I have known Ed Gillespie for close to 15 years. There is no better person to have on your team fighting for your cause than Eddie. The son of a former tavern owner, Gillespie is a scrapper who has had to work hard for everything he has earned in life.

Democrat strategists have attacked Ed as a lobbyist who has gone into the White House for “nefarious” reasons. I am scratching my head trying to figure out what Gillespie can possibly gain from working in this White House now.

My guess is Eddie did it because the president asked him to, and he is a patriot who wants to serve his country in a time of war. And he does so at great personal sacrifice.

I think the real reason that Democratic strategists are attacking Gillespie is because they worry he might be effective. Having a real policy and communications strategist in this White House, who actually knows something about Washington, will be a dramatic change and a positive change for this administration. Democrats should be worried. 

Gillespie knows the Democrats, because he used to be one. He can spot the weaknesses in the appealing arguments that the Democrats make, and he can sense the blarney that often accompanies it.

Gillespie is no elitist and he is no blue-blood. In other words, his politics appeals to the rest of us.

For Gillespie to be successful, he will need to be able to navigate the treacherous waters of a White House under attack and in transition. Gillespie is going against the riptide. He is coming into the White House as most others are trying to get out.

He needs to convince the job-seekers that the best way to get a good job after serving in the White House is to do a good job in the White House. And that means getting the president’s approval ratings above 40 percent.

I am not sure what changes get the American people to like President Bush again (or dislike him a little less). A strategic redeployment in Iraq coupled with a domestic policy triumph (not sure immigration is that triumph) could be the ticket. A good dose of humility couldn’t hurt.

In any event, Gillespie has a huge task in front of him. He deserves applause, not derision, for taking up the cause.