'Bullet' Mixes Rove-Style Bile, Gambling for Stretch Run
Steve Schmidt, brought aboard in July, has made daring part of McCain campaign
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2008 12:56 PM CDT
Republican presidential candidate John McCain's senior campaign advisers Mark Salter, right, and Steve Schmidt walk across the tarmac to McCain's campaign plane.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – While pundits might disagree about results, there’s no doubt John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin and his move to suspend his campaign over the bailout are huge gambles that can be traced to strategist Steve Schmidt, the Los Angeles Times reports. Nicknamed “Bullet” by strategist Karl Rove, Schmidt is recycling tactics he used in leading George W. Bush’s “war room” in 2004.

Among Schmidt’s credits was an ad seeking to paint Barack Obama as merely a celebrity by comparing him to Paris Hilton; the 38-year-old is so focused on toeing the campaign’s line that some staffers call him the “message Nazi.” After managing Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 2006 reelection in California and shepherding Supreme Court nominees John Roberts and Samuel Alito through the Senate, Schmidt’s eying one more November success.