Andy Parrish didn’t quite reach his seven-year anniversary as a staffer for Congresswoman Michele Bachmann on Valentine’s Day. He was fired on Friday as Bachmann’s chief of staff, not by Bachmann herself but by the deputy chief of staff.
Parrish, 32, who managed Bachmann’s three successful congressional campaigns and her surprise win at the Iowa straw poll last summer, has yet to speak to her directly.
About the impersonal dismissal, “I was surprised,” Parrish told me today. “I still consider her a close personal friend. I expect we’ll connect in a couple of days.”
Parrish said he was told the office was moving in new direction. “Basically the congresswoman’s deputy chief of staff flew in, sat me down, said, ‘We going in a new direction and you’re no longer part of that direction. She feels it’s time for a change.’ “
Staff turnover is an ongoing story line of the Bachmann office and in her campaigns, but Parrish downplays any bigger story about staff changes. “I can tell you that since August, there was no turnover in the office,” he said, noting that some staffers simply left for better jobs.
With his track record and in an election year, Parrish will probably not be out of work for long.
But at the moment, he’s in no hurry.
He was out ice fishing for northerns just before this interview. “I caught a 10-ounder and 6-pounder. I almost feel like I’m in retirement.”
And then there are his wife and daughters, 7-month-old Tessa and 2-year-old Belle.
“I walked in the door the other night, there was music playing and I heard the best words in the world, ‘Daddy will you dance with me?’ ” he said. “I’m going to stay home and enjoy time with them,” he said of his family.
But even with the bruises that come with politics and the challenges of a Bachmann office and campaign, the question is: How long?
Parrish admits as much: “I love politics. I love fighting for the cause.”