June 7, 2005


Bush consultant meets with McCain about presidential bid (G. ROBERT HILLMAN, 6/07/05, The Dallas Morning News)

Mark McKinnon, the Austin political consultant who oversaw the advertising for President Bush in the 2000 and 2004 campaigns, has committed to help Sen. John McCain in a second presidential bid.

McKinnon - one of the president's closest friends and confidants and a frequent mountain biking companion - met with the Arizona Republican over lunch this spring in the Senate dining room to discuss his support, said a GOP activist familiar with the meeting.

At this point, McCain, who lost to Bush in a bitter 2000 Republican primary, is in the early but unmistakable stages of laying the groundwork for another campaign. And McKinnon has indicated he would review his options, should Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice or the president's brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, run in 2008. [...]

"I like the senator a lot, but it is too early to speculate on his intentions, as he has said himself, not to mention mine," McKinnon said in an e-mailed statement. "My political focus right now is on a successful second-term agenda for President Bush."

Folks have been slow to process the fact that the President considers one key to a successful second term to be the GOP holding the White Hose in '08. If Jeb and Condi don't run that means Senator McCain.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 7, 2005 8:27 AM

A question --

Does "holding" the White House matter if the person holding it rejects the Bush agenda (and hence was rejected himself by conservative primary voters in 2000)?

I'm just asking so the smart commenters and posters here can inform me.

Posted by: kevin whited at June 7, 2005 10:11 AM

i didn't realize gwb had been granted a deed to the white house. machiavelli suggests that the current occupant wants to lull mc cain into more complacent behavior, before shafting him in 2007 or 2008.

Posted by: cjm at June 7, 2005 10:16 AM

Agree with Kevin - there is little evidence McCain wouldn't begin to undo what Bush has tried to accomplish during his tenure. If McCain does get into the WH it will be with considerable moderate/Dem support which will force him to be much less conservative than GWB. And of course McCain's need to satisfy the NYTimes won't help either.

Posted by: AWW at June 7, 2005 10:42 AM

"And McKinnon has indicated he would review his options, should Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice...run in 2008"

Oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please...

I think cjm is onto something. Bush is likely to play nice with McCain for the next 2 years when necessary to advance his agenda, then slip in the shiv...

Posted by: b at June 7, 2005 10:47 AM



Posted by: oj at June 7, 2005 10:56 AM

I may be alone in this, but there is no way I will ever vote for John McCain for president, despite being a conservative voter for the last 25 years. I suspect there are many like me, and sincerely hope there are enough that McCain cannot get the nomination in 2008. But then, McCain is arrogant enough to try a third party run and screw up the election ala Ross Perot.

Posted by: jd watson at June 7, 2005 12:21 PM

I think this is an example of keeping your enemies close. McKinnon has been given the task of jollying McCain along and giving him the attention he craves. The task at hand is to neutralize him for the next three years to minimize the damage his pea brain and lack of ethical restraints can wreak on the president's initiatives.

The danger is also that he would fall victim to the flattery and cajolery of an adoring media and actual agree to run as a third party candidate if as is all but certain, he won't be the Republican nominee. I hope the evil genius Karl Rove by moving McKinnon into place has already made the first move in thwarting this little scenario.

Posted by: erp at June 7, 2005 1:15 PM

If McCain runs as an independent, he can and will be isolated as a "left of center" candidate by the Republicans. Something they couldn't do with Perot.

If (i don't think an overwhelming if) Guiliani can get evangelical/conservative religionists to accept his pledges to appoint pro-life judges, then I think he will beat McCain like a drum in the primaries. In the General Election he can retain the Red States and I think finally win "back" Blue states like PA, MI, IL, not to mention New York. With luck (fingers crossed) maybe the West Coast. Regarding the issue of confidence of the Christian Right in Guiliani, remember they have zero confidence in McCain, so what other option do they have? Having said all that I'll still support McCain against any conceivable Democrat.

Posted by: h-man at June 7, 2005 2:04 PM

Rove will work for him too.

Posted by: oj at June 7, 2005 3:10 PM

I still don't think that McCain is going to run, but if W makes clear that he's the guy, most of us will fall into line and vote for him. The war is still going to be too important to trust to a Democrat and McCain has been very good on the war. The Supreme Court is still going to be too important to trust to a Democrat, and McCain will be better than Hillary.

Posted by: David Cohen at June 7, 2005 4:05 PM


Don't you have to get a tatoo or something when he runs?

Posted by: oj at June 7, 2005 4:40 PM

I am not voting for McCain under any circumstance. I'll write in either Zell Miller or Condi, depending on my mood that day. My single vote doesn't matter anyway except for making me feel I've fulfilled my civic duty, and I'm not going to cast a vote for McCain for President. No way, no how.

Posted by: b at June 7, 2005 4:58 PM


Wanna bet?

Posted by: oj at June 7, 2005 5:05 PM

oj: About what?

Posted by: b at June 7, 2005 5:24 PM


Posted by: David Cohen at June 7, 2005 5:33 PM


that you'll vote for the nominee.


Haven't you been swearing up and down that McCain wasn't going to run ?

Posted by: oj at June 7, 2005 6:11 PM

And still am. Tattoos, unfortunately, are not kosher.

Posted by: David Cohen at June 7, 2005 8:33 PM

it can be a Star of David...

Posted by: oj at June 7, 2005 8:46 PM

David, though not a Rabbi or an expert on what is/isn't kosher, I'd imagine that some sort of temporary ink stamp would be okay.

Posted by: Dave W. at June 7, 2005 10:35 PM

Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I [am] the LORD.

Leviticus, 19:28.

Posted by: David Cohen at June 7, 2005 11:32 PM

"And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him. "


Posted by: oj at June 7, 2005 11:36 PM

Now who's going all Harry on us?

Posted by: David Cohen at June 7, 2005 11:43 PM

I'm pro-hypocrisy though.

Posted by: oj at June 7, 2005 11:46 PM

Mr. Judd;

But doesn't God grant himself quite a number of other privileges beyond those of Man? Putting marks on people would seem to fall under that category, obviating your claim of hypocrisy on Mr. Cohen's part.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at June 8, 2005 12:33 AM

perhaps wearing a mc cain t-shirt for the duration of his term as president, would suffice ?

Posted by: at June 8, 2005 1:30 AM


Yes, they're all hypocrises, just as we're hypocrites to our children.

Posted by: oj at June 8, 2005 7:15 AM