Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Race42008's Kavon W. Nikrad: "John McCain's Not Surrendering" + 4 YouTube videos

Race42008.com's Kavon W. Nikrad posted a YouTube-laden piece titled "McCain's Not Surrendering" on Tuesday, September 18. Here is his text:

Re: The McCain polling surge, Gallup Polling Guru Frank
declared the Arizona Senator, “a very solid number 3″ (behind Giuliani and Thompson) on his USA Today blog yesterday, and notes that he is “within 4 points of Thompson” in their polling (Romney fans may want to avoid this entry due to his analysis of Mitt’s numbers.)

McCain’s polling resurgence has come with the reports from Iraq that The Surge has been effective in quelling the violence in many of the nation’s most war-weary areas.
Let’s face it-McCain was right on Iraq, and was from the beginning of the conflict. The Senator is now using his foresight on the campaign trail to make the case that he is the most qualified Republican candidate to be Commander-in-Chief.

You can read the original post, with the four YouTube videos, by clicking here. You can contact Campaignia at publisher@campaignia.org.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Power Line Blog's Paul Mirenoff's summary - "Feeling It" - of McCain conference call

Paul Mirenoff of Power Line Blog published a concise summary of Senator McCain's conference call on Wednesday, September 12 - here are excerpts...

John McCain was "feeling it" during his blogger phone conference today. And why not? The domestic political climate with respect to Iraq seems to have improved, and he's doing better in virtually every poll.

McCain began by calling on the Democrats to repudiate the aspersions cast by Moveon.org on the patriotism and integrity of General Petraeus. McCain reminded us that he repudiated what he considered attacks on the patriotism of Max Cleland and John Kerry. Later in the call, he declined an invitation to come down hard on the Democrats' conduct during the hearings this week. McCain said he wants to maintain a respectful relationship with the war critics in Congress, but added that they seem to have made up their minds.

I asked McCain whether, in light of Gen. Petraeus's concession that parts of Baghdad remain under the control of Shia militias and dominated by fear, he thought the recommended troop reduction was a pure military judgment, or at least in part the product of political calculation and concerns about manpower. McCain said Petraeus has committed to him that if he needs more troops he will ask for him. Thus, he hopes, and based on his trust of Petraeus believes, that the troop reduction recommendation is entirely "a considered military judgment." McCain added that there are reports (which he can neither confirm nor deny) of opposition to the surge at the Pentagon, but that (again) he hopes and trusts that this is not influencing Petraeus's recommendation.

Matt Lewis asked about the response of other Republican candidates, in particular Mitt Romney, to the surge. McCain said he doesn't pay much attention to what's coming from the other campaigns, and engaged Romney on the issue only because of his comment during the debate that the surge was "apparently" working. Lewis followed up by asking whether it's the responsibility of Republican candidates to help create confidence in the surge. McCain said he'd like to see other candidates be more supportive...

Betsy Newmark, passing along a question from one of her high school students, asked what McCain would do to rally support for U.S. involvement in Iraq if he becomes president. McCain said the next six months are the key. By January 2009 we'll either have shown enough success to sustain the effort or we'll have basically been forced out...

In response to a question from Phil Klein about what's likely to happen in Congress now that Petraeus and Crocker have testified, McCain noted that the authorization of the military budget is supposed to occur by October 1 but this is in jeopardy because the Dems can try to insert controversial provisions pertaining to Iraq. He also said that, while Harry Reid knows he can't get 60 votes for withdrawal, he's negotiating with certain Republicans like John Warner and Lamar Alexander to get a less straightforward resolution that will promote the same goal. McCain vowed to remain in Washington to fight these efforts notwithstanding the need to campaign and raise funds.

You can read the full text of the original post by clicking here. You can contact Campaignia at publisher@campaignia.org.

NYT: "Buoyed McCain Tours Iowa W/ New Campaign Theme"

The New York Times summed up the current mood on Senator McCain's Iowa segment of his "No Surrender Tour" in a Thursday article titled: "Buoyed McCain Tours Iowa with New Campaign Theme". It noted that it could just as easily stand as the new motto of the campaign itself. Here are excerpts from its text:
Senator John McCain’s famous “Straight Talk Express” was gone, replaced by a bus
emblazoned with a sign that read “No Surrender.”

Mr. McCain and a group of veterans — including former prisoners of war who were held with him in Vietnam, and newly minted Iraq veterans — piled into the bus and drove across Iowa, stopping in V.F.W. posts and American Legion halls to argue that the current strategy in Iraq is working, and that Democrats and wavering Republicans who want to withdraw the troops now are making a terrible mistake....

Of course, the phrase “No Surrender,” could be applied to the McCain campaign as well. It was practically written off over the summer when it nearly ran out of money, forcing it to reduce its staff sharply and scale back its operations in all but three states, Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. In a trip here just last month, Mr. McCain was asked by local reporters at nearly every stop of the way if he was dropping out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

No one asked if he was dropping out this week. And the McCain campaign, buoyed by good reviews Mr. McCain received last week at a debate in New Hampshire and by the prospect of his taking on a high-profile role in the Senate debate over Iraq, is very much hoping that it is beginning a comeback.

“All we need is a little money, my friends,” Mr. McCain said in a brief conference call with fund-raisers that he made from the bus between stops.

But any momentum could drain away in mid-October if the campaign fails to show a robust bank balance when the next fund-raising figures are announced. And so far Mr. McCain has spent much of the month not raising money but discussing Iraq in the Senate and on trips like this one, trips that will continue in New Hampshire and South Carolina.

“The bad news is that all of this is obviously taking away from fund-raising time,” Mr. McCain told the fund-raisers on their call. “We’ve got to show a pretty good quarter.”

On the road, the campaign is drawing enthusiastic crowds. The tour began Tuesday in Sioux City in a hangar at Col. Bud Day Field, where Mr. McCain was introduced by Mr. Day, a Medal of Honor winner who nursed Mr. McCain back to health when they were both held prisoner in North Vietnam.

Mr. McCain remarked on the imposing statue of Mr. Day that stands outside the airport. “I think the statue is kind of, a little bit too flattering,” he told the crowd. “I almost didn’t recognize him.”

In Des Moines, Mr. Day introduced Mr. McCain as “my fellow jailbird from Hanoi.” He also served as a kind of character witness, reminding the crowds that Mr. McCain was offered an early release by the North Vietnamese but refused to go until everyone who had been shot down before him, or was sicker than he, was released...

After extolling the virtues of running a “lean and mean” underdog’s campaign, Mr. McCain then had some praise for Mrs. Clinton — or at least her campaign.

“I’d love to be in Hillary Clinton’s position,” he said. “She’s conducted a very good campaign, and she’s continued to increase her lead.”

“Although I don’t know if I could take an $850,000 hit,” he added with a laugh, referring to the Clinton campaign’s decision to return $850,000 that was raised by
Norman Hsu, a fund-raiser with legal troubles. “We might have to shut the doors.”

You can read the full text of the original article here. You can contact Campaignia at publisher@campaignia.org.

"Rebuilding Fort NH" - Ana Marie Cox: "Can NH Revive McCain?"

