Rush Limbaugh picked up Tim Graham’s Newsbusters post about this Newsweek article on John McCain’s media adviser, Mark McKinnon, and a year-old internal memo where McKinnon supposedly said he’d run no negative ads against Obama in the general election. Richard Wolffe of Newsweek writes:
Even if Republicans don’t convert in more significant numbers, the friendly outreach may blunt the ferocity of GOP attacks. One senior aide to John McCain has already said he’s reluctant to attack Obama: last year, McCain’s adman Mark McKinnon wrote an internal memo promising not to tape ads against the Illinois Democrat if he becomes the nominee.
Wolffe wrote about this memo last summer as well, although this June 2007 revelation is very different from his February 2008 piece:
McKinnon, a lifelong Democrat until he decided to team up with Bush, developed a bond with McCain over their shared belief in the need to remain committed to the troops in Iraq. McKinnon helped organize McCain’s last book tour and has traveled extensively with the senator, offering media advice to the candidate for much of the last year. But he wrote a memo to the campaign in January, explaining that he would quit if the general election pitted McCain against Obama. McKinnon wrote that while he opposed Obama’s policies, especially on Iraq, he felt that the Illinois senator–as an African-American politician–has a unique potential to change the country. Therefore, McKinnon argued, he wanted no part in any efforts to tear down Obama’s candidacy. (McKinnon, who has previously told friends he was inspired by Obama’s autobiography, refused to comment on the memo, as did Brian Jones, McCain’s communications director; Obama’s campaign said that the senator had never met McKinnon.)
A quick question: Barring some sort of Howard Dean-style meltdown, McCain’s going to be the nominee. Is it still McKinnon’s position that he’ll quit McCain 2008 if it’s Obama fpr tje Democrats?
And a question to Richard Wolffe: Last year, McKinnon was going to quit. This latest report is that he won’t “tape ads,” which leaves a Grand Canyon of wiggle room.
McKinnon is the guy who had no problems running the Kerry-I-voted-for-it-before-I-voted-against-it ad in 2004, so his ability to do good work is not in doubt. But if there’s going to be a major shake-up on team McCain, we should know about it sooner rather than later.
(And another thought…since Hillary Clinton’s negative attacks have done very little to hurt Obama, I wonder if going negative against him would even work. He’s no John Kerry.)