POLITICS
07/15/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Kristol: McCain Will Hire 2000 Strategist Murphy

The Republican world today is buzzing over the McCain campaign Kremlinology attempted by de facto McCain insider Bill Kristol, who, while not being part of McCain's inner circle, is close to many who are.

So McCain decided it was time for a campaign shake-up. Last week he moved lobbyist Rick Davis aside. He seemed to put Bush-Rove alum Steve Schmidt more or less in charge. But the full plan, as I understand it, was -- and is -- to have Schmidt, a good operative and tactician, take over day-to-day operations at headquarters, while bringing Murphy on both to travel with McCain and as chief strategist.

But McCain hesitated to carry out both steps of the plan at once, worried about an overload of turmoil. And Murphy's arrival would mean a fair amount of turmoil. The current McCain campaign is chock full of G.O.P. establishment types, many of whom aren't great fans of the irreverent Murphy. Murphy's also made no secret of his low opinion of the Bush-Rove political machine that has produced many of these operatives. And Murphy hasn't made his possible entry into the campaign smoother by telling a New York Times reporter the other day that "the depressingly self-absorbed McCain campaign machine needs to get out of the way" of its candidate.

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