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John McCain, amid GOP concern, shuffles top aides

July 2, 2008 | 12:20 pm

It worked once before -- why not try it again? As our colleagues Maeve Reston and Mark Z. Barabak report elsewhere on the website, John McCain is shaking up his staff again. The winner: Karl Rove protege and former White House point man Steve Schmidt, known to Californians for his work running Arnold Schwarzenegger's reelection campaign.

The story notes that "the changes took place amid continuing concern in Republican ranks about the direction of McCain's campaign and the seeming inconsistency of his message. The Arizona senator has alternated between appeals to independents and Democrats, who flocked in large numbers to his 2000 campaign, and appeals to the Republican right."

Schmidt takes over day-to-day operations and Rick Davis moves to what seems to be "CEO/campaign manager" status overseeing the general operations and focusing on fundraising, the convention, and that pesky decision on who gets to share a bumper sticker with McCain in the fall. Word is Schmidt will report to Davis and that the changes came at Davis' request and with his blessing.

-- Scott Martelle