Friends and associates are encouraging Fox News chief Roger Ailes to jump into the political arena for real by running for president in 2012, top sources tell POLITICO.
"Ailes knows how to frame an issue better than anybody, and that's what we need now," says one Ailes friend who is encouraging the Fox founder, chairman and CEO to seek the Republican nomination to run against President Barack Obama.
Ailes, 69, has an aggessive, winning personality that made Fox News a huge success — and a huge target for liberal critics.
Frank Luntz, the well-known Republican pollster, said Ailes could be a force if he makes the run.
"I have known Roger Ailes for 29 years," says Luntz. “No one knows how to win better than Roger."
Talk of an Ailes run, which informed sources said is based on more than mere speculation, could escalate the White House war with Fox war in wildly unpredictable – and fun – ways.
It was Ailes who recently held a private meeting with top White House adviser David Axelrod to ease tensions. The meeting was not a success.
Shortly after, the White House stepped up its attack on Fox – and Fox has proudly fired back.
Fox executives are relishing the public spat – so much so that virtually every on-air personality talks about it, and Sean Hannity has made it a central part of his show’s promo.
The biggest reason: ratings at Fox are through the roof.
From his official bio: “Roger Ailes has been Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of FOX News Channel since 1996, Chairman of Fox Television Stations and Twentieth Television since 2005 and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of FOX Business Network since 2007. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Ailes was President of CNBC from 1993 to 1996 and served as President of America’s Talking, an information talk channel that later became MSNBC.”
As a legendary Republican political consultant in an earlier career, Ailes helped engineer victories for Ronald Reagan in 1984 and George H.W. Bush in 1988.
Reprinted from post by Mike Allen.