Ana Marie Cox of Time.com's Swampland blog posted this piece -

"Can New Hampshire Revive McCain?" - on Wednesday, September 12. Here are some key excerpts:

Senator John McCain arrives in Portsmouth, N.H., Wednesday night to begin the second leg of what he has dubbed his "No Surrender Tour," a traveling Iraq war and campaign pep rally engineered to coincide with the congressional testimony of Gen. David Petraeus and its attendant media frenzy. Given the public's continuing frustration with the war and McCain's significant stumbles earlier this year, the presidential candidate's counterintuitive approach may seem like a risky strategy, but it now has staffers talking "comeback." A recent uptick in national polls and a strong performance in last week's New Hampshire debate has the campaign hopeful that the Senator's decision to, as an internal memo framed it, "own the surge" will reinvigorate McCain's chances among the Granite State's notoriously skeptical voters...

After the campaign imploded in the spring, with McCain's coffers all but dry and his bloated operation scaled back, the remaining staffers had always hoped to "rebuild Fort New Hampshire," the site of McCain's upset triumph in the 2000 primaries. They just didn't suspect the structure's foundations would be something as shaky as the war. Until recently, the thinking was, as one adviser put it, "what immigration is for McCain in Iowa, the war is for him in New Hampshire." Which is to say, it was killing him. And just as McCain would often bring up his immigration reform proposal in Iowa town halls whether someone asked about it or not, the candidate was equally irrepressible — even glib — about bringing up the war unprompted in New Hampshire. ("Thanks for the question, you little jerk," McCain told a student a Concord high school student who asked about his age last week. "You're drafted.")

But campaign advisers say New Englanders are starting to respond to McCain's steadfastness on Iraq, even if they don't agree with his policies. They point to the focus group of New Hampshire Republicans assembled by Frank Luntz to watch last week's debate; McCain's numbers spiked the highest when he told the audience that he empathized with their "frustration" and "anger" over the situation in Iraq, and that he wants to bring the troops home as well...

Voters' willingness to see past their differences with McCain on the war may also have to do with McCain's carefully calibrated moves to distinguish between his support for the war and his support — or lack of it — for the Bush Administration. He's long emphasized, as he made a point of doing during the Petraeus hearing, that he was one of primary critics of the Administration's handling of Iraq. But when he emphasized it as a point of distinction just prior to the New Hampshire debate — saying that his skepticism about Bush's strategy predated that of even the Democratic candidates — the message finally resonated, says senior aide Mark Salter.

Of course, it's easy to speculate about McCain's surge now, but assessing his improvement on the ground is as difficult to do as in Iraq... And McCain's ability to sell his stance on the war as a principled stand may not matter if he doesn't have enough money to get his message across...

You can read the full text of the article here. You can contact Campaignia at publisher@campaignia.org.

Race42008's Kavon W. Nikrad on Senator McCain's Wed Sept 12 blogger/new media conference call

Campaignia's publisher was on Senator McCain's blogger/new media conference call yesterday, Wednesday, September 12. Starting at 3:45 PM EDT, it lasted about half an hour. It had been announced as focusing on Iraq and the report of General David Petraeus on that subject. Kavon W. Nikrad's summary, posted on Race42008.com, is a good summary of the proceedings, and here it is, in its entirety:

I sat in on Sen. McCain’s blogger conference call this afternoon hosted by Ankle Bitings Pundit’s Patrick Hynes.

Sen. McCain was in Iowa this afternoon on his multi-stop “No Surrender” tour. He will head out to New Hampshire later this evening.
Here are the highlights:

Sen. McCain began by calling out Sen. Hillary Clinton over her statements regarding Gen. Petraeus report to Congress and the “suspension of disbelief” and called on her to repudiate MoveOn.org’s attacks on the general. McCain believes that if you are not tough even to take on MoveOn.org, then you are not tough enough to be President of the United States.

The first question came from Townhall.com’s Matt Lewis, who asked in light of his skirmish with Gov. Mitt Romney during [the debate], does he feel that some of the GOP candidates are hedging their bets regarding the outcome of The Surge. McCain responded that the reason he reacted in that manner with Gov. Romney was due to his use of the words/phrases “apparently” and “seems to be” when talking about the success of The Surge so far. McCain wished to remind us that he was the only candidate to repudiate the failed Rumsfeld Doctrine. He also stated that he would like to see his fellow candidates become more active in raising support among the America People for The Surge.

Jennifer Rubin asked if he sensed any “stiffening of the spine” among his Congressional peers after the general’s report this week. McCain stated that some of the success on the ground that is due to Gen. Petraeus and the hard work and sacrifice of the troops under his command has made it through the media filter and has served to strength some members’ resolve. President Bush’s attention to raising awareness of the success of the new strategy has helped as well.

Paul Mirengoff of Powerline asked if a commitment to withdraw some troops is wise in light of Petraeus’s admission that parts of Baghdad have yet to be secured. The Senator responded that he is confident in Petraeus’s judgment and is certain that he would not withdraw troops if it would affect our success in this conflict. McCain believes that a limited withdrawal of troops is likely indicative of Iraqi forces being able to fulfill their responsibilities.

Betsy Newmark asked a question, posed by her students, which asked what he would do specifically as President to drum up support for the war. McCain stated that success on the ground is what is essential in this regard and candidly remarked that the next six-months are going to be critical. Restoring trust and confidence in the Presidency among the American People, Congress, and the Government in Washington is key. In a follow-up question, McCain stated that history will likely base its judgement on George W. Bush’s presidency on Iraq, but reminded us that President Truman left office with very low support among the American People, yet history has been kinder to him in hindsight.

Rob Bluey of Redstate asked if he was addressing the American People, as President Bush is tomorrow, what would he tell them? McCain stated he would base his address on the Petreaus report and in as much detail as possible. He also stated that if he were President, he would be addressing the American Public on a weekly basis. Secondly, he would be much more open to admitting the military mistakes that have been made so far in the conflict. Clear in this call is that fact Sen. McCain intends to make the case that he is the most qualified Republican in the field to be Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Military during this time of global conflict. He does have quite a stake to that claim in his past repudiation of Rumsfeld Doctrine, as well calling for the what has come to be called “The Surge” as early as 2003.

You can read the original post by clicking here. You can contact Campaignia at publisher@campaignia.org.

Welcome to the new home of the Campaignia Web Log!

Welcome to the Web Log for www.Campaignia.org. This is the same web log as The Tower: Surveying the Political World From High Above, which has been transferred here for ease of navigation.

For the time being, all new posts will be made here – campaignia.blogspot.com. However, all previous posts from The Tower – its archives, categories, etc. - are all still available there.

Please instruct your browsers, feeds, etc., to switch from The Tower to campaignia.blogspot.com – i.e., here.



Publisher – The Campaignia Web Log and

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Atlantic's Ambinder: "McCain's 'Road to Victory': An Actual Internal Memo"

On Saturday, September 8, Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic published excerpts from an internal strategic memo, reputed to have emerged from Senator McCain's campaign. Here is the full text of Ambinder's analysis, as well as the excerpts from the memo. (Note: italicized text comes from the memo; it has not been italicized by Ambinder.)

