Left to right are Juan Hernandez, Meghan McCain (Sen. McCain’s daughter) and Mark McKinnon
John McCain’s ad guru, Mark McKinnon, is on record with his admiration of Democratic front-runner Barack Obama, and has vowed to make no television commercials which would harm Obama’s campaign.
Paul Weyrich, president and CEO of Free Congress Foundation, said things might have been different if information such as the revelations about McKinnon and WND’s report that McCain’s foundation has been funded by billionaire George Soros since 2001 had been available earlier.
“This validates everything that those of us who have reservations about McCain have been saying,” Weyrich said.
“It’s unfortunate that this exposé did not come out earlier. Had the public known about the McCain-Soros connection and the support McCain’s ad guru has expressed for Obama, in all probability McCain would not today be the presumptive presidential nominee of the Republican Party,” he said.
A WND call to the McCain campaign for comment was not returned.
WND’s earlier report said Soros has funded the Reform Institute, McCain’s organization in Alexandria, Va., since 2001.
Weyrich said the reports raise serious concerns over the viability of a McCain candidacy within the ranks of the Republican Party base.
With Obama on Tuesday winning the Democratic Party’s Potomac Primary, three Washington area primaries, and with McCain increasingly deemed the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee, McKinnon’s largely overlooked promises are taking on new meaning as questions over McCain continue.
It was in an interview with the Austin American-Statesman published June 8, McKinnon said, “If the Democratic nominee is Barack Obama, I will not work in the general election.”
Claiming he would still support and vote for McCain, McKinnon continued, “I just don’t want to work against an Obama candidacy.”
On Feb. 1, Richard Wolffe wrote in Newsweek that McKinnon filed an internal memo with the McCain campaign pledging not to tape ads against Obama if Obama were to become the Democratic Party nominee.
Earlier, Dec. 5, 2006, in an appearance with Tucker Carlson on MSNBC before joining the McCain campaign, McKinnon said, “I think Barack Obama is one of the most exciting politicians to come along in a long time.”
“And I’d encourage anybody who is curious about [Obama] to read his book, because it’s deeply human, deeply thoughtful, and says a lot about his experience, which in a way, sort of, captures the entire American psyche and experience in one man, which is really interesting, given race and politics,” McKinnon said.
McKinnon’s enthusiasm for Obama seems to reflect his desire to see a generational change in political leadership, a position McKinnon evidently does not see as inconsistent with his support of McCain, a Vietnam veteran who was the oldest among either party’s top tier 2008 presidential candidates.
“As I think [Obama] recently said, part of what he reflects is a generational difference,” he stressed in his interview with Tucker, “and part of Hillary Clinton’s problem is that she’s hostage to her generation and her biography.”
What does it say about McCain that a top media adviser is quietly a fan of Obama?
“You’ve got to love this business,” Michael Centanni, the chief operating officer at BMW Direct in Washington, D.C., a direct response fundraising agency, told WND in a telephone interview.
Centanni said McCain’s campaign had approached BMW to conduct direct mail fundraising.
“We actually had an internal debate about this,” Centanni said, “and we decided our reputation as conservatives was much more important to us than the significant amount of money we could make working for McCain.”
”It’s one thing if you’re a guy who owns a printing company, but it’s another thing to come up with the ideas,” he asked. “How can you be creative when your heart is actually with another candidate?”
“Obama’s candidacy is the triumph of style over substance,” observed Colin Hanna, president of Let Freedom Ring, a public policy non-profit organization based in Chester, Pa. “Mark McKinnon has clearly signaled which of these is closer to his heart.”
McKinnon is vice chairman of Public Strategies, an advertising firm in Austin, Texas.
He began his career in politics by working for Democratic Party candidates, including Michael Dukakis and Texas Gov. Ann Richards.
Then McKinnon crossed over, agreeing to direct the advertising effort for George W. Bush’s 2000 and 2004 presidential campaigns.
He is credited with developing the “windsurfing” ad the Bush campaign ran against Democratic Party presidential nominee John Kerry in 2004.
Media wishing to interview the author of this article, please e-mail Tim Bueler.