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February 14, 2008
Top Advisor for McCain "won't fight Obama"
On Wednesday, a top adviser to John McCain said more definitively than he has in the past that he will step down from the Arizona senator's presidential campaign if the presumed GOP nominee faces Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., in the general election. McKinnon, with his trademark fedora, has been a familiar face appearing on TV after McCain's primary victories. Why he would take a powder and not assist McCain in a general election against Obama is a mystery.
"I would simply be uncomfortable being in a campaign that would be inevitably attacking Barack Obama," said McCain adviser Mark McKinnon in an interview with NPR's "All Things Considered." "I think it would be uncomfortable for me, and I think it would be bad for the McCain campaign."
McKinnon, who was a Democrat before serving as President Bush's ad maker in 2000 and 2004, said that he plans to be behind McCain "100 percent" no matter who the Democratic nominee is. He explained, however, that if the Democrats nominate Obama, he will be supporting McCain "from the sidelines."
While he is known as an extremely savvy media and image guru, McKinnon has also shown that he marches to a somewhat different drummer. This interview in Texas Monthly proves the point. When Pat Tillman quit the NFL to enlist after 9/11. McKinnon was so profoundly affected that he had Tillman's number tatooed on his arm. He appears conservative on national security issues while more liberal on social issues.
But his refusal to work for a campaign that wiill seek to draw distinctions between his candidate and Obama is just plain weird.