McCain's "Road To Victory:" An Actual Internal Memo
08 Sep 2007 01:26 pm

In an internal memo sent to political advisers this week, John McCain's campaign manager Rick Davis writes of "four phases" the campaign plans to "roll out" in September.

This isn't one of those internal memos meant for public consumption. It contains unusually specific information about campaign strategy and tactics.

The first phase of our September strategy is to take ownership of the surge and demonstrate again that John McCain is the only candidate running for President who is prepared to be Commander-in-Chief from day one.

After laying down the marker as the only candidate in the race prepared to be Commander-in-Chief from day one, we will highlight John McCain’s record of reform and his often lonely fight in Congress against wasteful spending and earmarks, against corruption and for stronger ethics accountability, and for real institutional reform to decrease the size of government and make it work effectively.

Then comes policy roll-outs, which the campaign calls "Bold Solutions for the Future."

McCain will also speak of his religious faith:

John McCain has faced unique personal challenges in his life; he has overcome them all through his faith in God, faith in country, and faith in his fellow man. Spanning issues as diverse as religious freedom, internet pornography and support for the war against Islamic extremists, faith will play an important role in discussing these issues.

Davis sees the key events of the "Fall Launch" as taking place in three stages. The first -- happening right now -- is the reintroduction of McCain, capped by his appearance tomorrow on This Week with George Stephanopoulos.

On 9/11, the campaign begins its "No Surrender Tour" in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina to "build support for the fight against Islamic extremists." After the last event on the tour, McCain will return to Washington and "lead the debate in the Senate against Democrat efforts to force surrender in Iraq."

After the Senate debate, McCain will "finish out the month of September with some high profile speeches, appearances, and an increased focus on the media." That includes a stop on the Late Show with David Letterman on 9/26.

Davis recognizes the need for McCain to have a strong fundraising quarter.

September is not only an important month politically; it is the final month of the third financial reporting quarter. It is essential that the campaign have a good month fundraising and finish the quarter strong.

An attachment lists information about 15 separate fundraising events.

You can read the full text of the original article here. You can contact Campaignia at publisher@campaignia.org.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

RealClearPolitics: "September: Make or Break for McCain"

Here is an analysis of the importance of September for Senator McCain, from Blake D. Dvorak of RealClearPolitics, on Friday, September 7:

September: Make or Break for McCain
By Blake D. Dvorak

Written off as an also-ran not so long ago, John McCain turned in a performance Wednesday at the GOP debate in New Hampshire that showed there’s life in his campaign yet. The pundits noticed this as well, and McCain has enjoyed a round of congratulatory press, although the Union-Leader’s “McCain Reborn: A Comeback Begun” editorial seems a bit premature. If McCain has any hope of revitalizing his campaign - to say nothing of actually winning the nomination - he has to capitalize on this sudden good fortune and turn in an equally solid performance throughout September.

And it starts with money. The reason we haven’t seen any “Straight Talk Express” lately is because a.) there hasn’t been enough money for it; and b.) what money exists is going into the “No Surrender Tour” - an week-long trip through the primary states - and his very poignant “Courageous Service” ad showing him as a POW. First and foremost, these are fundraising efforts, designed around McCain’s military service and steadfast support of the Iraq war. They are also extremely timely.

Beginning on Sept. 11 and continuing through Sept. 17, McCain will take his “No Surrender” tour through Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. It’s no coincidence that Gen. David Petraeus will deliver his report to Congress on the surge’s progress that week. Indeed, McCain hopes to make his tour a sort of public-relations effort on behalf of Petraeus and the White House.

While the other GOP candidates will no doubt support whatever Petraeus advises, none have yet tied their fortunes so closely to the surge’s success. (Recall McCain’s chiding of Mitt Romney for using the word “apparently” to describe whether the surge was working.) It remains, however, McCain’s only shot.

McCain has also found a way to differentiate himself from the other GOP candidates. As he said at Wednesday’s debate, “Find me one quote where [the other GOP candidates] have stuck their neck out and said anything that was counter to Rumsfeld or Bush or Cheney on the war for the last five years.” This is a smart line of attack that takes into account the fact that the Republican base, while recognizing the need to win the war, also in part blames the White House for following a failed policy for so long. Moreover, McCain is pointing out that someone like Romney wouldn’t have been able to criticize the war anyway, because he doesn’t have enough military experience.

To be clear, McCain’s chances of winning the nomination remain remote no matter what kind of September he has. There’s also no guarantee that McCain’s emphasis on the war will pay off in any significant way with the Republican base. But ultimately, if McCain can’t find traction in September, when so many factors are moving in his favor, his reason for staying in the campaign all but disappears.

Blake D. Dvorak is an assistant editor at RealClearPolitics.

You can read the full text of the original article here. You can contact Campaignia at publisher@campaignia.org.

Friday, September 7, 2007

The Weekly Standard's review of McCain's UNH debate performance from Continetti: "McCain makes a comeback"

Senator McCain received an extremely positive review from The Weekly Standard's Matt Continetti, when it came to his performance at the UNH debate on September 5. Here's the full text of Continetti's piece:

A New Race: McCain makes a comeback and Thompson jumps in.
by Matthew Continetti

09/06/2007 12:00:00 AM

"SINCE MAY, the race for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination has been characterized by an unusual dynamic. At a time when national security issues are the foremost concern of GOP primary voters, a war hero with substantial experience defending the use of American power in Iraq and beyond has seen his support in national and state public opinion polls erode precipitously. That hero, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, saw his frontrunner status evaporate as two men who had not served in the U.S. armed forces--former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney--dominated in fundraising and local and national public support. Many political analysts, reflecting widespread
sentiment among Republican elites, saw McCain as irrelevant to the race and likely to withdraw.

Not anymore. Wednesday night's Fox News Channel debate saw McCain reassert his place in the top tier of Republican contenders. And it was his answers on critical foreign policy questions involving Gen. David Petraeus's "surge" strategy in Iraq, the interrogation techniques deployed on enemy detainees, and the use of military force against Iran that established his strong position. It increasingly seems clear that illegal immigration, the issue which dominated the Republican race throughout the spring and summer, and an issue on which McCain stands directly opposed to many in his party, will not be the issue on which the nomination is decided. To put it another way: Foreign policy has come home to roost.

Romney's defense of the surge was weak. In fact, he did not bother to defend it, reserving judgment until Gen. Petraeus addresses Congress on September 10. Romney said the surge was "apparently" working--at which point McCain found an opening to attack. "Governor, the surge is working," he said, going on to defend the policy and reminding voters that he has called for this strategy and increased troop levels since 2003. Flummoxed, Romney tried to recover, but failed. And Romney left an additional opening for McCain to attack his call for U.S. troops to move into a "support" role in Iraq--a strategic change that the latest National Intelligence Estimate has said would erase the security gains the surge has made so far.

McCain also drew a connection between his military service and his views on the treatment of enemy detainees, while highlighting the fact (though not explicitly) that Romney and Giuliani are not veterans. McCain was allowed the final words of the debate, responding to a question on Iran's nuclear programs. And both Giuliani and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee said kind words about the senator.

A lot is still to come in the race for the Republican presidential nomination and it's likely that Fred Thompson's entry will overshadow last night's debate. But when the history of the 2008 campaign is written, September 5 will likely be remembered as important. It's the day when many commentators' assumptions about the race were overthrown--and the fight was joined in full by every combatant.

