Nussle appointment is a mixed bag for Giuliani

You win some, you lose some — 2008 presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) did both Tuesday when he lost a key Iowa adviser but gained a voice in the administration’s highest circles.

President Bush announced that he will appoint former Rep. Jim Nussle (R-Iowa) as director of the Office of Management and Budget, which means the ex-lawmaker will be unable to help Giuliani in Iowa anymore.

The endorsement of the eight-term congressman and 2006 GOP gubernatorial candidate was a feather in Giuliani’s cap and a cornerstone in his effort to win the Hawkeye State. Nussle was one of the first lawmakers to back the former mayor, announcing his support for Giuliani in January.

“As our campaign continues to grow our team in Iowa, I am grateful to Jim for his early support and for his hard work in helping our team get started,” Giuliani said in response to the appointment.

The departure could hurt the former mayor in Iowa, especially since Giuliani decided earlier this month to withdraw from the state’s August straw poll.

However, Nussle would also become the highest-ranking White House official to have endorsed a candidate, something that could help Giuliani down the road.

Top administration officials have been careful not to get involved in the Republican primary, and it is unlikely that another candidate will score the endorsement of a Bush aide of similar stature any time soon.