This column appeared in The Sacramento Bee. Some people are chosen by history. Steve Schmidt was chosen to be on the wrong side of history.
The Sacramento-based political consultant was recruited to be a key adviser for Sen. John McCain's doomed presidential campaign against Barack Obama.
On Tuesday, Obama will be inaugurated as the 44th president of the United States. Schmidt will watch, at home with his young daughter, as Obama takes the oath as the first African American president in U.S. history.
Schmidt says he will do so without a smidge of wistfulness or regret. That seems hard to fathom considering that he spent much of 2008 getting whupped by Obama on the all-consuming campaign trail.
"You sleep with your BlackBerry under your pillow," Schmidt said. "You nod off for 30 minutes when you can. It's a never-stop job. … It was a surreal experience."
He's only 38, but Schmidt has already had many of those.
He was in President George W. Bush's inner circle. He guided two U.S. Supreme Court nominees – including current Chief Justice John Roberts – through hostile U.S. Senate confirmations. He was recruited by Maria Shriver to run Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's re-election campaign in 2006.
To read the complete editorial, visit The Sacramento Bee.