'Sergeant Schmidt' to Whip McCain Camp Into Shape

Tough-talking GOP veteran takes the helm at HQ
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 3, 2008 9:58 AM CDT
Republican presidential hopeful, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., right, talks with senior adviser Steve Schmidt, left, after arriving in Romulus, Mich., Thursday, Feb. 21, 2008.    (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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(Newser) – The man Karl Rove nicknamed "Bullet" and John McCain calls "Sergeant Schmidt" has taken over day-to-day control of McCain's campaign, and his no-nonsense style is expected to make an immediate impact, Politico reports. Steve Schmidt, a hardworking veteran of the Bush and Schwarzenegger campaigns, is famed for his forceful manner and ability to inspire fierce loyalty among aides.

“He’s fearless, and he understands how all the different parts of the campaign need to come together,” says a former McCain staffer. “He’s part teacher, part manager. People are flocking back to the campaign to work for him.” A new, clearer line of attack for McCain is expected with Schmidt running campaign HQ, but some Democrats think his close ties to Bush could be the chink in the sergeant's armor.