I think McCain is too much of a control freak to run an effective Presidential campaign. The same thing happened in 2000. He doesn't listen very well.
John McCain put a top adviser in control of day-to-day campaign operations Wednesday after weeks of private concerns among Republicans that the GOP presidential campaign had not made the transition for the general election.
Steve Schmidt, a veteran of President Bush's re-election and a member of the Arizona senator's inner circle, will oversee daily political, strategy, coalitions, scheduling and communications efforts from the campaign's northern Virginia headquarters.
The campaign's estimated 300-person staff will report to Schmidt, who will report to campaign manager Rick Davis.
Davis will continue to focus on long-term planning, the vice presidential search, fundraising and the national convention but Schmidt's added responsibilities mean the campaign manager's load now will be somewhat lighter. Davis took the reins of the campaign almost exactly a year ago amid a major staff shake-up and has been the subject of Democratic criticism for his past lobbying work.
He told the staff of Schmidt's expanded role at a Wednesday meeting at headquarters, saying that Schmidt would have "full operational control" of the campaign's daily activities.
This from the NY Times:
Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign has gone through its second shake-up in a year. Responding to Republican concerns that his candidacy was faltering, Mr. McCain put a veteran of President Bush’s 2004 campaign in charge of day-to-day operations and stepped away from a plan to have the campaign run by 11 regional managers, Mr. McCain’s aides said Wednesday.
The installation of Steve Schmidt, who worked closely with Karl Rove, at Mr. McCain’s headquarters represented a sharp diminishment of the responsibilities of Rick Davis, who has been Mr. McCain’s campaign manager since the last shake-up nearly a year ago.
The shift was approved by Mr. McCain after several of his aides, including Mr. Schmidt, went to him about 10 days ago and warned him that he was in danger of losing the presidential election to Senator Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, unless he revamped his campaign operation, two officials close to the campaign said.
Mr. Schmidt’s elevation is the latest sign of increasing influence of veterans of Mr. Rove’s shop in the McCain operation. Nicolle Wallace, who was communications director for Mr. Bush in the 2004 campaign (and in his White House) has joined the campaign as a senior adviser, and will travel with Mr. McCain every other week. Greg Jenkins, another veteran of Mr. Rove’s operation who is a former Fox News producer and director of the presidential advance team in the Bush White House, was hired by Mr. Schmidt last week after a series of what Mr. McCain’s advisers acknowledged were poorly executed campaign events.
This from U.S.News:
It was a long time coming: Today's shake-up of GOP nominee John McCain's leadership team follows weeks of harsh—and increasingly public—criticism by influential members of his own party who say they have been alarmed at what they have seen as the campaign's lack of focus and poor planning.
[...]Top Republicans have been expressing frustration about the lack of focus of McCain's campaign, its failure to hit a consistent "message of the day," its lack of outreach to cultural conservatives, and poorly stage-managed campaign events. "His schedule has been unbelievable," said one strategist close to the McCain campaign. "They have him all over the place, no consistency—it's been incredible."