Andy McKenna hires media consultant who created McCain Obama “biggest celebrity” spot

SHARE Andy McKenna hires media consultant who created McCain Obama “biggest celebrity” spot
SHARE Andy McKenna hires media consultant who created McCain Obama “biggest celebrity” spot

There are at least six Republicans running in the Illinois gubernatorial primary and one more may be on deck. The challenge for the staid Andy McKenna, the former chairman of the Illinois Republican Party running for governor, is to put some sizzle in his campaign to see if he can break out of the pack.

Toward the end, he hired as his media consultant Fred Davis–who, as John McCain’s media guy last summer created one of the most memorable spots of the campaign–hitting Barack Obama for being “the biggest celebrity in the world,” comparing him to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears.

“We don’t do normal political stuff,” Davis told me. “We build excitement and buzz.”

Besides McKenna, the field so far includes businessman Adam Andrzejewski; State senators Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard; political consultant Dan Proft and DuPage County Board chairman Bob Schillerstrom. Former Attorney General Jim Ryan is also mulling a run.

McKenna lacks “political pizzazz” and Davis said his job is to “put some spark and energy in the campaign” without “destroying” the essential McKenna– a guy I cannot visualize delivering a stem winder of a speech.


The famous McCain ad Davis made mocked Obama’s popularity–a touchy subject in an Obama camp concerned about the then presumptive nominee being seen as an empty suit.

The narrator in the spot says of Obama, “he’s the biggest celebrity in the world” and then shows pictures of the two high profile celebs. That McCain spot followed the “Berlin” video produced by the Republican National Committee–they hired a crew to tape at Obama’s big Berlin speech–featuring Germans gushing over Obama in ways calculated to turn off U.S. voters.

Davis take on Obama’s Nobel Peace prize win:

“It’s like he won American idol withouth really having to sing.”

The Latest
The entertaining ‘Facing Nolan’ gets the taciturn pitcher to discuss his life and his competitive side.
The team has a waiting list of 140,000 for 81,441-seat Lambeau Field, which means a long time on the list.
Lesly Morales has been missing since late April, family said.
The Committee on Public Safety approved the mayor’s ordinance by a comfortable vote of 14 to 3 that did not reflect the barrage of concerns raised about a crackdown roundly condemned as a toothless and desperate headline-grabber that will have no impact on youth violence.