Matthew Continetti is associate editor at THE WEEKLY STANDARD.

You can read the full text of the original article here. You can contact Campaignia at publisher@campaignia.org.

Text of McCain's fundraising e-mail in the aftermath of 9/5 UNH debate, under the signature of Rick Davis

Below is the text of the fundraising e-mail, sent out under the signature of campaign manager Rick Davis on Thursday, September 6, in the aftermath of the previous day's debate at the University of New Hampshire.

This differs from other fundraising e-mails in two main respects. One is the fact that it is structured in the form of a memo from the campaign manager. While some previous e-mails had been sent out under the campaign manager's signatures- most, if not all, previous e-mails had been framed as ostensibly personal letters, with the first name of the recipient prominently noted in the salutation. The second difference is that it also has cool graphics and quotes from New Hampshire voters, about Senator McCain's performance during the debate.

Davis's text is italicized.

To: All McCain Supporters
From: Rick Davis, Campaign Manager
Re: Last Night's Debate

I hope you had a chance to watch last night's New Hampshire GOP Debate - it was a perfect example of why John McCain is the only candidate ready to be Commander-in-Chief from day one. And post-debate focus groups show the voters agree.

"I think John McCain sounded the most presidential, even the other candidates were quoting John McCain during their responses."

"I think McCain just has the experience and it came through in his answers."

"[H]e was very passionate about being a leader. And that's what we need in this country: a leader who's not afraid to do what he says."

"He exhibits leadership a lot better than other candidates seem to ... He was direct. He spoke forcefully in support for the war in Iraq."

Fox News' "Hannity & Colmes," 9/5/07

Bottom line: This campaign is in your hands. We need your help to turn last night's momentum into the votes needed to make John McCain our next president. It's clear that this isn't a time for spin or slick, made-for-TV responses. It's time for serious leadership and straight talk. At every turn last night, John McCain stood up with straight talk and a willingness to tackle our nation's challenges head-on.
I'm proud that John McCain is about solutions, not sound bites. Last night's
debate showed why John McCain is ready to be Commander-in-Chief from day one and win the war against Islamic extremists.

At last night's debate, voters in New Hampshire and around the country saw the John McCain we know and support - now it's our turn to stand up and make sure every voter gets to know John McCain before they cast their ballot. With the primaries getting closer every day, it's clear we need to have the resources necessary to help John McCain win right now. In a competitive campaign such as this one, we need every dollar possible to reach out to voters, spread John McCain's message and build our organization to get voters to the polls on Election Day.

As you saw from last night's debate, John McCain is winning over new supporters every day - and with your immediate contribution we can turn those new supporters into votes. He's been out on the road holding town hall meetings and talking with voters about the issues that matter to them in this campaign, and voters are responding to his leadership, experience and straight talk. I hope you'll join me in keeping last night's momentum going.

Paid for by John McCain 2008 ·

You can contact Campaignia at publisher@campaignia.org.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Post-UNH debate analysis: DaveG of Race42008 writes this post: "Is a McCain comeback still possible?"

Here is an extended post written by DaveG of Race42008.com, on Senator McCain's campaign as a whole, in the immediate aftermath of Wednesday's debate at UNH:

Is A McCain Comeback Still Possible?

I know that I say this after every debate of the GOP field, but the reaction of the Granite State crowd surveyed by Frank Luntz was compelling. As seen post-debate on Fox News, a room full of New Hampshire Republicans began the night with nary a McCainiac in their ranks, and ended the night stopping just short of collectively shouting, “Go, John, Go!” The same crowd, incidentally, expressed much disappointment with national frontrunner Rudy Giuliani. What gives?

This development may be less mysterious than it initially seems. Rudy has a knack for disappointing debate performances in a multi-candidate field, probably because his good-humored persona doesn’t dominate the room. Rudy’s more like a wry New Yorker, grinning and thinking of the next one-liner when a question is posed to him. This would probably be highly effective in a two-person debate, but not when every single-digit type is pounding their fist and puffing out their chest, trying to look presidential. Further, McCain is far more conservative than most conservatives give the man credit for, and upon hearing his actual views, and not the views that many Republicans have grafted onto him ever since the South Carolina primary in 2000, it is understandable that conservatives would be willing to give the man a second look. And while this may seem obvious to political junkies like us, folks who don’t spend every waking second refreshing R4′08, i.e., the bulk of Americans, still have an
unrealistic caricature of McCain embedded in their political psyche that will only be removed with greater exposure to the actual Arizona senator. But McCain is almost bankrupt, and without a functioning campaign, it’s difficult to see how he hangs on until most voters start paying attention this winter.

If McCain does decide to go for broke and hope that disaffected conservatives will return to the real McCain at the eleventh hour, here’s what he should do. First, McCain should spend the next four months visiting every nook and cranny of New Hampshire, a northern state that is more secular than religious, more Roman Catholic and Mainline Protestant than Evangelical, more fiscally conservative than not, and that has an affinity for mavericks of all stripes. If McCain can reintroduce himself to New Hampshire voters in a favorable light, he has a chance of scoring a major upset in the nation’s first primary. That will mean that after New Hampshire, Romney, the likely winner of Iowa, and McCain would each have a contest under their respective belts, while Rudy and Thompson would have no such victories. McCain’s next step would be to win Michigan, a Midwestern state that responds well to Republicans like McCain, with his understated cultural conservatism and domestic pragmatism. A one-two-punch against the rest of the field in New Hampshire and Michigan could do major damage to one or more of the frontrunners. Romney will probably snag LDS-heavy Wyoming and Nevada, but if McCain can build up enough momentum, he may be able to win South Carolina, the supposed Thompson firewall, or Florida, Rudy’s firewall. That could propel McCain into Super Duper Tuesday, where he could do very well in states like California and Illinois. And all this from a man who is politically as good as dead.

What we politicos have to remember is that the average voter remains disengaged in this race. Romney is still the guy that looks like Ward Cleaver. Rudy is still America’s Mayor. McCain is still a Democrat with an “R” next to his name. And so on. Those perceptions won’t change until the bulk of America starts paying attention. As Frank Luntz demonstrated tonight, when voters do tune in, preconceived notions can change overnight. That gives McCain one more reason to stay in the game for at least a little while longer.

by DaveG @ 11:02 pm. Filed under John McCain

You can read the full text of the original article here. You can contact Campaignia at publisher@campaignia.org.

Text of statement from McCain NH Chairman Peter Spaulding, in the aftermath of UNH debate

Here is the statement from Senator McCain’s New Hampshire chairman, Peter Spaulding, in the aftermath of Wednesday’s debate at UNH. As with the previous post, reprinting the statement from Rick Davis, this is unalloyed spin, and not an objective assessment of McCain’s performance.

However, as with the statement from Davis, it provides a clear view of the messages and themes which the official campaign wants to emphasize.

Statement by New Hampshire State Chairman Following GOP Debate in Durham

MANCHESTER, NH — Peter Spaulding, New Hampshire Campaign Chairman for John McCain 2008, issued the following statement on tonight’s Republican presidential debate.

