McCain and Romney pick up top-tier staff

The Fix reported that John McCain hired Steve Schmidt. Steve was California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s campaign manager in 2006 and part of the message team for Bush-Cheney 2004. In addition to the staff game, Steve will help McCain with California donors who were extremely impressed by the Schwarzenegger campaign.

According to Matt Lewis, Romney hired Gary Marx, in charge of conservative coalitions from the BC’04 team. Marx had written for Human Events that conservatives must not split so that they can defeat McCain:

The question all conservatives must answer is: Who is the alternative who can stop media darling John McCain from becoming the GOP standard bearer? This candidate needs to have national appeal, likeability, and be willing to take Hillary Clinton on in two years. Obviously, the conservative effort would be helped a great deal if Rudy Giuliani or Condi Rice jumped into the race and thus fractured McCain’s base.  Above all, conservatives need to find their contender for President and support them 100% rather than settling on minor or purist candidates who split the conservative base and deliver the nomination to McCain. Thus, we need to decide in the next nine to 12 months if it is Gov. Mitt Romney, Senators George Allen, Bill Frist, Sam Brownback or Rep. Mike Pence who can carry the flag for conservatives in 2008.

He’s decided. He better be on the phone over Christmas because Romney is getting hammered.

Update: Romney also adds Jay Sekulow! Hotline has the details.