McCain's inner circle

Admission: I’m a liberal, but also a worst-case-scenario-type-guy & so I assume McCain will win.

According to this article (, McCain’s “inner circle” is:
Mark Salter, Rick Davis, Steve Schmidt and Charlie Black.

First reaction: I’m happy not to see names like Baker or Wolfowitz or Rove on that list.

Second reaction: So who are these guys?
(And does it give any comfort that McCain is actually a moderate & not a right-winger?)

Mark Salter is McCain’s speechwriter and ghostwrote his books. He’s worked for McCain for about two decades, both as his speechwriter and chief of staff. Befrore that, he wrote speeches for Jeanne Kirkpatrick. He’s a Georgetown graduate.

Rick Davis is McCain’s campaign manager. He was national field director for the College Republicans in the 1980 election, and then worked in the Reagan and Bush White Houses, and then served as deputy director of the 1996 Republican National Committee, and deputy campaign manager to the Bob Dole campaign. In 2000, he became campaign manager of McCain’s campaign. After McCain’s loss, he became a lobbyist.

Steve Schmidt is a McCain advisor. He worked on a few campaigns in California, and was a spokeman for the Republican National Congressional Campaign Committee. He then went to work for the 2004 Bush reelection campaign, becoming part of Karl Rove’s “breakfast club”, a small group that met for breakfast at Rove’s house and planned out the campaign. He then went to become an aide to VP Cheney, and managed the Roberts and Alito nominations. In 2006, he worked on Schwarteneger’s reelection campaign.

Charlie Black is a senior advisor. He was an advisor to Presidents Reagan and Bush, and a spokesman for Bush in the 1992 campaign. He also provided advice to the 2000 and 2004 Bush campaigns, as well as managing a number of campaigns. He’s one of the founders of BKSH and Associates, a lobbying firm.