October 15, 2007


McCain, the happy warrior on the trail: Candidate at ease, even amid criticism (Ethan Wilensky-Lanford, Oct 15, 2007, Concord Monitor)

During his opening statement at a town meeting in Hopkinton yesterday, Sen. John McCain was interrupted early. It came just after he criticized a newspaper advertisement by the liberal group Moveon.org that had dubbed General David Petraeus "General Betray-us."

"You cannot condemn freedom of speech, I'm sorry," said Ken Roos, a union activist from the State Employees' Association of New Hampshire, who stood in the back of a crowded room, wearing a union T-shirt and holding a sign that read "Support Our Troops, End the War."

McCain did not immediately answer Roos, saying there would be a time for questions and answers and "occasional insults" at the end of his talk, to which Roos smiled.

McCain has survived retail politics in the New Hampshire primary before, having won the Republican contest here in 2000. Yesterday, he called that primary the "best time in his life" at another perennial stop on the campaign trail, Robie's Country Store in Hooksett. At several stops in the state yesterday, McCain seemed at ease, comfortable jousting with questioners and joking with his hosts.

At Robie's, he hung up a tiny framed newspaper advertisement from early in the store's history.
"Do you still sell lard?" he asked. "How times have changed."

He told the crowd that he was happy to respond to questions. Nobody had any, so he asked one of his own. Could his daughter Meghan identify a cribbage board? No, it turned out, she could not.

Having fun running is half the battle.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 15, 2007 12:14 AM
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