Mike Murphy, a political consultant who helped Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) mastermind his 2000 campaign, will not be reboarding the Straight Talk Express.
“I do not expect to join the campaign,” Murphy said. “They’re my friends, and I wish them well.”
High-profile media reports have speculated that Murphy would join the campaign as it relaunches with a new structure.
But Murphy wanted to do so only if he had the authority to really shape the messaging and dramatically change the tone of the campaign from what he considers a “Rovian” partisan attack strategy, a la Karl Rove. Murphy feels that tack is a mistake in this environment and favors a more reform-oriented approach.
Campaign manager Rick Davis had resisted the idea because, while Murphy has worked on a ton of winning races, he is a self-described control freak.
I can’t fault his reasons; even he’s turned off by Karl Rove and his methods. And if it’s too rank for him, imagine what it’s going to be like when the rest of the country gets a whiff of it.