Later today, Sen. John McCain's exploratory committee plans to announce veteran GOP campaign operative Terry Nelson as his pick to be his national campaign manager, should the Senator choose to turn his exploring into a full-blown run for the White House.So who is Terry Nelson?
"We couldn't be more pleased that John asked Terry to oversee the daily operation of the campaign if the McCain's decide to move forward. All of us -- Rick (Davis), Mark (Salter), and me -- look forward to a crash course in metrics," McCain's top political strategist John Weaver told ABC News.
"Terry brings strong leadership, detailed and current knowledge, a wide range of impressive contacts nationally, and a drive to our core group," Weaver added.
The Washington Post was first to report the McCain camp's initial Nelson primary victory back in March when he joined McCain's Straight Talk America PAC as a senior adviser.
Nelson's hire is clearly a huge get, but will not come without controversy. Nelson made political headlines in the 2006 cycle as the strategist tapped to head up the RNC's independent expenditure which was responsible for that extremely controversial ad in Tennessee against Harold Ford, Jr. featuring a young blonde actress portraying a woman who met Ford at a Playboy party and who suggestively asks him to call her at the end of the ad. (It caused enough heartache for one of Nelson's other clients, Working Families for Wal-Mart, that they sought and received his resignation after the episode.) Nelson was also tied up in the recently settled New Hampshire phone jamming case and in Tom DeLay's TRMPAC troubles from his days at the RNC.How low will John McCain go? Apparently there is no bottom.
I have just one question for John McCain; can I have the money I gave you in 2000 back?
Joe Gandelman moderately weighs in and corrects the ABC's Political Radar linked above.
ABC's Political Radar then contains an assertion that begs a comment here:I hope Joe is right.The left-leaning blogs will certainly jump on this with gusto.No, it isn't just "left-leaning blogs." This hire will not be hailed by :
The bottom line: no, Political Radar, it isn't just the left that's raising an eyebrow, although we know full well that by raising it some will suggest we MUST get checks from Howard Dean. (YAWN.......)
- Those who want to see an end to ads (that raise the issue of race, sexism or religion used even in the typical plausible-deniability mode used in campaigns. The ads go up, eventually they're pulled down. The consequences linger. There are voters who will vote against politicians who use those ads or embrace those that feel anything goes in politics to claw the way to a victory.
- Those independent and moderate voters always felt John McCain was a cut above the rest. This move indicates he hired a very adept and effective political infighter. And this seems to be a cut above AMONG the rest.
There are sure some who will legitimately wonder: if McCain gets the GOP nomination and the Democratic candidate is Barack Obama (African-American) or Hillary Clinton (female) will we see ads that Rush and Sean can argue never brought up a racist or sexist suggestion bring up a suggestion so clear that even a Martian visiting the earth for the first time to buy a Playstation 3 notices it?
- It suggests McCain is gearing up for a brass-knuckled primary season. Will we see an issue-oriented campaign or does this hire signal that McCain and his camp may indulge in a bit of the kind of tactics McCain suffered at the hands of the Bush camp in South Carolina in 2000? Should Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney brace themselves now for below-the-belt attacks that are later defended as not below-the-belt?