“Tonight John McCain showed voters in New Hampshire why he is the most qualified candidate to be our next president. John McCain’s unquestionable national security credentials, record as a reformer, and inspiring lifetime of service set him apart from the other candidates on the stage at UNH. John demonstrated a command of the issues and an ability to give honest, straight-talk on each one, from the importance of reducing America’s dependence on foreign sources of energy, to cutting wasteful spending and protecting America from Islamic extremism. Tonight was simply another example where John McCain, unlike any other candidate, displayed the experience necessary to lead America and change Washington.”

You can contact Campaignia at publisher@campaignia.org.

Official post-UNH debate statement from campaign manager Rick Davis on McCain's performance

Here is the complete text of a statement, sent out via e-mail by Senator McCain’s campaign manager, Rick Davis, immediately after the conclusion of the debate (it was received at 10:53 PM Wednesday). Obviously, this is entirely spin, and not an objective analysis of McCain’s performance in the debate at UNH on Wednesday. But it is indicative of the message of McCain’s campaign. In the e-mail, Davis stresses several of McCain’s leading campaign themes, as listed in the “Themes” categories on the right-side menu:


ARLINGTON, VA — Rick Davis, John McCain 2008 Campaign Manager, issued the following statement on tonight’s Republican presidential debate:

“This evening, John McCain demonstrated why he is the only candidate with the proven national security experience vital to confronting the transcendent challenge facing our nation — the struggle against radical Islamic extremism. McCain has demonstrated leadership and political courage by advocating an Iraq policy that would bring our troops home with honor — by winning.

“John McCain presented an optimistic and realistic vision for America’s future and has a life-long record of working to resolve the challenges we face and restore American’s trust in their government. Beyond his broad national security and international expertise, on the domestic front John McCain has been a leader in the fight to cut unnecessary spending in Washington, DC, eliminating earmarks and exposing pork-barrel projects. His exemplary record of service and sacrifice continues to stand out among all other candidates from either party, and is one of many reasons why he is uniquely qualified to lead as commander-in-chief from the moment he is elected.”

You can contact Campaignia at publisher@campaignia.org.

Fred jokes about McCain on Leno: "a good friend - unless, of course, he beats me."

While the rest of the Republican field was at the University of New Hampshire for the debate on Wednesday, Fred Thompson was - finally - officially announcing his candidacy on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. (Senator McCain was on the show last week.)

Here’s what he had to say about McCain. (Fred was McCain’s national co-chairman for the 2000 campaign and one of his four Senate supporters that year.)

LENO: Now it’s you, Giuliani, Romney, McCain. Which of those guys is the toughest opponent? Which do you fear the most?

FRED: I don’t know. I don’t know. I know them all, to a certain extent. John McCain and I sat, side-by-side, on the Senate floor. And he’s a good friend, and will be, after this is over with. Unless, of course, he beats me. Then I’ll have to take another look at it. (Laughter).

But you know, I can’t gauge them. I still think it’s kind of early. You know, if you look back in history, some of these primary states - early primary states - have changed from what the polls were, from like three weeks out.

LENO: Right, right.

FRED: So you can’t tell. They’re all formidable. But, I think I will be, too. So you know, The nation’s not going to be hurt, by having one more good person step into the race.

You can contact Campaignia at

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Analysis: Text of McCain's statement, naming former Commerce Secretary Mosbacher as General Chairman

On Monday, August 27, the official campaign released the following release, announcing that Robert Mosbacher - among other things, Commerce Secretary under the first President Bush - would become the new campaign chairman.

The central point of Mosbacher’s arrival had become public several days earlier. At the time, it indicated - and will likely continue to indicate - that the former President was offering a tacit endorsement of McCain’s candidacy. At approximately the same time, it became public that former Secretary of State Colin Powell had “maxed out” to McCain’s campaign. Likewise, it was short of a formal endorsement, but the overtures by two very respected members of the GOP establishment was a significant coup by McCain.

The complete text of Monday’s release is below:

ARLINGTON, VA — U.S. Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign today announced that the Honorable Robert Mosbacher will join Senator McCain’s team and serve as a general chairman. As general chairman, Mosbacher will be closely involved in the daily workings of the campaign, and assist with fundraising, strategy, and message development.

Previously nominated Secreatry of Commerce in 1988 by former President George H.W. Bush, he was confirmed 100-0 by the United States Senate. While Secretary of Commerce, he was point man for NAFTA and later was awarded the Aztec Eagle Award, the equivalent of the Medal of Freedom, by former president of Mexico Ernesto Zedillo.

Mosbacher also served as general chairman of the Republican National Committee and created the Team 100 program. Additonally, he served as finance chairman for former President Gerald Ford and Executive committee member for President Ronald Reagan.

“John McCain’s unquestionable national security credentials, strong conservative record, and inspiring personal narrative make him the most qualified candidate to lead America during these challenging times,” said Mosbacher.

Senator John McCain stated he was honored to have the support of such a distinguished and recognized leader. “Bob is a good friend and I am pleased he will be actively involved in my campaign,” said Senator John McCain. “Bob will play an important role and I will look to his leadership and guidance in the months ahead.”

You can contact Campaignia at publisher@campaignia.org.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Politico's Vogel: "McCain qualifies for public funds"

On Tuesday, August 28, The Politico’s Kenneth P. Vogel published an article in which he noted that Senator McCain’s campaign had successfully applied for public matching funds. Since it is an issue of paramount importance to the campaign, here is the text. Campaignia will offer some analysis in subsequent posts.

McCain qualifies for public funds

John McCain on Tuesday became the first 2008 presidential candidate to be
found eligible to receive taxpayer dollars for the primary election.

McCain’s application and qualification for the funds are likely to be interpreted by opponents as a sign of desperation, even though it does not lock him into the public financing system.
The Arizona senator has lagged behind the Republican front-runners in the polls and in fundraising. Participating in the public financing system would allow him to get an infusion of loans by borrowing against the promise of taxpayer dollars.

But the system is a trade-off, since it would also cap at about $50 million the amount of cash his campaign can spend during the primary – a limitation that would go into effect immediately.

The leading contenders for the nomination will likely quickly eclipse that level of spending, potentially putting McCain at a distinct disadvantage in early states.
McCain spent $21.9 million in the first six months of the year, according to a report he filed in July with the FEC. It showed he brought in $24.8 million, and racked up $1.8 million in debt. The matching public funds would be provided starting in January, but McCain, once considered the leading candidate for the GOP presidential nomination, could use the FEC certificate promising the funds as collateral for loans.
The maximum amount a candidate could receive is currently estimated to be about $21 million.

You can read the full text of the original article here. You can contact Campaignia at publisher@campaignia.org.

Nashua Telegraph: Several items of interest per McCain - Sept. 4 breakfast in Nashua, endorsements, etc.

On Sunday, August 26, the Nashua Telegraph published in an article titled “Defining costs of education,” no fewer than four items regarding Senator McCain. None of them were related to education, however.

