Do you know this man? Would you recognize him if he was standing next to you at your local Dunkin Donuts? His name is Steve Schmidt.
He runs in political circles. President Bush trusted him enough to make him the chief strategist in charge of overseeing the course of both the John Roberts and Sam Alito Supreme Court nominations.
In July of this year, he took over the day to day operations of running the presidential campaign of John McCain. The New York Times noted the change in campaign tempo as soon as Schmidt took over:
"It was what aides to Senator John McCain describe as probably the worst night of his campaign. As Senator Barack Obama claimed the Democratic nomination before a cheering sea of faces on national television, Mr. McCain countered with a lackluster speech in a half-empty hall, posed in front of a pea-green screen that became fodder for late-night comedy.
Steve Schmidt, a senior adviser to Mr. McCain who worked on President Bush’s campaign in 2004, could barely hide his fury in the coming days, as he announced — to anyone who would listen — that he would personally make certain the McCain campaign would never again embarrass Mr. McCain.
"Fun Steve is dead," Mr. Schmidt said.
In the three months since that night in June, the McCain organization has become a campaign transformed: an elbows-out, risk-taking, disciplined machine that was on display here last week at the Republican convention that nominated Mr. McCain."
To see Schmidts' impact on the race, I would suggest you follow this following link when you are done reading this post. The McCain rocket ship took off in July when Schmidt took over. It was not a coincident.
The New York Times continues about Schmidt:
"He brings a single-minded intensity and focus to the campaigns he’s involved in," said Howard Wolfson, who oversaw the war room of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton as an adviser in her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. "He’s the guy who knows the value of waking up every day and knowing what you are going to say at end of the day about your candidate and your opponent."
Schmidt should be good, he was an apprentice and learned from the best, Karl Rove, in the 2004 Bush Presidential Election. Schmidt ran Bush's war room.
Schmidt was one of the two top McCain aids that met with Sarah Palin on the initial vice-president interview. I have a feeling that he was instrumental in the Palin decision.
Schmidt's former mentor, Rove, came out very strongly against the Palin nomination when it was announced. Apparently, sometimes the teacher becomes the student.