Signs of the End Times

The end of attack politics, that is.

Could it be? Ask Mark McKinnon, who resigned from the McCain campaign Tuesday, fulfilling a vow he’d made last year not to help John McCain in a battle against Barack Obama.

Now that Obama is the putative Democratic candidate, McKinnon — a former Democrat-now-Republican who is known as a political advertising wiz — has made good on his word.

Talk about signs and wonders. No wonder the blogosphere is abuzz with posts on this amazing turn of events.

Think about it: McKinnon was George W. Bush’s chief media adviser in both 2000 and 2004. Part of the Bush/Rove machine. Here he is (photo, left) biking with W, looking like a guy who’s imbibed the Crawford Kool-Aid.

But last summer, he told Cox Newspaper’s Washington bureau chief Ken Herman, “I just don’t want to work against an Obama candidacy,” adding that an Obama presidency “would send a great message to the country and the world.”

We could be on the cusp of a transformative campaign, if enough political attack dogs lose their appetite for swift-boating and smear tactics and follow McKinnon’s lead.

Imagine McKinnon as the bellwether for a new political strategy: people in public life keeping their word.

Think of how much air time and mental space that would clear for — dare I wish it? — substantive, policy-oriented debate between the two candidates in the general election.

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