John McCain Campaign Loses Two Veteran Staffers Including Campaign Manager; Dang!

Two of Senator John McCain's veteran campaign advisers -- one being his campaign manager, Shiree Verdone -- have left the campaign, the McCain camp announced Friday.

After the "danged fence" ad, and what Dan Nowicki at the Arizona Republic is calling an "about face" on his stance on immigration, we figured some heads were gonna roll, but the campaign insists that neither Shiree Verdone nor Mike Hellon, a former Arizona GOP chairman, got the boot, they're just moving on to work on the Republican National Committee's efforts in Arizona.

"Senator McCain is very grateful for all that Shiree and Mike have done to launch the re-election campaign and establish it on a firm footing and looks forward to working closely with them for victory in November," says McCain campaign spokesman Brian Rogers.

McCain's opponent in the GOP Senate primary, former Congressman J.D. Hayworth isn't buyin' the line that the two weren't fired and has begun referring to the McCain campaign as the "McMeltdown."  

"This is the hottest race in the country and the top two people don't just jump ship with three months to go before the primary election unless something is wrong," says Hayworth campaign spokesman Mark Sanders. "This looks more like a meltdown than a makeover."

McCain's certainly taken his lumps in the press over the last two weeks but it doesn't seem as though it's reached "meltdown" status as of yet -- at the moment, insiders still consider McCain to be a 15-point favorite come primary day.

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