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.
The idea that there would be--and, just as important would appear to be--less turmoil on the campaign if Murphy is brought on as chief strategist later, seems to me frankly nuts. The last thing you want to do (as Jason suggested in his post) is make it look as though you're reshuffling again a couple of weeks after you just reshuffled. Whether the McCain team is really thinking this way or Kristol simply has it wrong I don't know (though if forced to bet, I'd go with the latter).
The best thing about Kristol's column, though is its priceless first line:
From the gun clubs of Northern Virginia to the sports bars of Capitol Hill — wherever D.C.-area Republicans gather — you hear the question: “Where’s Murphy?”
Yes, those of you cynics who thought DC Republicans might spend any time socializing on baronial McLean estates or at pricey, Capitol-Hill steakhouses should be ashamed. They're shooting guns and watching sports, unlike you blue-state pantywaists. When they're not putting out forest fires, obviously.