POLITICS
07/11/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Day After Shakeup, McCain Campaign Cites Incredible Progress

Newly appointed McCain campaign director Steve Schmidt sent out a memo to staff on Thursday reiterating support for the campaign's regional operations but hinted that more control would be centralized in national headquarters.

McCain, Schmidt wrote, will be "adding a Political Director and a Field Director to our headquarters organization" and "enhancing our headquarters political capacity to provide additional resources to you and your regions."

Schmidt took over the reigns of the campaign from Rick Davis on Wednesday in what was widely regarded as an acknowledgment that the campaign has sputtered. To blame, some observers say, is McCain's lack of coherent message and strategy and his unique reliance on regional offices (as opposed to a more centralized operation). But if concerns are high among the Senator's aides, Schmidt certainly didn't express them in his memo.

"You have built statewide and county leadership teams in the targeted states and in the coming months will even further develop our organizations to the precinct level in every state that will decide this election," he wrote. "It is an incredible amount of progress for a campaign that ended the primaries with no money, little infrastructure, and no formal organization outside the early primary states."

Here's the full memo:

With 124 days to go until the election, our campaign is now leaning more and more on your regional operations to continue Senator McCain's success and growth. Over the last month when we began deploying our field operations, you have done a fantastic job of opening the 11 regional offices in key states, staffing those offices with over 70 staff, and deploying 17 state directors across the country. You have built statewide and county leadership teams in the targeted states and in the coming months will even further develop our organizations to the precinct level in every state that will decide this election. It is an incredible amount of progress for a campaign that ended the primaries with no money, little infrastructure, and no formal organization outside the early primary states.

In addition, you have successfully worked with the Republican National Committee through the Victory effort to open 84 offices and put 113 staff into the field. Hundreds more field staff will be hitting the ground in the coming weeks and more Victory Centers opening, all of which will work together with our regional campaign managers and the RNC regional political directors to help elect John McCain and Republicans around the country.

In order to strengthen our regional operations and provide better coordination between our headquarters and the regions, we are going to be adding a Political Director and a Field Director to our headquarters organization. These individuals will work with all of you and with Christian Ferry to increase our capacity to reach out to voters, build coalitions, identify supporters, and ultimately turn them out to the polls on November 4. We will be enhancing our headquarters political capacity to provide additional resources to you and your regions.

The organizations you are leading are providing important coordination in the field between all the various aspects of our campaign - whether that is political organization, finance, surrogates, communications, coalitions etc. In the days ahead, we will be working to enhance and strengthen the coordination between all these aspects of the campaign. By putting emphasis on our regional operations and hiring experienced managers such as you, we have built a campaign that will be nimble when it counts and close to the ground where grassroots activity will drive our message and efforts.

We have all been involved in presidential campaigns in the past, but this campaign is special because of the unique honor of working for a candidate like John McCain - a man who never surrenders. With 124 days to go, we have one job - electing John McCain the next President of the United States. I am confident that with our team, we will get the job done.