Apparently McCain has also hired Schwarzenegger aide Matt David, "who ran Arnold's take-no-prisoners, non-stop "war room" rapid response effort." Both Schmidt and David will also remain on the Schwarzenegger payroll as advisors.
I posted a recommended diary a while ago here at dKos, "Schwarzenegger uses "executive order" to rewrite global warming law," with more details/links about Schmidt et al. and how the Schwarzenegger campaign was run on fake populismm, Big Lies, Big Money and "total control" of the media narrative.
As I said then:
IMO, this fake "green," fake "bipartisan" and bought-and-paid-for campaign in California is a trial run for the political strategy for whichever "New!" "Modern!" "Green!" "not-George-Bush!" Republican candidate runs for President in 2008.
Well, I was wrong about "New!" and "Modern!" -- I don't think even Steve Schmidt could reposition McCain as New and Modern. And a "Green!" McCain? Nah. In fact, if I had to bet whether McCain would be the GOP candidate in 2008, I'd bet a strong "No", but this makes me wonder, yes it does.
I know that a national election can't be compared to California's; I know that Democratic politicians nationally won't roll over for McCain the way Democratic politicians rolled over for Schwarzenegger in California (we know that, right?); and I know that McCain isn't Schwarzenegger (nobody's Schwarzenegger, I guess).
And I also can't imagine a scenario in the Presidential 2008 race where blogs like Daily Kos throw up their hands and abandon the field to the GOP, the way many did for the California governor's race. I expect blogs supporting Democratic candidates to have even more of an effect in 2008 than in 2006.
But, I say: Watch Out! These assholes are Really Friggin Good at painting Up as Down, and Even Friggin Better at controlling and limiting the media narrative. They're also really, really good at distancing their candidate from George W. Bush.