McCain Advisers Big on Loyalty, Dissension

Infighting between current, former top advisers colors campaign
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 11, 2008 5:30 PM CDT
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. right, stands with political advisor John Weaver.   (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia, File)
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(Newser) – John McCain’s inner circle is a hotbed of animosity and infighting among his fiercely loyal advisers, Jason Zengerle writes in the New Republic. Years of Freudian feuding by John Weaver and Rick Davis created a team divided not only on personal lines, but also on philosophical ones, between a top-down campaign and a nimbler, decentralized effort.

Even Weaver's resignation couldn't put a lid on the situation. McCain is less “a politician captaining a team of rivals than a patriarch presiding over a brood of squabbling children vying for Daddy's affection,” Zengerle reports. But the candidate has “refused to play referee,” allowing civil wars to erupt—including one between the sober headquarters and freewheeling Straight Talk Express.