Ship of Fools

From The Washington Post:

Facing growing dissatisfaction both inside and outside his campaign, Sen. John McCain ordered a shake-up of his team yesterday, reducing the role of campaign manager Rick Davis and vesting political adviser Steve Schmidt with “full operational control” of his bid for the presidency.

Original DVD cover.

Schmidt becomes the third political operative in the past year to take on the task of attempting to guide McCain to the White House. A veteran of President Bush’s political operation, Schmidt will be in charge of finding a more effective message in the Arizona Republican’s race against Democratic Sen. Barack Obama, who leads in most polls.


The abrupt shift in leadership, announced to McCain’s staff yesterday morning, came after weeks of complaints from Republicans outside the campaign and growing concerns within it about the lack of a clear message, the cumbersome decision-making process, the sloppy staging of events, and a schedule driven largely by fundraising priorities rather than political necessity.


The problems crystallized this week, with McCain on a three-day trip to Colombia and Mexico, where he is talking about trade and drug trafficking, an exercise even some insiders considered a waste of the candidate’s time.


Schmidt, who managed California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s reelection effort and was a top aide to Vice President Cheney, will have broad authority to revamp the campaign and its message in the coming weeks. He plans a renewed focus on government reform, a theme that fits McCain’s brand but has been largely lost in the daily discussions of the economy and national security.

He will report to Davis, but all others in the campaign will report to him. Schmidt will have control over message, advertising, scheduling, advance work and the political operation — every major area other than fundraising. Davis will retain control over that area and will focus more of his attention on the selection of a running mate and convention planning.


Other personnel changes are in store. Nicolle Wallace, the former White House communications director who has already been involved with the campaign, will play a larger role and is likely to spend time traveling with McCain. The campaign has recruited Greg Jenkins, who oversaw advance work for the Bush White House, to take charge of the staging of McCain’s events, which have been a sore point among some.

Would someone kindly remind me how this would not be a Chimpy third term?

Even after the move, he remains surrounded by the same small clutch of political advisers: Davis, Schmidt, former lobbyist Charles R. Black Jr. and longtime chief of staff Mark Salter.

Remaining on the outside are [McCain’s former chief strategist who left in a shake-up in July 2007, John] Weaver and Mike Murphy, a GOP consultant and McCain confidant whose advice the candidate still seeks out.


Filed under 2008 election, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Barack Obama, Chimpy, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, humor, John McCain, movies, parody, politics, Republicans, snark, Wordpress Political Blogs

15 responses to “Ship of Fools

  1. nightowl724

    You hit the nail on the head again, nonnie. “Stupid Classics” indeed…

    Well, we had yet another “bathroom adventure” this week. My BIL and my sons repaired/replaced everything in my ONLY bathroom just about two months ago. I had leaks in both the tub and sink, and got new ones. They repaired half of the floor and the walls. They picked up the toilet, took it to the car wash to thoroughly clean (!) and inspect it, replaced the guts, and put in a new seal.

    Sometime before 4:30 yesterday morning, the tank broke! I wouldn’t have known if nature hadn’t called right then. My BIL is on vacation and my oldest couldn’t get off work, so the job fell to my 17-yr-old. I am so proud of him for installing a brand new, shining commode all by himself! And, I’m almost done washing every towel, blanket, and sheet I own!

    OK, so now the only thing left from the old bathroom is half the floor. Can floors leak unexpectedly at 4:30am?

  2. good on the kid! you know what really frustrates me? i know how to replace a lot of stuff like toilets and faucets, but i don’t have the strength or agility to do any of it. instead, i have to pay someone to do it who will charge me a fortune.

  3. nightowl724

    I worry about how I will cope when my sons move away. My mobile home wasn’t built very well in the first place and she ain’t getting any younger!

  4. nightowl724

    PS And, neither am I!

  5. jlms qkw - jenn

    nonnie rocks!

    floors do not leak.

    unless something else happens to them.

  6. you rock, too, jenn!! πŸ˜€

    strange the things that can leak. did i tell you guys how my roof was leaking? nothing unusual, except it was leaking from the inside out! a plumber put a water pipe too close to the roof in the attic, and the roofers put a nail into it. it was fine until the roof had to be redone, and the new roofers pulled the nail out. good thing they turned the water off right away or the entire wall would have been ruined.
    the time to worry is when you are the thing that’s leaking.

  7. nightowl724

    Hey, jenn, with my bathroom and my luck, anything could happen!

    nonnie, what a weird problem!

  8. jlms qkw - jenn

    why do high-falutin’ political operatives look so freaking scary?

    terry mccauliffe? james caraville? that guy up there? karl rove?

    stuff of nightmares.

    nightmares on pol-street?

  9. jenn,
    it’s a bit of the chicken or the egg kinda thing. did they get scary looking because of the work they did or do they get the work they do, because they are scary looking?
    p.s. you forgot mary matalin and bay buchanan. now those are scary looking people! 😈

  10. jeb

    Nonnie, good point about Bay and Mary. I secretly suspected they were always either the same person or sisters. I can never stomach watching either of them long enough to make an informed analysis.

    Good luck with the plumbing issues Nightowl.

    As for rearranging the deck chairs, a few other expressions come to mind:

    Putting lipstick on a pig.

    Pouring perfume on the manure pile.

    No matter how they slice it, that dog just ain’t gonna hunt.

  11. you’re right, jeb.

    Putting lipstick on a pig.

    Pouring perfume on the manure pile.

    barbara bush acting as a social worker. some things just don’t pass the smell test.

  12. jeb

    Oooh, BB as a social worker. Now that’s just damned scary.

  13. only if she works with people who make less than a half a mil a year! πŸ˜‰

  14. barbara bush acting as a social worker. some things just don’t pass the smell test.

    i am laughing my ass off………

    you know schmidt is a karl rove wannabe…….
    you need to do some sort of movie , perhaps a la edgar bergen and charlie mccarthy

  15. dcAp,
    they could make a sitcom of babs doing social work, except her character would be so unsympathetic that nobody would watch. how do you make a woman with the tact of leola helmsey, the empathy of marie antoinette, and the looks of the quaker oat man (after he has aged a few decades) a sympathetic figure?
    i could have sworn that i had put in the diary or one of the comments that schmidt was a rove lieutenant. must have been in another diary.
    i wonder what a movie like that would look like. there are so many puppets and so many puppetmasters. i don’t know who the puppetmasters’ master is.