With John McCain out of the country and thousands of miles away, his campaign today announced a shake-up, elevating aide Steve Schmidt to oversee day-to-day operations. Campaign veterans said they hoped it would be the end of the decentralized campaign McCain had been experimenting with.
“Steve does have a game plan, and the ability to get people all moving in the same direction,” says one operative who has worked closely with Schmidt. The operative said the best thing Schmidt brings is a central, strong presence in Arlington, where McCain’s campaign is based. Republicans hope that will bring a more consistent message to what appears to be a campaign reacting to the day’s headlines about gas prices, Supreme Court decisions and the like.
It’s the second shake up for McCain, who last July fired Terry Nelson, his campaign manager, and John Weaver, his long-time political adviser.
— Stephen Dinan, national political correspondent, The Washington Times