Here are the excerpts, below. (Note: the section on the exhibit of NH primary history will undoubtedly devote some space to McCain’s landslide victory over George W. Bush in 2000…)

"Spreading the wealth

The father of a state law that says New Hampshire must hold the first presidential primary, Rep. James Splaine, D-Portsmouth, isn’t panicking about the move of the Michigan Senate last week to schedule a 2008 primary Jan. 15. Splaine said this could compel Iowa to accept fewer than the eight days it traditionally gets between the first caucus and the first primary here. Here is Splaine’s election calendar of the week:

• Iowa caucus: Saturday, Jan. 5.
• New Hampshire primary: Tuesday, Jan. 8.
• Michigan primary: Tuesday, Jan. 15.
• Nevada caucus and South Carolina primary: Saturday, Jan. 19.
• Florida primary: Tuesday, Jan. 29.
• Tsunami Tuesday (up to 20 state elections): Tuesday, Feb. 5.

Countering terror

Retired Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney will speak about the terrorist threat from radical Islam during a Manchester Republican City Committee-sponsored speech at the Institute of Politics on the campus of Saint Anselm College on Thursday night. McInerney is a co-author of the “Blueprint for Victory’’ in 2004 that detailed what he viewed as promising developments in a missile defense system he said could thwart the threat of nuclear weapons from Iran. Oh, yes, in the interest of full disclosure, McInerney donated $2,300 to the presidential campaign of U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz…

Primary history

You’ll want to catch a new exhibit on the state’s presidential primary tradition at the New Hampshire Historical Society’s library at 30 Park St. in Concord. There are five exhibits on voter participation, the success of low-financed campaigning, the role of the media, the engagement of local government and the primary in a historical context. Rath, Young and Pignatelli, Boston Private Value Investors, WMUR-TV and the New Hampshire Union-Leader of are sponsors. “With a highly informed and engaged voter population, a level playing field for a wide range of candidates and strong tradition of civil engagement, New Hampshire is a unique crucible for national candidate readiness that strengths the democratic principles upon which our nation is founded,’’ said Michael Chaney, president and CEO of the New Hampshire Political Library…

McCain has a tough time getting traction in the Hawkeye State, since he didn’t compete in 2000. He also has long railed against federal subsidies for ethanol, the corn-based fuel that has become a bumper crop for Iowa farmers thanks to the current energy bill…

More Clinton bashing

McCain went after Clinton last week for her conflicting comments on the war in Iraq. Clinton had said at the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention that the surge of troops was “working,’’ but later in the week she concluded the surge has “failed’’ and we need to start an immediate withdrawal of troops.

“The fact that the New York senator can reverse her position on an issue of grave
importance to our national security in a few days sends the wrong signal to our
enemies in Iraq and our own troops on the ground,’’ McCain said. “We must continue to support General Petraeus and the new counterinsurgency campaign to give us the best chance to succeed. Following the path to begin an ‘immediate withdrawal’ would be a grave mistake.”

McCain won the backing of several social conservatives last week.

Merrimack Rep. Maureen Mooney and Pam Colantuono of Manchester will co-chair a steering committee of these activists. Colantuono is the wife of U.S. Attorney Thomas Colantuono and had chaired evangelical outreach for President George W. Bush in the state during the 2004 campaign…

Breakfast with McCain

McCain will speak to business leaders at a Sept. 4 breakfast session in Nashua. The Business and Industry Association and N.H. Political Library are co-sponsoring the event, which is part of its National Leaders Forum series. Admission costs $30...

You can read the full text of the original article here. You can contact Campaignia at publisher@campaignia.org.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Politico's Vogel: "McCain qualifies for public funds" - updated version

The Politico’s Kenneth Vogel has an updated version of his story on Senator McCain’s qualification for public funds. Here’s the text:

McCain qualifies for public funds
By: Kenneth P. Vogel
August 28, 2007 05:49 PM EST

John McCain on Tuesday became the first 2008 presidential candidate to
qualify for taxpayer dollars for the primary election. McCain’s application and qualification for the funds is likely to be interpreted by opponents as a desperate move, even though it does not lock him into the public financing system. Jill Hazelbaker, a spokeswoman for McCain, said: “This isn’t a sign of desperation — it’s a sign of prudence and should be interpreted as such.”

McCain has lagged behind the Republican front-runners in the polls and in fundraising. Participating in the public financing system would allow him in the coming months to get an infusion of loans by borrowing against the promise of taxpayer dollars.

But the system is a trade-off, since it would also cap at about $50 million the amount of cash his campaign can spend during the primary — a limitation that would go into
effect immediately. The leading contenders for the nomination will likely quickly eclipse that level of spending, potentially putting McCain at a distinct disadvantage in early states.

McCain, a senator from Arizona once considered the leading candidate for the GOP presidential nomination, spent $22 million in the first six months of the year, according to a report he filed in July with the Federal Election Commission. It showed he brought in $25 million, and racked up $2 million in debt.

Compare that to the GOP field leaders: Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani since January has raised $33 million and spent $17 million. And this year, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney spent $31 million and raised $35 million from supporters , though he has also loaned his campaign $9 million.

The matching public funds would be provided starting in January, but McCain could use the FEC certificate promising the funds as collateral for loans before then.
Even if the campaign opted not to borrow against the funds, a source close to the campaign predicted the Jan. 1 start of the matching funds would be “just when it will be most useful to him in early primaries.”

“It looks increasingly unlikely that most other Republican candidates will raise significantly more than McCain by then,” the source said. “So having these funds available at a crucial time gives McCain an important option. Whether he decides to use that option depends on his other fundraising for the rest of the year.” The maximum amount a candidate could receive is currently estimated to be about $21 million. McCain spokeswoman Hazelbaker also pointed out that last week former commerce secretary and top fundraiser Robert Mosbacher joined the campaign as general co-chairman, which she called “evidence of the fact that we continue to attract well-respected leaders to assist in our effort.”

McCain applied to receive the funds Aug. 10, and the FEC announced Tuesday that he qualified. In order to qualify for the program, candidates must raise $100,000 by collecting $5,000 in 20 different states in amounts no greater than $250 from any individual contributor.

You can read the full text of the original article here.
You can contact Campaignia at publisher@campaignia.org.

NY Magazine: "The new McCain gang still paying bills" - and some more on the "Straight Talk Express" bus

Hat tip to The Politico's Jonathan Martin, for finding this short article from Geoffrey Gray of New York Magazine. Campaignia would also point out that this story is consistent with a question asked by TownHall.com's Matt Lewis during Senator McCain's August 20 conference call. Lewis asked if there had been an audit of the campaign, to which McCain answered in the affirmative.

John McCain’s new steward of the Straight Talk Express, campaign manager Ricky Davis, says that he’s been uncovering old bills and invoices for extravagant purchases that just don’t jibe with McCain’s image as a
frugal-minded maverick. Among them are whoopingly high receipts for a souped-up
Straight Talk bus McCain used on the campaign trail, which came complete with
flat-screen televisions and elaborate “art wrap”—the cellophane-y stuff that’s used to cover the bus with an image. “Every $10,000 counts now,” says Davis, who replaced Terry Nelson and McCain’s chief strategist, John Weaver, who resigned this summer after filings showed they steered McCain’s campaign off the road by spending too much on consultants and staff, among other things, and not doing enough fund-raising. Davis says he’s been able to balance the books a bit by focusing McCain’s bare-bones operation on three states—Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina—and finding a cheaper Straight Talk Express. “The next time we roll it out, it’ll be much more like the original version.”...

