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McCain's Campaign Team Suffers Two More Losses

Two senior campaign staff have just stepped down:

John McCain's campaign manager and chief strategist are gone from their leadership roles, a major staff shake-up for the struggling Republican presidential candidate who is all but broke and trails in opinion polls.

In statements, Terry Nelson, a veteran of President Bush's successful 2004 re-election effort, said he resigned as campaign manager effective immediately and John Weaver said he stepped down from his post of chief strategist on Tuesday. But other officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid discussing private conversations, said Nelson was fired.

Two officials said Rick Davis, a longtime aide to McCain, will take over the campaign.

"It has been a tremendous honor to serve Senator McCain and work on his campaign," Nelson said. "I believe John McCain is the most experienced and prepared candidate to represent the Republican Party and defeat the Democratic nominee next year."

Weaver said: "It has been my honor and a distinct privilege to serve someone who has always put our country first. I believe that most Americans will come to the conclusion that I have long known there is only one person equipped to serve as our nation's chief executive and deal with the challenges we face, and that person is John McCain."

This is the second major shake-up at the McCain campaign in less than a week. Days ago, the candidate laid off dozens of staffers after lackluster fundraising and excessive spending left him with just $2 million for his second presidential bid.

McCain issued this statement:

"Today, John Weaver and Terry Nelson offered their resignations from my presidential campaign, which I accepted with regret and deep gratitude for their dedication, hard work and friendship. Terry is a consummate professional, who has ably lead this campaign through a challenging political environment. John Weaver has been my friend and trusted counselor for many years and to whom I am greatly indebted. In the days and weeks ahead this campaign will move forward, and I will continue to address the issues of greatest concern to the American people, laying out my vision for a secure and prosperous America."

This is going to be a tough row to hoe for Senator McCain.

Update: Rich Lowry has some insight into what happened:

Was just talking to a close and sympathetic observer of John McCain. He says of Weaver that in this campaign "everything he did was wrong." He "wanted to re-build the Bush campaign of 2000," but the idea that McCain would ever be that strong was a "flawed assessment." Politically, at first the campaign wanted to "cleverly" woo the Right; then it wanted McCain "to be the independent again on the re-launch"; then it did immigration, not realizing that "you only get so many heresies." The deepest irony was that Weaver "tried to do the Bush campaign just as Bush was falling out of favor" with the Right.

Update II: Jim Geraghty reports that now a total of five people have resigned from McCain's campaign today.


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Comments (20)

McCain reacted impulsively ... (Below threshold)
kim:

McCain reacted impulsively and without possession of the facts in the Swifties matter, and still hasn't corrected himself. He, too, is Unfit for Command.
===================

The problem for McCain isn'... (Below threshold)

The problem for McCain isn't his 'campaign', it's that the underlying product (McCain himself) is viewed as defective. No matter how much shuffling of staff he does, he isn't going to be able to overcome the fact that for an awful lot of GOP primary voters and contributors, he is simply on the wrong side of too many issues. You can't p*** in the face of conservatives as many times as he has (campaign finance reform, immigration reform and so on) and not expect a backlash. And as marketers worldwide know, one can only do so much if the public views the product you're trying to sell as a piece of c**p.

Kerry still complains about... (Below threshold)
Robert the Original:

Kerry still complains about the swifties, but the truth is that he is the one who put himself out there as the big war hero. He got himself.

McCain likewise still complains about the Manchurian Candidate thing, but he also has nobody to blame but himself.

The only option for him now is to run as an independent and screw things up even more.

Maybe McCain's nam... (Below threshold)
Malcolm:

Maybe McCain's name is in the DC Madam black book.

McCain is not, and never wa... (Below threshold)

McCain is not, and never was a viable candidate. He was a creation of the media, a Republican they could support with a straight face.

I'll be glad to see him wak... (Below threshold)

I'll be glad to see him wake up and smell the coffee. It should have happened years ago.

Trouble is, I don't have enough faith in McCain's judgment to believe it until I see it happen.

He shouldn't have run at al... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

He shouldn't have run at all. Joining Kennedy and the group of 14 was foolish. He is done. Maybe even in Arizonia. ww

HughS,Agreed.... (Below threshold)
BrandonInBatonRouge:

HughS,

Agreed.

Pretty much, the media threw behind him in 2000 when they were looking for someone other than Bush to be the Republican candidate and then stayed behind him for the next 7 years.


McCain's appeal *was* chiefly in Arizona and certain Dem strongholds like New England. His appeal amongst rank-and-file conservatives in the rest of the country was nowhere near as solid.

Part of why he's in so much trouble is that Rudy Giuliani has more appeal than him in the same areas, yet has goodwill on his side between his handling of 9/11 and the fact that he hasn't been actively pissing off conservatives for the past 8 years.

The way things are looking now, it's pretty much going to come down to Rudy, Romney, and Fred whenever he declares.

IMHO, anyone besides those three staying in the race is either hoping for a strong showing in an early primary (Iowa or New Hampshire) or is positioning themselves to be named as a running mate.

