Mark McKinnon, John McCain’s senior adviser and media guru, will quit the campaign rather than attack Barack Obama.

Perhaps there’s a backstory here I don’t know about, but Mark McKinnon, John McCain’s “senior campaign adviser” and media guru, says he’ll quit McCain’s staff rather than campaign against Barack Obama. McKinnon, the media guy for Bush in 2000 and 2004, says he would feel “uncomfortable” working in a campaign that inevitably would wind up attacking Obama.

One of the reasons people like me think that Obama would be the stronger of the two remaining Democrats in a general election is that his presence at the head of the ticket would tend to demobilize some voters who would would otherwise vote Republican. But I’d been thinking about some of the Christian Right types and a some of the money-cons and practitioners of crony capitalism who don’t start out being inspired by McCain.

It never occurred to me that Obama might be carrying some sort of Teflon that would make people like Mark McKinnon reluctant to go after him. If he is, that gives him a very big edge going into November.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: