From NBC's Mark Murray
Larry Sabato, via Taegan Goddard's Political Wire, reports a staff shakeup for the trailing Deeds campaign in Virginia.
Thirty-something wunderkind Joe Abbey, Deeds' manager for his upset June primary victory, has been shunted aside. (That victory was engineered by the Washington Post's editorials, not Abbey or even Deeds.) Party activists have blamed Abbey, fairly or not, for Deeds' listless campaign. Abbey will apparently retain a title and a role in the campaign, but the decisions will be made by Monica Dixon (a close associate of Sen. Mark Warner), longtime Democratic party staffer Kevin Mack, and Mo Elleithee. The latter will handle all communications and press, and he is a veteran of high-level positions with the successful gubernatorial bids of Mark Warner and Tim Kaine as well as Hillary Clinton's presidential effort.
But Elleithee pushes back against the report, saying that what's taking place is a "beefing up."
"Joe's the manager, and he's doing a great job. Kevin's been there since before the primary; Monica since right around the time of the primary. I think everyone recognizes that this is a tough race, and it's all hands on deck time, and so everyone's stepping up their roles because there's a lot of work to do."