Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Moment of Conscience

Today on NPR, I heard an amazing and brave declaration of principle, that was yet another sign that a new day is coming.

Mark McKinnon is the chief media advisor in the John McCain campaign. He was one of the very few staffers that stuck it through with McCain when he had his melt down last summer. He was also the media and advertising director of the 2000 George Bush campaign that systematically and shamelessly destroyed McCain, and part of the 2004 Bush team that went after Kerry.

The moment of courage (and honesty) in the interview was when Mr McKinnon explained why, when he signed on to the McCain campaign, he did so with the caveat that he would resign from the campaign if Obama were to become the nominee of the Democratic party. His words represent a remarkable return to decency:
"I would not work in the general election if Obama were the opponent on the democratic side.

"I will be supporting 100% John McCain...I would be supporting (him) from the sidelines.

"I met Barack Obama, I read his book, I like him a great deal, I disagree with him on very fundamental issues...I would simply be uncomfortable being in a campaign that would be inevitably attacking Barack Obama. It would be uncomfortable for me, and I think it would be bad for the McCain campaign."
When a hard nosed pro like McKinnon decides to sit out a presidential campaign rather than be party to dismantling Obama (and by proxy, what he represents), I am reminded of the freedom marches of the 60s. Sometimes all it takes is a clear voice to remind good people that they have acquired some bad habits.

Thank you Mr McKinnon for your courage and example.

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