The McCain campaign apparently has fired five top staffers. Among them are John Weaver and Terry Nelson, the number one and two guys, and Mark Salter, known as McCain’s alter-ego. This leaves Rick Davis, who helped run McCain’s 2000 campaign, in charge.
The criticism of Weaver and Nelson appears to be two-fold — they were presenting McCain as the annointed successor to President Bush rather than in his familiar outsider role and they were spending too much money. In truth, McCain was terribly positioned to run for the nomination. Large chunks of the base distrust him and his attachment to the war in Iraq hurt his appeal to moderates and independents. The likely entry of Fred Thompson further undermined his position, including his ability to raise money.
If I’m using the past tense here, it’s not so much because of the staff shake-up as because ever since the immigration reform debacle I’ve felt that McCain has virtually no shot.
UPDATE: Now the word is that Salter is still with the campaign. That’s a good thing. It would be sad to see McCain continuing the campaign without Salter.
The official line on Weaver and Nelson is that they quit, not that they were let go.
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