McCain's Message Guy

By Patrick Appel
Laurence Lowe profiles McCain strategist Steve Schmidt:

Schmidt has certainly indulged in lowly Rove-like tactics over the years. Like the time, back in 1996, when he sent out 60,000 "sex surveys" that attempted to portray then-Congressman Tim Roemer as someone who was using health surveys to pry into the sex lives of adolescents. Schmidt has already proved in this campaign that he's not above that kind of behavior. But he also has a parallel history of stressing decidedly moderate positions, and eschewing the dictates of Rove's permanent conservative majority pipe dream. If his sudden ascendancy proves anything, it is that the Republican Party's fortunes have changed so dramatically that it can no longer afford to have grand ideologues run its campaigns, but must instead turn to scrappier tacticians like Schmidt.