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"In recent years, it has become increasingly clear to me that the parties care more about partisanship, scoring political points and winning than working together and moving the country forward," said McKinnon, who worked for Democrats for more than a decade early in his career before he left politics — only to return to work for then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush.
In 2008, McKinnon was an adviser to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for his presidential run but memorably stepped down from the campaign for the general election because he didn't want to be involved in a race against then-Sen. Barack Obama.
"I found it compelling, interesting, ironic and ultimately disappointing that both George W. Bush and Barack Obama campaigned on the idea of trying to change the tone and culture in Washington," McKinnon told Roll Call. "I think they were both genuine in their convictions. But both encountered the same roadblocks and divisions once they got to Washington."
Even though Daschle and Glendening wouldn't be saddened by the collapse of the two parties, their past gives them perspective.
"We're careful in not making it about bashing people," Daschle said, recollecting his father's difficult political battles. "I think it's just the structure. I don't blame the people involved.
"I think we're more sensitive to not cheapen it with anti-Washington rhetoric just to get a response."