From NBC's Mark Murray
First Read has confirmed this news that Politico is reporting -- that McCain adviser Steve Schmidt is taking over day-to-day operations for the campaign, while campaign manager Rick Davis is moving to more general and big-picture issues. When asked if it's fair to call this a shakeup, a McCain campaign official told First Read, "We think it's a good thing" -- and that it's a natural growth of the campaign.
The Politico's Martin writes: "Steve Schmidt is taking over the day-to-day operation of John McCain's campaign, according to multiple campaign sources. At a staff meeting in the campaign's Arlington, Va., headquarters this morning, campaign manager Rick Davis made the announcement about Schmidt's new role... After the meeting, on a regularly-scheduled conference call with McCain's 11 Regional Campaign Managers, senior staff briefed the field aides about the move, explaining Davis would focus more on long-range tasks while Schmidt was taking an enhanced daily role, said an individual on the call. "
"McCain sources say Schmidt, who ran Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's re-election campaign and was a top communications aide in Bush-Cheney '04, will coordinate the campaign's daily pro-McCain and anti-Obama message but also will have an increased role in shaping most every facet of the organization including scheduling, policy, coalitions and surrogates. Davis will focus more on big-picture issues such as general strategy, helping to plan the convention, picking a vice-president and tending to the needs of major donors." \
*** UPDATE *** The DNC weighs in: "It's no surprise that John McCain would put a Bush-Cheney veteran in charge of his campaign since he's been promising a third Bush term and relying on money raised by President Bush and his friends. No matter who's steering the ship, its going to be rough sailing as long as John McCain keeps promising four more years of President Bush's failed policies."