Thune’s ‘04 campaign manager signing on with Rounds

The Mike Rounds for Senate campaign has announced that Dick Wadhams, John Thune’s campaign manger from 2004, has signed on with the Rounds campaign as a general consultant.

The hiring of Wadhams sends a strong message, which is that the Rounds campaign is prepared to get tough. Wadhams has a reputation as a pit bull when it’s time to brawl.

Rounds campaign manager Rob Skjonsberg said Wadhams will be on hand to repel the inevitable negative attacks that Democrats have promised for Rounds, who has a reputation as being a nice-guy campaigner.

"Hey, don’t mistake kindness for softness," Skjonsberg said.

Wadhams was already an accomplished political operative when he joined the Thune campaign in 2004 to take on the Democratic leader, Tom Daschle. The race was perhaps the biggest achievement in his career.

Since then, however, Wadhams hasn’t overseen the same success. He worked as Virginia Sen. George Allen’s chief of staff, and then oversaw Allen’s disastrous re-election in 2008.

He returned to Colorado and served as chairman of the party at a time when the Tea Party uprising, which he attempted to manage, likely cost Colorado Republicans a U.S. Senate seat and the governor’s office.

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