So, obviously, closing the door on a single state doesn’t a total collapse make. But pulling staff out of a key first primary state, this far out of the first round – it means something is, at least, seriously wrong.
Rick Perry did not fare particularly well in last week’s debates, though he had been working on lowering expectations earlier in the week. And now, as other Texans have emerged as front runners – specifically Ted Cruz, who also seems to be the heir apparent to The Donald’s grassroots fortune, once Trump tires of this game – much of Perry’s funding has dried up, and as a result, he’s having to focus what few resources he has on states other than South Carolina.
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s campaign team in South Carolina is no longer being paid by his presidential campaign, National Journal has learned.
“Pay is only one reason people do this,” Katon Dawson, Perry’s South Carolina state director, said in an interview. “We’ll be able to live off the land for a while.”
It is not clear if or when paychecks will start backing up for Perry’s team in South Carolina. Dawson said that Perry staffers in the state “have been paid up to two weeks ago.”
Dawson said core members of Team Perry, including himself, will continue to work, even if unpaid. He said Walter Whetsell and Le Frye, two top Perry operatives in the state, are among those still working.
This isn’t the official end. Plenty of candidates get behind on payments. Some take years to repay back wages and some never pay them at all. One of the reasons I like Carly Fiorina so much is that, although she had a hard time paying back her campaign staff for her run in California, she eventually fulfilled her financial obligations. That’s not true for everyone. Many count on staff sticking around because they’re true believers, or because they feel that one unpaid stint on a Presidential campaign is enough to raise them into the “most definitely paid upfront” crowd of consultants in the next cycle.
But resources are scarce and its a buyer’s market. I’m sure that Rubio and Fiorina will see a bump in fundraising, if they haven’t already. But sometimes, there just isn’t a second act. Part of me hopes this isn’t true – Perry did a great job in Texas and really knows what he’s talking about, even if he has a hard time in debates – but with such a deep field, certain disappointment is inevitable.