You can read the full text of the original article here. You can contact Campaignia at publisher@campaignia.org.

Innovative, video-included fundraising e-mail from McCain campaign, from his mother in re his birthday

Here is the text of an e-mail sent out under the signature of the Senator’s mother, Roberta, which was distributed at 12:20 PM on Tuesday, August 28, in advance of the Senator’s birthday on Wednesday.

A particularly innovative element of the e-mail is the video included within it. It is a short video in which Senator McCain’s mother, Roberta, speaks directly to the recipient about her son. Campaignia believes the e-mail to be effective, particularly the video aspect, which adds a personal, humanizing touch to the otherwise mundane topic of fund-raising. The complete text is below, with video link within it:

Dear [recipient’s first name],

Tomorrow is my son’s birthday and for such a happy day my daughter-in-law, Cindy McCain, has put together a birthday card to him that both of us hope you will sign.

My son, Senator John McCain, has been a leader his entire life. When he was a young boy, all of the kids knew me as “Johnny’s mother” because he was the leader of the other children. I raised him to be strong, to enjoy life, and to serve others. So I’m not surprised he’s grown up to be one of our country’s greatest leaders - and the best candidate for president. You do not have to guess about where he stands, his leadership abilities or what he can accomplish.

Service to one’s country is a tradition in our family. John has carried on our family tradition of service throughout his life in the Navy, in Congress and the Senate and hopefully as the next President of the United States. If you want a president with experience, character, courage and unwavering dedication to service, you’ll get one by helping John Sidney McCain get elected.

As a special birthday gift, I hope you will follow this link to sign the birthday card Cindy has arranged and make a contribution to his campaign for president. Campaigning is long, hard and expensive and your financial help will be appreciated. So please, give John a great birthday gift by making a donation today of $71, $142 or even $213 - as much as you can to help his campaign.

Yours sincerely,
Roberta McCain(Mrs. John Sidney McCain Jr.)

P.S. Please follow this link to sign the online birthday card Cindy has put together before John’s birthday tomorrow.

You can contact Campaignia at publisher@campaignia.org.

McCain to make his 9th (at minimum) appearance on NBC's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" tonight (Tues Aug 28)

Senator McCain will be a guest on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, tonight, Tuesday, August 28, at 11:35 PM EDT. At minimum, this will be McCain’s 9th appearance with Jay Leno. His other appearances, courtesy of the Internet Movie Data Base (IMDB), are listed below. In spite of its name, it also tracks talk show appearances. It will mark McCain’s first visit to Jay in over a year.

Episode dated 29 June 2001 (29 June 2001) - Himself
Episode dated 18 September 2001 (18 September 2001) - Actor
Episode dated 19 July 2004 (19 July 2004) - Himself
Episode dated 4 November 2004 (4 November 2004) - Himself
Episode dated 18 July 2005 (18 July 2005) - Himself
Episode dated 18 April 2006 (18 April 2006) - Himself
Episode dated 7 August 2006 (7 August 2006) - Himself

However, Campaignia distinctly recalls Senator McCain appearing on Leno, at least once, during the Senator’s 2000 campaign, and probably more often, in fact. So the IMDB list is only partially complete, and so the subject line reads that this will be his 9th appearance. (In addition, it is puzzling as why McCain is listed as “actor” rather than himself, in his September 18, 2001 appearance above.)

You can read the IMDB page here. You can contact Campaignia at publisher@campaignia.org.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Reuters: In SC, "McCain's straight talk on issues alive and well"

On August 14, Steve Holland of Reuters had the following to say on Senator McCain's trip to South Carolina - here are excerpts:

By Steve Holland

CHARLESTON, South Carolina (Reuters) - Republican presidential candidate John McCain's "Straight Talk Express" bus may be off the road because of money woes but his tough talking on foreign policy is still on track.

On a two-day swing through the early voting state of South Carolina, McCain was feisty in answering some skeptical questions from voters he will need for a political comeback after suffering a series of setbacks in his bid for the
presidency in November 2008.

The senior Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee has been criticized for being too controlled by advisers and losing his focus. With his stripped-down campaign after the departure of top aides and little money in the bank, he is basically a candidate alone with a microphone.

The Arizona senator began the year as one of the Republican front-runners but has fallen behind rivals Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney. He has plotted a path back based on strong showings in the early voting states, including in South Carolina, which he lost to George W. Bush in his ultimately unsuccessful 2000 bid for the Republican nomination.

His straight talk now equates to tough talk, some of it distancing himself from Bush's policies. He was skeptical about Russian President Vladimir Putin, who Bush wined and dined last month at the Bush family compound on the Maine coast. "When I look into Mr. Putin's eyes, I see three letters: a 'K,' and a 'G' and a 'B,'" McCain said, referring to the Russian leader's KGB spy tenure and mocking Bush's famous
statement that he had looked into Putin's eyes and got a sense of his soul. "Is he trying to make problems for the United States of America? Absolutely, yes," McCain said...

You can read the full text of the original article here. You can contact Campaignia at publisher@campaignia.org.

New West (Colo.) - "McCain Finds Friendly Crowd in Aspen"

The publication New West has this report on Senator McCain's appearance in Aspen, Colorado. It was published on August 20:

By David Frey, 8-20-07

Sen. John McCain looks at home with this Aspen, Colo., crowd. His collar undone, his jacket open, he stands under the tent on the manicured grounds of the Aspen Institute and turns the weather – another hot mountain afternoon – into a campaign issue.

“Twenty years ago, the temperature in this tent would have been 20 degrees cooler,” McCain says. “The fact is, climate change is real.”

This is McCain’s crowd. Like him, they are mostly white, white-haired and wealthy. Many are educated, personally conservative, politically moderate, and they respond with exuberant applause at times when many wouldn’t. Stick it out in Iraq. Applause. Hands off the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Applause. McCain’s popularity here may explain why the Arizona Republican presidential candidate seems less and less popular anywhere else. As anybody who has spent any time here knows, Aspen feels far removed from the real world.

“I used to be a more conservative Republican but now I’m more middle of the road,” says Aspenite Jim Weaver, who likes McCain so much, he voted for him in the 2000 primary even though McCain had already dropped out.

“I wouldn’t be that much in favor if I didn’t think he had the best chance to win
the general election,” Weaver says.

But McCain’s Straight Talk Express is losing its steam, in part because of that straight talk. McCain has staked his ground as an independent Westerner, not afraid to break from his party and follow his gut. It’s a winning formula that saw lots of Democrats – and lots of Western Democrats – ride into office on a centrist path not far from McCain’s own brand of politics.

If he hoped to capture the votes of independents, though, his staunch support of the Iraq war (he calls the fight of Islamic extremism the top foreign policy issue) is beguiling at a time when Americans are increasingly becoming critical of the war. His support of immigration reform (he calls it the top domestic issue) didn’t win him much love either.

“I have never seen an issue that has inflamed the passion of the American people the way immigration reform has. Never.” McCain says. “We have never received death
threats like I have received,” he says. The two issues have sparked groundswells of emotions that a candidate like McCain, who carries a sort-of third-party appeal, could play into. But McCain has avoided the populist card.

