McCarthy’s detailed résumé, posted on the Web site of his advertising company, omits his most notorious creation—the Willie Horton ad. Paid for by a political group officially acting separately from the campaign of George H. W. Bush, it was the political equivalent of an improvised explosive device, demolishing the electoral hopes of Dukakis, then the governor of Massachusetts. Its key image was a mug shot of Horton—a scowling black man with a dishevelled Afro. Horton, a convicted murderer, had escaped while on a weekend pass issued by a Massachusetts furlough program. A decade earlier, Dukakis had vetoed a bill that would have forbidden furloughs for murderers. After escaping, Horton raped a white woman and stabbed her fiancé. McCarthy knew that showing Horton’s menacing face would make voters feel viscerally that Dukakis was soft on crime. Critics said that the ad stoked racial fears, presenting a little-known black man as an icon of American violence.