Iowa Operative Eric Woolson: "I Support Governor Pawlenty"
Eric Woolson, who wore twin hats as Iowa Campaign Manager and Communications Director for Mike Huckabee's surprise victory in the 2008 Iowa GOP Presidential Caucuses tells Fox News he likes what he sees in former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.
Asked if this means Woolson has been hired by Pawlenty. he responded, "There's nothing right now to be hired by. Governor Pawlenty has not announced he is a candidate. There is not a Pawlenty campaign...and I have not been hired by (Pawlenty's) PAC."
"If he decides to run, I would be very supportive of Governor Pawlenty," Woolson said.
Such proclamations of support are rare early in the Iowa campaign process; even more so by veteran political hands who could help run a labor intensive effort like a caucus campaign.
So, while Woolson is not on Pawlenty's payroll, his support of Pawlenty would discourage other potential candidates from reaching out to him.
Even Woolson conceded, "[It] does signal that."
But a former Huckabee insider downplayed Woolson's statement of support for Pawlenty, diminishing his role in their 2008 campaign.
The insider tells FOX News that even though Woolson, was liked, was never a top advisor during the 2008 IA campaign.
"He was not inner circle," says the 2008 Huckabee strategist, adding that Woolson wore many hats because everyone on the small staff did. The majority of their Iowa staffers were volunteers.
But The Des Moines Register recently listed Woolson as one of its "50 Most Wanted" Iowa GOP operatives. In addition to his stint with Huckabee, Woolson networks well both among Iowa Republicans and local news media outlets which have been pouring over the race for months already, even with a lack of officially announced candidates.
The Woolson pronouncement also seems to close the door on re-teaming with Huckabee in 2012.
"I couldn't ask to be treated better by a candidate than the way Governor Huckabee treated me," said Woolson.
It is generally believed that if Huckabee does run, it would be announced sometime over the summer months.
Woolson notes timetables for all the candidates is likely different. But in Pawlenty, Woolson says he see potential to bring "social and fiscal conservatives together" for the caucus contest and in the general election.
Woolson joked about all the voicemails that quickly stacked-up on his cell phone Wednesday.
"How often am I in church on a Wednesday?," said Woolson, a Roman Catholic, who was unavailable for comment on the pronouncement while attending Ash Wednesday services.
Fox News Producer Serafin Gomez contributed to this story.