As The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza reports:
Mark McKinnon, the lead media consultant for Sen. John McCain’s (Ariz.) presidential bid, is stepping down from that role--making good on a pledge he made last year not to work against Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) in the fall campaign.After a week during which the hotheaded McCain has already been hammered for his campaign’s superfluity of ethical lapses involving lobbyists on the payroll, as well as his ignorance about who’s really in charge of Iran’s foreign policy, McKinnon’s departure as his message-maker would seem to be a wounding blow to McSame’s shrinking hopes of serving out Bush’s third term in the White House.
McKinnon confirmed his decision to The Fix this afternoon. “I’ll be transitioning, shifting position from linebacker to head cheerleader,” said the always-colorful McKinnon. He added that he would continued to be a “friend and fan” to the campaign.
McKinnon, a former Democrat, played a central role in Gov. George W. Bush’s 2000 campaign and the Bush-Cheney reelection four years later. He was part of a large contingent of Bush operatives to make the transition to McCain in late 2006 and early 2007, but was one of only a handful who stuck with the Arizona senator after his campaign’s implosion last summer.
That same summer, McKinnon told Cox Newspapers that if Obama was the Democratic nominee, he would not play an active role in McCain’s effort to defeat the Illinois senator.
“I just don’t want to work against an Obama candidacy,” McKinnon told Cox Washington bureau chief Ken Herman; electing Obama, he added, “would send a great message to the country and the world.”
READ MORE: “Keeping Vow on Obama, McCain Adviser Resigns,” by Jim Rutenberg (The New York Times); “‘Maverick’ McCain? Not When It Counts,” by Steve Benen (The Carpetbagger Report); “Myth of McCain Multilateralism,” by A.J. Rossmiller (AMERICAblog); “McCain More Conservative Than His Image” (AP); “McCain Will Face Rebellion at GOP Convention” (Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire).