Kerry Adds Ex-Clinton Staffer

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CBS
The Kerry campaign has announced several staff additions amid reports that a shake-up is in the works. Ex-Clinton spokesman Joe Lockart was named as a senior adviser and Joel Johnson, a former Clinton staffer, is becoming director of rapid response.

Kerry has been hearing from major Democrats that he needs to overhaul his campaign. CBS News has been told that there will not be any firings but there are plans to augment the communications operation. Sources say on idea is to put together a major war room. The campaign plans to tell more about their fall plans on Thursday.

Wall Street Journal columnist Al Hunt reported Tuesday that Kerry was contemplating a major staff shake-up. Hunt said Democrats disappointed with Kerry's performance since the Democratic convention in Boston have told the Massachusetts senator that high-level staff changes were needed.

"Leading Democrats describe a command structure often frozen -- or at least tempered -- by too many chefs, a too-heavy reliance on polls or focus groups and an aversion to risks. As a result, the message often is muddled and the reaction to hard-hitting attacks from Republicans often is slow and unconvincing," Hunt wrote.

Separately, the National Journal reported that Kerry was making several other staff additions. "Rumor has it that the recent Swift Boat skirmishes are at least part of the reason behind the hires," the Journal said.

Recent polls show the presidential race to be a dead heat, but Kerry has slipped in many of these surveys.

The candidate has been engaged in a high-profile duel with a group of Navy veterans who claimed Kerry lied about his Vietnam war service.

"The response to the supposedly independent Swift Boat Veterans attacking Sen. Kerry's war record has been particularly ineffective," Hunt said.