Mark McKinnon

Would Newt Out-Debate Obama? It Wouldn't Matter Anyway
January 26, 2012

Back in October, I went up to Cambridge, Massachusetts to watch the eighth Republican primary debate of the season with Mark McKinnon, the Republican media strategist who had served as debate coach for George W. Bush, John McCain, and Sarah Palin. I was interested in McKinnon’s professional assessment of a Republican field whose succession of frontrunners, from Tim Pawlenty to Herman Cain, had nearly all been made or unmade by debate performances. At the time, Rick Perry was hurtling toward the abyss, Cain was bafflingly ascendant, and Mitt Romney was performing as advertised.

Vice Precedent
January 25, 2012

In May 2010, Susana Martinez was running neck and neck in the Republican primary for the New Mexico governor’s race. Her opponent, Allen Weh, a former chairman of the New Mexico Republican Party, had poured hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own money into his campaign. Martinez, a district attorney, was fighting to close the gap. Then Sarah Palin came to town. On May 16, Palin, whose star power was at its peak, appeared before a standing-room-only crowd in Albuquerque’s Marriott hotel, clad in a black leather jacket, and enveloped Martinez in a hug.

Newt Gingrich, America’s Worst Historian
July 22, 2011

Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign is finished, although it may be a few months before he admits what nearly everyone who follows politics already knows.

The Mouse that Keeps Roaring
August 19, 2009

When last we checked in with's Erick Erickson, he was loudly threatening to make reported Palin naysayers from the McCain campaign--Steve Schmidt, Nicolle Wallace, Mark McKinnon--"political lepers" by mobilizing his readers to work against any candidate foolish enough to hire them in the future.

The Post-Rove Guru
July 31, 2008

Sergeant Schmidt. The Artillery Shell.

Exit Mckinnon
May 20, 2008

Does this mean those terrible John McCain ads are going to get even worse?: Mark McKinnon, the lead media consultant for Sen. John McCain's (Ariz.) presidential bid, is stepping down from that role -- making good on a pledge he made last year not to work against Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) in the fall campaign.... Whether McKinnon would abide by that promise has been the subject of considerable speculation since that time.

Like Mccain Needs A Bicycle
March 28, 2008

It occurred to me while reading this Linda Douglass interview with McCain strategist Mark McKinnon how much McCain's fortunes are tied to momentum. I know this metaphor's pretty cliched, but his campaign really is like riding a bicycle: It's fine as long as it keeps moving along, but the second it stalls out, the whole thing could topple. My thinking is that conservatives are generally going to keep their mouths shut as long as McCain has a decent shot at winning, because they know the GOP has no business even being in the game.