July 3rd, 2008
12:40 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain team begins move towards a more centralized effort

The McCain campaign is changing its structure.
The McCain campaign is changing its structure.

(CNN) – In a Thursday campaign memo to the McCain campaign’s 11 regional campaign managers, the man newly named to steer the presumptive Republican nominee’s presidential effort announced some changes that seemed designed to make this year’s campaign bear a slightly greater resemblance to the successful, more-centralized Bush-Cheney re-election team.

McCain senior adviser Steve Schmidt, a Bush campaign veteran, signaled Thursday he is boosting the power of the campaign’s central headquarters in Arlington, with plans to hire a field director and political director in the coming weeks who will both work with Deputy Campaign Manager Christian Ferry.

But he also said that – despite speculation — the McCain campaign won’t be scrapping the de-centralized system that’s drawn skeptical reactions from many GOP observers this cycle. Schmidt wrote Thursday that the regional campaign managers were key to McCain’s success, even as he appeared to suggest that strategy would be set by national leadership. “We will be enhancing our headquarters political capacity to provide additional resources to you and your regions,” he wrote.

Schmidt said that over the past month, as the campaign launched its general election field effort, the regional offices had hired 70 staffers, deployed 17 state directors nationwide, and built statewide and county leadership teams in targeted states. He also said the campaign’s joint Victory effort with the Republican National Committee had resulted in an additional 84 offices and 113 staffers.

“It is an incredible amount of progress for a campaign that ended the primaries with no money, little infrastructure, and no formal organization outside the early primary states,” added Schmidt.

McCain’s leadership team underwent a shakeup this week amid Republican concerns that it was ill-equipped to battle Barack Obama’s campaign organization, with Schmidt taking responsibility for most of the day-to-day planning and strategy that had been handled by Campaign Manager Rick Davis.


Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (105 Responses)
  1. Obama / Clinton 2008

    The McCain team makeover is too late. It's like putting lipstick on a pig.

    July 3, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  2. Trisha, Monsey NY

    Never Mccain, vote smart people, and do not play into fear vote for Obama!

    July 3, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  3. Indiana

    Is McCain still in the race? Can someone please talk to him...he's making little kids cry

    July 3, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  4. Dave, Illinois

    Yawn. You Obamites need some new material. Perhaps Obama should expand his "empty slogans" propoganda team so you have some new material.

    July 3, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  5. Truth Justice and blah blah blah

    I get it that people don't think McCain is the right candidate for many reasons (I happen to think he is) but I am really really dissappointed that most of these comments aren't well thought out criticisms – just locker room trash talk. If you have a point to make please try to use thoughtful dialog that may persuade people rather than basically being on line version of 'taggers'. Seriously....whoever wins this election and the one after and the one after – we all are Americans and have to get along and live in the same country – so can't we give each other something worth thinking about rather than cheap pointless personal hits?

    July 3, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
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