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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Erin Isaac leaving Crist's press shop, but not for campaign



6a00d83451b05569e200e553c698ff8833-800wi Shane Strum, Gov. Charlie Crist's chief of staff, just confirmed that longtime communications director Erin Isaac is leaving Crist's press shop -- and won't be going to work for the campaign.

Strum said Isaac yesterday afternoon told him of her "intent to resign." Strum said she will likely submit a formal resignation in the coming days, "and then we'll decide our next steps on communications."

"She's been there for three years, so she's been a big part of the team," Strum said. "She just came to me and said 'Hey, it's time.' I think she probably has a lot of opportunities out there."

Isaac did not return a phone call to the Times/Herald, and it is unclear where her next job will be. When the Times/Herald called former chief of staff Eric Eikenberg on Wednesday morning to ask whether the rumors of her departure are true, he insisted "there is nothing to that." Strum called a few minutes later and said the opposite. 

Isaac was thought to have been a possible campaign communications director for Crist's U.S. Senate campaign, but that job just went to former Sen. Orrin Hatch flak Andrea Sauls. The announcement came amid whispers that Crist's administration was unhappy with Isaac's handling of Crist's public image and press coverage lately.

In terms of press coverage lately, Crist has been having a bad stretch -- largely of his own doing. (The stimulus support he insists he never gave, Obama man-hug tape notwithstanding; his insistence he didn't know Obama's recent Florida itinerary; the uproar over an anti-Rubio Web site that had the participation of an RPOF paid consultant; and public floggings by former press buddies Wolf Blitzer and Chris Matthews, etc.)

Crist also lately has been acting as his own press secretary -- calling the Times' Adam Smith to set up an interview on Political Connections, and arranging the Times' recent interview in Gainesville with himself and first lady Carole Crist. The governor also recently instructed reporters to call his cell phone directly -- rather than using a "go-between" in the press office.


[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 1:05pm]


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