Senator John McCain of Arizona, whose presidential campaign has been hampered by fund-raising woes and his unpopular positions on the war and immigration, has reshuffled his campaign operation in hopes of keeping his 2008 bid alive.
The campaign just announced that McCain's campaign manager, Terry Nelson, and his chief strategist, John Weaver, were stepping down.
"This morning I informed Senator McCain that I would be resigning from his presidential campaign, effective immediately," Nelson said in a statement. "It has been a tremendous honor to serve Senator McCain and work on his campaign. I believe John McCain is the most experienced and prepared candidate to represent the Republican Party and defeat the Democratic nominee next year."
Weaver added, "As of today, I have resigned my position as chief strategist to John McCain's presidential campaign. It has been my honor and a distinct privilege to serve someone who has always put our country first."
The shake-up comes as McCain, once the Republican front-runner, is struggling to remain a leading contender in the GOP field. McCain, who first ran for president in 2000, has had difficulty finding his footing this time around, with independents and Democrats angry at his vocal support for the Iraq war, and conservatives fuming over his push for immigration reform. McCain's campaign had already announced last week a massive campaign reorganization after another lackluster fund-raising quarter left him with just $2 million in the bank.
UPDATE: McCain just released the following statement: "Today, John Weaver and Terry Nelson offered their resignations from my presidential campaign, which I accepted with regret and deep gratitude for their dedication, hard work and friendship. Terry is a consummate professional, who has ably lead this campaign through a challenging political environment. John Weaver has been my friend and trusted counselor for many years and to whom I am greatly indebted. In the days and weeks ahead this campaign will move forward, and I will continue to address the issues of greatest concern to the American people, laying out my vision for a secure and prosperous America."