrived in the inboxes of Iowa GOP activists yesterday urging them to turn out at the state's Jan. 16 local caucuses to support Rep. Jim Nussle -- the frontrunner for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.
"In 2004 President George W. Bush won the state of Iowa thanks to the support, dedication and hard work of so many of you," Gillespie wrote. "This time I'm asking you to volunteer you time, talk to your neighbors and come out and show your support for Congressman Nussle."
"I know that, just like in 2004, your dedication and commitment will make the difference in 2006. With your help, Jim Nussle will be the next governor of Iowa," adds Gillespie.
As a recognizable face and name to Iowa Republicans, Gillespie is using his role as a respected figure within the party to recommend Nussle. That same credibility and "honest broker" status for Gillespie is sure to be used on behalf of Allen's presidential ambitions in the coming weeks and months.
Few -- if any -- of the other Republican candidates looking at the 2008 presidential race have an operative in their camp that enjoys the reputation and gravitas of Gillespie within the party's rank and file -- a major leg up for Allen in the early jockeying for president.
-- Chris Cillizza
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