July 3rd, 2008
12:40 PM ET
10 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. Travis (in the real world

    Too little too late McWar....I'm sure there's a few flip-flops or 2 on the way.

    And you are trying to distance yourself from Bush....hmmm, so you hire one of Bush's thugs.

    It will take more than a shake-up fella....the boat sprung a leak long ago, I'm sure you'll be last to go down with it in November, but I'm sure you'll blame it on Lieberman.

    They'll all leave you like they left Bush when they see how incompetent you are.

    July 3, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  2. Tony

    McCain is an old man with old right-wing, conservative ideas and is also an angry man with a temper.

    No place for him in the white House. We've had 8 years of Dopey running things, can America withstand 4 years of Grumpy?

    July 3, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  3. Lorna, NY

    He is still a LOSER.

    July 3, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  4. Not fooled by distractions

    If McCain has this much trouble running his campaign, how will he be able to run our country? It's a sign of how they do business – apparently with McCain in the white house, we can expect a whole lot of lobbyists in his poorly run administraton.

    July 3, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  5. Seattle Sue

    McCain can change anything he wants to, but I will never vote for him.

    July 3, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  6. Seattle Sue

    McCain can change anything he wants to, but I will never vote for him.

    July 3, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  7. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Get ready to be "Bushwacked".

    July 3, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  8. Bishop

    Barack has already centered. McCain needs to catch up, and stop playing where in the world is Sen. McCain...

    July 3, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  9. christina

    Save your $ for Christmas gifts old man. You WON'T win this election!!!

    OBAMA '08!

    July 3, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  10. Griff

    Showing the true colors of a man, the World Needs...

    July 3, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  11. California Gold

    They can modify and enhance their campaign architecture all they want, but McCain still won't be elected. Each week there is more reason to keep him out of the White House. By the time he makes it to November, his home state of Arizona may vote him out of the Senate.

    July 3, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  12. Will-South Dakota

    and the point is what?

    July 3, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  13. saga4obama

    and still David slayed the monster Goliath...John no mater how big your army, no mater how powerful and wealthy your cronies, this war against America you shall not win.


    we will never again surrender to the GOP-KADA.
    John McCain has taken over $1,069,854.00 from big oil, now that his cronies have found a loop hole in the Campaign Finance Reform Bill, McCain's bill, $1,069,854.00 will look like pennies...guess Obama was right..PF is flawed.
    do not regret your vote in 12'
    vote Obama 08...the only right choice

    July 3, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  14. proud army and navy mom

    so Schmidt worked for bush/cheney......interesting....I thought mcsenile was trying to distance himself from loser bush. looks like these two are closer than ever.

    i'm confused, unless mccain is counting on race baiting the US people into a frenzy, how does he propose to win with his current strategy?

    July 3, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  15. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    We have all been involved in presidential campaigns in the past, but this campaign is special because of the unique honor of working for a candidate like John McCain - a man who never surrenders.

    Just think if McCain was the president of the confederacy during the Civil War the South would have been totally destroyed, and millions of men and women would have lost there lives. This man does not know how to cut his losses and move on.

    Further, if he was president during the Vietnam conflict we would still be fighting and a million more Americans would have died.

    July 3, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  16. S. Boatman Warrensburg Mo.

    Mccain Is Running His Campaign Poorly And Goes To Show How He Would Run This Country! He May Have Experience But Clearly Lacks The Judgement It Takes To Be President!

    July 3, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  17. David Peter

    Running his campaign using the Bush-Cheney model while claiming he is nothing like Bush? Gimme a break.

    July 3, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  18. McGaffe

    I thought McCain wanted to downsize the govt. Another flip flop. Pork projects for his buddies if he gets elected.

    July 3, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  19. COL.{retd]A.M.Khajawall

    Dear American Voters, reporters, media. professionals, political parties, and our hon. Presidential Nominees,

    Subject: Presidential Temperament

    Please talk about and "Compare And Contrast" the " Presidential Temperament" of our Presidential presumptive nominees. I will also request and plead to the nominees themselves [ Hon. Senator McCain and Obama ].
    Our nation has been applying this yard and stick tor the appointments and confirmation process of our Supreme Court Justices nominees.
    Our Greatgrand Nation Foundations are as under:
    Family, friends, fellows, faith, funds, fun, with fairness & freedom And without fear, favor, and failure.
    It will be disgrace and shameful if the nominees and media will not look into this critical and crucial aspect under current challenging times and circumstances within our country and all around the Globe.

    America wake up and the discuss the " Presidential Temperament" of our presumptive presidential nominee's [ Hon. Senator McCain and Obama].

    Yours sincerely,
    COL. A.M.Khajawall [Ret].
    Disabled American Veteran
    Forensic psychiatrist, Las Vegas, Nevada

    July 3, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  20. JOYCE

    save it

    we the voters of the great us of a are all voting for barack,bill,hillary
    a no brainer win. so no use to do anything different except RETIRE

    July 3, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  21. Anita from Arizona

    Well, ill-equipped to battle Barack's Obama's campaign organization is putting it mildly.

    July 3, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  22. G

    I will be voting for McCain
    (McBush, McSame, McWwarmonger)

    July 3, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  23. G

    And sleep very well knowing that I did.

    Bite me, Keith Olbermann

    July 3, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  24. DMAC in ID

    We have to get the radical ecologists out of DC. The Dems have been in their pockets for yrs. We need sane thinking and a fast plan of action to get going to show the oil countries and OPEC and etc that we are serious about getting out from under their thumbs.
    The radicals are what has been taking our country down. they have killed our timber, steel, mining, ranching and farming, fishing industries to mention just a few that have gone out of the USA over the yrs.
    What they have done to our timber industry and damage by mismanagement to our wood lands is a real crime.
    Americans Unite and make the politicians get us out from under the huge dependency and control of other countries.

    July 3, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  25. Michael Lorton, Virginia

    McCain campaign is behind the eight ball and is so disorganized that all the efforts will be "too litte, to late." It is going to be very difficult to raise funding and establish an organized campaign infrastructure with only three and one half months left before the general election, something Obama has planned and implemented from the beginning of the primaries. He will finish the race, but I don't think he will even place.

    July 3, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
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