Four McCain campaign aides resign

The McCain mutiny

by John Dickerson


Why the collapse now? Before McCain left for Iraq over the July Fourth weekend, he was angry with his leadership team, accusing them of wasting millions in campaign funds. (One source told me he outright accused his staff of swindling him.) He had been under pressure from donors and advisers to fire campaign manager Terry Nelson for the campaign’s dismal fund-raising results and inability to keep costs under control. When McCain returned from Iraq, he met with Nelson and strategist John Weaver Monday morning. After a heated exchange, Nelson offered his resignation. When McCain accepted it, Weaver resigned. Those who remain are trying to argue that McCain is showing leadership by holding his top brass accountable, but the episode looks more like the last scene in Hamlet — a stack of bodies piled up just before the curtain...

John McCain goes off the rails

by Michael Scherer and Walter Shapiro


As recently as this spring, the McCain campaign was still running as the inevitable inheritor of the party mantle, with an enormous campaign operation that spanned all the early voting states burning up more than $22 million in just six months. Every time he spoke to the press, John Weaver, McCain’s senior political strategist, tried to create an aura of inevitability around the candidate. ‘We wouldn’t trade places with anybody,’ he told reporters, over and over again. But that strategy — to cast McCain as the unassailable front-runner — only highlighted McCain’s weaknesses, by setting expectations wildly high. Even before the campaign began, the Arizona senator had alienated many of the Republican Party’s bankrollers by supporting campaign finance reform and aggressive investigations into corporate wrongdoing and the convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Despite the occasional olive branch to pastors like the late Jerry Falwell, he refused to kowtow to the Republican Party’s evangelical base. And, perhaps most important, he found himself on the wrong side of a midsummer grass-roots revolt by Republicans who were infuriated by the immigration reform bill, which McCain helped author...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


Four McCain campaign aides resign

Sen. John McCain's campaign for the Republican presidential nomination hit what may be its breaking point Tuesday, as he accepted the resignations of four top aides while vowing to continue his struggling quest.

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