The Politico reports that several of President Bush’s former advisers are now “informally advising” Sen. John McCain (R-AZ):
Ken Mehlman, who ran Bush’s 2004 campaign, is now serving as an unpaid, outside adviser to the Arizona Republican. Karl Rove, the president’s top political hand since his Texas days, recently gave money to McCain and soon after had a private conversation with the senator. A top McCain adviser said both Mehlman and Rove are now informally advising the campaign. Rove refused to detail his conversation with McCain.
The list could grow longer. Dan Bartlett, formerly a top aide in the Bush White House, and Sara Taylor, the erstwhile Bush political adviser, said they are eager to provide any assistance and advice possible to McCain.
McCain has also lined up several of Bush’s top fundraisers in recent weeks. “[McCain] has sided himself so closely to the administration, especially on Iraq, now having various Bush advisers — that doesn’t sit well with the public,” said Matt Dowd, Bush’s chief strategist in 2004. “The public wants the non-Bush candidate.”