I'm with WW, his betrayal o... (Below threshold)

I'm with WW, his betrayal of conservatives on the judges ensured I'd never vote for him.

Game over, man.... (Below threshold)
yo:

Game over, man.

McCain never really was the... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

McCain never really was the "maverick" the medaia nurtured. Among other things is his anger. I want a President who gets pissed off...but not one enveloped with anger..as for the DC madam list...
this guy is on it...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onoNA1nAxVU

The last time I voted Republican was 1984...I see no one..except Hucklebee who would interest me in 08...I don't share all his views but he is a person with integrity I find lacking in the others including Fred Thompson.

as for the DC mada... (Below threshold)
as for the DC madam list... this guy is on it... Posted by nogo war

Why you trying to hijack the thread? I'm sure they are pissing and moaning about Vitter at wizblues, go there and support your fellow travelers.

Weavers line about "always ... (Below threshold)
OLDPUPPYMAX:

Weavers line about "always putting the country first" is pure nonsense. Mccain has put himself and his political aspirations first for 7 years--ever since his defeat in the 2000 nominating process. He is the most self-interested, self-serving republican in the Senate. And that is truly saying something, given the Hegels and the Grahams. He has been pleased to betray this nation at every turn, knowing that well timed treason would invariably pay off in fawning coverage by our leftist media. He has bet everything on an absolute belief that regardless of the number of political and national backstabbings he might engineer, the republican party and its conservative base would HAVE to return to his camp in order to prevent a Hillary administration. The consequences of his immigration-amnesty plan for the nation, for the party? Who cares! If this abomination generated enough of an illegal alien (that is, instant citizen) vote to propel him to the White House, what's the difference? He'll be dead by the time Mexico and Mexicans reshape the US as Chihuahua del norte! A real class guy, ol' Johnny.

You can dress up a pig and ... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

You can dress up a pig and go to town but at the end of the night its still a pig.

McCain is a viable candidate in his own mind and used to be in the eye's of the MSM who have since abandoned him in favor of their new darling. His years of disabusing the conservative base of the Republican party doomed him before he ever started his runs.

The "Maverick" is now learn... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

The "Maverick" is now learning that there is a cost to bucking your party for so long. The core of the party tends to buck back.

For your service in our armed forces, John, you have my respect.

For your many failed maneuvers, including the amnesty bill, in Congress, which appear to have been designed primarily to get your face on the TV as often as possible, John, you have my utter contempt. I'd not vote for you for second assistant dogcatcher of Mayberry.

Adulterous RINO. If your w... (Below threshold)
Piso Majoda:

Adulterous RINO. If your wife can't trust you to keep your word, what makes you think the American people can?

John, you're a dick and the country knows it.

John, you're a dic... (Below threshold)
John, you're a dick and the country knows it. by Piso Majoda | July 10, 2007 9:00 PM

Did Pisso just try to insult me?

"I want a President who get... (Below threshold)
steak111111:

"I want a President who gets pissed off...but not one enveloped with anger."
Posted by nogo war | July 10, 2007 3:47 PM

That's a lie - unless you vote against HiLIARy - the mother of all tantrums.

So be honest nogo... Do you support HilLiary? Yes or No? It's an easy question.

It certainly wasn't immigra... (Below threshold)

It certainly wasn't immigration that killed McCain's chances, although it may have put the final nail in them. If there had been no McCain-Kennedy bill last year or this, the Senator still would not have had any real chance at the Republican nomination.

He only became viable in 2000 by skipping Iowa and becoming the one remaining challenger to Bush who hadn't been blown away. Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents flocked to support him - clearly more to bloody Bush's nose and make him spend more money and time fighting for the nomination, perhaps making a serious gaffe in the process. They delivered New Hampshire and Michigan for him, and gave him a respectable 42% in South Carolina (had there been a real contest among Democrats, he would have been lucky to get 25%).

This time around, though, there is a real race for the Democratic nomination, and those voters are going back to their natural party. McCain's former best friends in the media deserted him over his position on the Iraq War, and there never were enough Republicans remaining who would consider him to make a viable run.

Kerry was in a similar position in 2003 with fundraising and poll numbers, but he was well within his party's mainstream and had taken care not to insult the base. That meant he still had the chance to come back when Dean began to melt down. McCain has poked too many sticks in too many conservatives' eyes with too much evident pleasure to ever be a GOP contender again.

If he had started out as an independent bid, he might have made more noise. As of now, that would be seen for what it is - sour grapes.

Keep what's left of your dignity and work to repair your legacy, Senator. Start by withdrawing now and working hard to prevent the Democrats from undercutting the troops and our national security. Do that, and when you retire (or, as most Senators seem to prefer, die in office), you will be fondly and respectfully remembered as a man who spoke his mind, fought the good fight, and never deserted his country in time of need.

John McCain is a dick and t... (Below threshold)
Piso Majoda:

John McCain is a dick and the country knows it.
Adulterous RINO bastard with a temper of a two year old who's lollipop was taken away.




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