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Mark McKinnon, true to vow, exits McCain team rather than fight Obama

May 20, 2008 | 10:08 pm

Mark McKinnon, the advertising wizard who helped shape George W. Bush's two wPolitical ad guru Mark McKinnon who helped George W. Bush win two presidential victories and pull Sen. John McCain back from oblivion to gain the Republican presidential nomination, is stepping down from the Arizonan's ad team wearing a different hatinning presidential bids and helped steer Arizona Sen. John McCain from political oblivion last summer to the Republican nomination, is bowing out of the current campaign.

Last summer McKinnon, who lives in Austin, announced he would leave the McCain effort if it was going up against Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.

As noted by The Times' Maeve Reston, McKinnon and his lucky black hat (that's not the lucky one in the picture) have been a fixture in the former POW's comeback campaign and part of the five-man strategy team including Rick Davis, Mark Salter, Charlie Black and Steve Schmidt.

But he's sticking by his vow that if the Democratic candidate was Obama, he would step off the McCain ad team because Obama's election "would send a great message to the country and the world."

The transition will occur over the next few weeks. He will, however, continue as an informal advisor. "I'm just getting off the front line making ads," he said.

--Andrew Malcolm