McCain Trims HQ Fat...

Sen. John McCain 's campaign retooling continues.

Manager Terry Nelson, is trimming some of the organization's vestigial edges to pare down costs and more efficiently distribute key staff. Contrary to rumors, the campaign is not shedding weight in order to slow down its cash burn rate.

Nelson has decided to eliminated several staff positions from the campaign's May budget, some yet to be filled. In addition, several campaign consultants will see their contracts modified. Others currently on retainer will work for the campaign on a per-project basis.

Key departments, including political affairs, communications and the field staff in early primaries states -- were spared, and some instances, are still hiring.

A campaign aide characterized the changes as "minor adjustments."

After having raised $12.5 million, a solid but below-average sum for the Republican field, the campaign revamped its finance operation, bringing in Republican lobbyist and fundraising wizard Tom Loeffler to oversee fundraising, and asking Republican strategist Steve Schmidt to look after spending more carefully.

During February and March, McCain's campaign hired a staff of more than 120, and it staged several expensive bus trips through Iowa and New Hampshire. A trip through South Carolina is planned for next week.

Because a detailed accounting of McCain's spending hasn't yet be released, it's not clear whether the campaign began to pay the legion of consultants it has signed up.

The campaign aide declined to say how much McCain spent during the first quarter although McCain advisers have emphasized that the campaign's monetary difficulties revolved around the tasks of raising money, rather than the rate at which the money was spent.

Ex-MA Gov. Mitt Romney raised $24M and spent $12M.