Press release from Jobless Consultants for Joe Carr; May 21, 2013:
LASCASSAS, TENN. – Jobless Consultants for Joe Carr today announced that infamous campaign consultant John “Chip” Saltsman, Jr. has joined the Carr for Congress team as general consultant. Saltsman will be involved in “strategic” decisions as well as day-to-day operations of the campaign.
Starting as a driver for Tennessee’s most forgettable tax-loving governor, Saltsman’s career highlights include creating a racially-charged national media firestorm and getting sued by members of his own political party.
“I’m pleased as punch to join this effort. As you may know, I’ve been struggling since I ‘left’ the office of Congressman Fleischmann. There are only so many daytime soaps and cartoons I can watch in a day,” explained Saltsman. “I’m a newlywed and my wife’s tastes in clothes and food are not, shall we say, pedestrian. I mean I got a bill from Jimmy Choo the other day that would make your head spin. I need work.”
“Long story short, I saw Congressman Desjarlais’s difficulties as an opportunity to make some bank,” Saltsman continued. “After Jim Tracy refused to call me back and the myriad of potential candidates I attempted to recruit elected not to run, I was left with the choice between Joe Carr and bankruptcy and eventual divorce. I chose the money. I mean, I chose Joe. Rep. Carr is without a doubt the best candidate in the race that will pay me. Without a doubt.”
Rep.Joe Carr explained the decision to employ the frequent television talking head as his consultant.
“Chip sat me down and explained that fundraising was overrated and what my fledgling campaign really needed was a highly-paid general consultant who would come up with various strategies to overcome the limitations of an increasingly small budget,” said Carr. “I know the logic seems circular but when Chip explains it it makes total sense.”
Chip Saltsman began his career in politics as a driver for former Governor Don Sundquist. Sundquist is recognized for his failed attempt to give Tennessee a state income tax and thus delaying Republican ascendancy in Tennessee for more than a decade. Sundquist would eventually install his driver Saltsman as chairman of the Republican Party in Tennessee.
“I remember getting the call that they needed someone over at the party to oversee things for us,” said Sundquist. “Of course, since we had the governor’s mansion every Republican worth a damn already had a government job. So, we let Chip be chair. He was very excited.”
After his stint as chairman, Saltsman started a longtime association with Senator Bill Frist. Saltsman served as campaign manager in Frist’s aborted run for President in 2008.
“I was majority leader of the Senate and on track to make a formidable presidential run. Then Chip came on board and, well, I never ran,” remembered Frist. “Of course, it wasn’t all Chip’s fault. He tried real hard. He means well. He really does.”
After Frist faltered, Saltsman deftly positioned himself as a campaign manager to Governor Mike Huckabee. The charismatic former governor who had already secured a strong grassroots following among the religious conservative community was excited to have Saltsman join his campaign..
“When I started my campaign, a lot of bigwigs and reporters would ask who my campaign manager was. I didn’t have an answer,” recollected Huckabee. “After Chip joined the team, I had an answer. From that point on, whenever ever anybody asked if I had a campaign manager I would say, ‘Yes. Yes, I do. His name is Chip Saltsman and he is standing right over there.’”
Fresh from presiding over the Huckabee campaign, Saltsman next made a run for Republican National Committee chair. Acting as his own political consultant, Saltsman mailed out a Christmas CD containing the song “Barack, the Magic Negro” to fellow RNC members. Saltsman’s campaign quickly imploded under the weight of the resulting media firestorm.
Saltsman made news most recently as the pivotal figure in an ongoing intra-party dispute that represents one of the most odious examples of Republican-on-Republican violence in recent Tennessee history.
In 2010, while serving as a campaign consultant to congressional candidate Chuck Fleischmann, Saltsman obtained confidential information stolen from Tennessee Republican Party headquarters to defame the campaign of former TNGOP chairwoman Robin Smith. When confronted with the theft and the use of illegal materials in a sworn deposition, Saltsman denied wrongdoing. He subsequently billed the Fleischmann campaign for thousands of dollars of legal expenses related to the suit. The suit is still pending.