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. boered1

    Just remember a vote for him is a vote to continue the violation of US Laws supported by the current administration, and I am not just talking about their illegal search and seizure of your private conversations i am talking about the administrations approval (tacitally of course although there are signs of active approval) of the Hunt Oil -Iraq deal.. you know Hunt oil a Texas company with ties to Haliburton and the Bush Oil conglomerate.. but you will not see this on MSM go check out democracy now and you can start to see the crap this republican administration 9and the follow on Mccain administration) is doing.

    July 3, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  2. Kim

    A messed up ineffective campaign. Another great example the the so called McCain experience advantage.

    July 3, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  3. Luciann

    What was McCain's campaign doing all those weeks, even months that he was already the GOp nominee and Obama and Clinton were still battling it out? McCain is such a loser!!

    July 3, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  4. Cathy in MD

    Centralize, de-centralize. It sounds more like an upsurge in military operations. Bush’s “campaign veteran … boosting the power” at Arlington’s “central headquarters.” Maybe if they shake it up enough, they’ll make it look like they know what they’re doing – like they did with the Iraq war.

    July 3, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  5. Charles

    Why is McBush still trying? I don't actually hate the guy, but I just don't get why he thinks he can win while running on a bush platform. I think Obama has this whole thing wrapped up. Let's face it, even little kids are going gaga for the Senator with a funny name.

    July 3, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  6. Liam 1982

    McCain and his future secretary of defense Wilfred Brimley, along with his Secretary of State Bea Arthur will form a centrist government that will easily win over the Radical, Competent, smart Barack H.Obama

    July 3, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  7. Ruby, Kansas


    July 3, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  8. captain

    Four more years! Four more years!...

    July 3, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  9. Richard, FL

    Mack is Back baby!! Way back!!

    It is a shame that so many ex-Hillary supporters now trash her by showing they don't trust her when she says to support Obama. Apparently they don't think she has good judgment - just what they used to claim was a reason to vote FOR her.

    July 3, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  10. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    McCain supporters talk about Obama's lack if experience, liberal positions, and changes of position on issues. Obama supporters throw out trash about McBush, McWar, McSame, etc. McCain has sacrificed a lot for this country. He's earned some respect. If you can't make a rational point, shut up.

    proud army and navy mom, you really need to put a sock in it. You've yet to make a rationale argument why anyone should vote for Obama. All you do is spew hate. Obama's message is about bringing people together. If his supporters on this blog are any indication, we'd be more divided than ever.

    July 3, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  11. Janey/Michigan

    To Bishop–yes we know, Obama has changed positions daily at the expense of his hard-core supporters..you know, the ones who selected him to win the Primary against Clinton! Now Bill and Hillary are running the show once again–so he may have a ghost of a chance. However, if he keeps up the smear tactics against McCain–the repubs may fight back. PS–McCain has always been center–Barrack wants to BE McCain because he knows McCain is right.

    July 3, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  12. Donna

    Let the "Bushiness" begin...first he stacks his staff with former Bush drones, then he meets with Jeb...are we sure McCain isn't related to the Bushes in some way? He just can't seem to distance himself from Bush like he "wants" to...

    July 3, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  13. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Herr Schmidt is a protege and clone of Herr Rove, who should have gone to prison back in 1974 as part of Donald Segretti's Dirty Trick's Squad during Watergate! If Ford hadn't pardoned Nixon, all these little war criminals wouldn't be flaunting their power and attempting end-runs on the Contitution. Off course, the press had some 'nads back then, too...

    July 3, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  14. mitchell hussein martin

    all that lobbyist and pac money comin' in handy?i think i'll donate to obama ,today.for the 5th time!

    July 3, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  15. Rick FL

    Schmidt = Bush/Cheney = McCain = more of the same

    Many Americans are ready for a new direction this time.

    Obama '08
    Si se puede!

    July 3, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  16. skunkrat The Marine

    WHO GIVES A FLIP? Hey you Hillary Backers for McCain, you are a part of a ever shrinking minority.

    July 3, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  17. TESAP

    ????? he is being advied by a Bush campaign veteran................ and you still think he is not running for the Bush's 5th term?????????

    July 3, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  18. mitchell hussein martin

    mcbush all the way!

    July 3, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  19. Victor in Saanich, B.C. Canada

    A simple solution John!! Jettison the Republican two ton anvil tied to your fuselage and the jet may take off!!

    July 3, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  20. zius

    mccain =bush...the 5 economical reasons not to vote mccain:-
    1 mccain supports free trade with no concern for american workers …….this leads to loss of jobs and capital invested outside the our country 2mccain supports making bush tax cuts permanent ….making no sense the mcbush tax cut had no economical benifet it only raised our NATIONAL DEPT 3 put health care on the free market ….oh my god.. so that we will be talking next time (god forbid) about the rising cost of drugs and healthcare in the open market and the role of speculators ..just like oil 4 no true intention to invest in the GREEN MARKET something that is hurting our car makers leading us to go behind in investment and market share ..remember dril dril dril 5 finally ill take maccains word ..HE KNOWS NOTHING ABOUT THE ECONOMY ….PLUS A 100 YEAR WAR IN IRAQ WILL BREAK OUR BUDGET AND PUT IN DEBT TO COUNTRIS LIKE CHINA …UGHHH ……OBAMA ALLTHE WAY …… no mc-stupid

    July 3, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  21. white male

    it can be proven everyday that that mc cain is part of warbush as such is part is what he has given america and played with the fear of the american people but i am sending this out stright out to mcsain (cain killed abel in the old time as he is an old timer,we are in the modernize time and mcsain has shown that he is out of touch,cannot even use a computer nor use a black berry,think of it people ?,who is he goin to hire when he needs to use such as they are part of a day to day thing to use,he is going down this time and retire both he and joe lierman}cnn please post love you all americans.

    July 3, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  22. tedious898

    I am an Obama supporter ! However, there are alot of us that will be sorely disappointed if McCain becomes this nation's 44th president.

    In fact....the PUMA's will be very happy
    The .....conservative base will be relieved (because they don't really like McCain but w/ Jeb Bush on the ticket – yippee 8 more Bush years.

    Has anyone noticed that the polls show the candidates in a dead heat? I think Obama supporters do not realize how many americans would rather suffer no jobs, $5.00 a gallon gas, and foreclosures as opposed to supporting Barack for president. I think use Obama supporters are going to be very disappointed with McCain as POTUS
    You heard it from me first.

    July 3, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  23. Kansas for Obama

    I'm getting so tired of you crying, whiney HIllary backers for McCain. Grow up! So you would rather vote for 4 more years of Bush just because you are a sore loser? Try opening your eyes and act like an adult. If you were for Hillary than guess what? Obama is 98% Hillary. They barely had a difference.

    HIllary is supporting Obama and so should you. At least she see's the bigger picture and was able to swallow her pride and do the "adult" thing so her best to keep the Republicans out of the white house.

    Being a Hillary supporter and voting for McCain just shows how small minded and childish you really are. I know elementary children who have more maturity than that.

    July 3, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  24. BUSHED!!!!

    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................CAN't TOUCH
    US........ You get KING SOLOMON + KARL ROVE and all of GOP THUGS We are IN IT TO WIN!!!!

    July 3, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  25. PA for McCain

    McCain will be getting my vote. I don't think he needed to make any changes – – anyone who wants a president that will keep our country safe, will vote for McCain. Those who are brainwashed by the media into thinking that Nobama is the answer are truly clueless.

    McCain '08

    July 3, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
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