Instead, his hand includes issues that play well in Aspen, a town with storied reputation as a bastion of liberalism that is turning more and more conservative. As million-dollar homes see more zeroes added onto their price tags, a wealthier and wealthier set is settling here and visiting here. But these are Aspen Republicans, not Branson, Mo., Republicans. They mix traditional Republican values like national security and fiscal responsibility with some traditionally Democratic issues, like the environment. McCain’s moderate stance fits in well.

“I don’t consider myself part of the Republican base anymore,” says Vickie Waters, of Greenwich, Conn., who was visiting Aspen for a few weeks when she stopped to see McCain. “"It’s been hijacked by the religious right. It’s not really my thing.” Like McCain, she cares about national security. Like McCain, she wants to see immigration reform. She’s been sponsoring an employee to get her green card, Waters says. “It’s a laborious process.”

When McCain talks of fighting Islamic extremism, combating global warming and curbing
federal spending, he finds himself in front of a friendly crowd. And they don’t shy away when he strays from safe territory. Sounding hawkish on Iraq: “I’m confident we will win. I’m confident we will never surrender.” Waxing green on ANWR: “I think there are some parts of the American wilderness, like the Grand Canyon and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, that we don’t need to drill in.” Calling for immigration reform: “There’s a human rights issue as well.” In conservative circles, that could prompt scorn. Not here.

“I thank you, and I’ve already sent money to your campaign,” says one man, who pressed McCain on immigration. “I hope you’re not asking for it back,” McCain responds. He isn’t, but that hasn’t been the response across the country. If Americans are looking for a moderate choice, if Western straight-shooting is a winning formula, McCain’s own particular brand hasn’t been; not so far.

Maybe you can chalk it up to the curse of his home state. Barry Goldwater, Morris Udall, Bruce Babbitt – they all lost their bid for the presidency, he notes.
“Arizona may be the only state in America that mothers don’t tell their children they may grow up to be president of the United States,” he says.

You can read the full text of the original article here. You can contact Campaignia at publisher@campaignia.org.

The British newspaper The Guardian picked up the AP story with quotes about the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Here's the excerpt from Senator McCain:
``I have said for a long time that I thought the president would be best served if the attorney general resigned so I think it's the right thing to do.'' - Sen. John McCain of Arizona, Republican presidential candidate.

You can read the full text of the original article here. You can contact Campaignia at publisher@campaignia.org.

View from across the Atlantic - The Times (UK) on McCain and the 2008 campaign

The view of the election, from across the Atlantic, can be found in this article from The Times in the United Kingdom. Here are excerpts pertaining to Senator McCain and the overall 2008 campaign, from Tim Reid's article on Monday, August 27:

Countdown begins for real in America's first billion-dollar presidential

Although the race to succeed President Bush has been in full swing for a year, Labor Day is when things really start to get serious...

In five days most Americans will begin enjoying their long Labor Day weekend - the traditional end of summer - in the usual way: barbecuing, a final trip to the beach and watching sport.

A strange group of nearly 20, however, will fan out across Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two states in the presidential nominating process. They will trudge through
cornfields and scamper from diners to town halls and school gymnasiums. They will lavish praise on their audiences and tell voters in each state - two of the whitest and least populated in America - why they are the most acute political judges in the nation.

Labor Day also marks the traditional start of the presidential primary campaign, when voters choose their Democratic and Republican candidates. Although the race to succeed President Bush has in effect been in full swing for almost a year, this is the moment when many voters begin to focus on the candidates and the issues. Already the longest and most expensive campaign in US history - it will be the first $1 billion election - this phase will also likely have one of the earliest finishes. With a series of big states voting on February 5, or “Tsunami Tuesday”, America is probably only 20 weeks away from knowing who its two main candidates will be.

The 2008 race is the first since 1928 in which both parties have genuinely open primary contests, with neither an incumbent president nor vice-president running.
Although Hillary Clinton, on the Democratic side, and Rudy Giuliani, on the Republican, have solidified significant leads over their rivals in their parties’ national polls, they are far from sure bets for the nomination, let alone the White House. As things stand, there are still six or seven candidates who could conceivably become the next commander-in-chief.

History, and the current political environment, weigh heavily against the Republicans. In four out of five times in the post Second World War era - 1960, 1968, 1976 and 2000 - the party holding the White House for two consecutive terms has failed to win a third. The Iraq war and President Bush’s low approval ratings have also left Republicans dispirited and Democrats resurgent. In 2002 party identification split evenly between the two parties. Now only 35 per cent of Americans call themselves Republican - compared with 50 per cent who say that they are Democrat.

The leading Democrat contenders - Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards - have raised considerably more money than their leading Republican rivals: Mr Giuliani, Mitt Romney, John McCain and Fred Thompson. However, in head-to-head match-ups with the Republicans, although all three Democrats win, they do so by narrow margins. Mrs Clinton fares the worst. She is in a statistical tie with Mr Giuliani and just ahead of Mr McCain. This is feeding Democratic fears that although she is a prohibitive favourite for her party’s nomination, she will prove too unpopular and polarising to win a general election. She has the highest “negatives” - unfavourable ratings - of any candidate.

The match-ups also suggest that, despite Republican troubles, 2008 could be another close election. There will still be roughly 12 key states that Mr Bush and John Kerry, his 2004 challenger, split between them with winning margins of less than 5 per cent. They will again be pivotal. If the “surge” in Iraq achieves real progress, the anti-Republican dynamic could be reversed significantly...

The Republican contest, by contrast, is impossible to predict. All the candidates have significant flaws. Mr Giuliani, the former New York mayor, has confounded pundits by maintaining a solid lead nationally. But his positions on abortion and gay marriage are at odds with conservatives, a key constituency in the primary campaign. He is also in danger of running on a single issue: his widely praised performance in the days after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks. But he is well funded and in the best position to benefit in the nationwide multiple primaries of “Tsunami Tuesday”.

Mr Romney is running as the true conservative candidate. But as Governor in a heavily
Democratic Massachusetts, he was pro-abortion and socially liberal. His recent pro-life, anti-gay marriage conversion has brought charges of rank opportunism. But with a personal wealth of $250 million (£125 million), he has invested heavily in an early-state strategy and, although trailing in national Republican surveys, is well ahead in Iowa and New Hampshire. He has gone a long way to dispel concerns about his Mormonism. He has raised more than his rivals. He is a hugely successful venture capitalist who rescued the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. He desperately wants to be president. He is the Republican most on the rise.

Mr McCain, the party’s frontrunner in January, suffered a near-fatal implosion to his campaign earlier this summer. His funds are low. He has lost all his senior advisers. He has been greatly damaged by his support for immigration reform - anathema to conservatives - and his support for Mr Bush’s Iraq strategy. But he is still roughly third with Mr Romney in national polls. He is a tough man, surviving five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. He cannot be written off.

Mr Thompson, the former senator and Law & Order star, is expected to finally declare his candidacy next week. As a Southerner and a conservative, many on the Right, unhappy with the current field, hope that he will be the true heir to Ronald Reagan who will save America from a Clinton restoration. Without even declaring that he is polling a healthy second behind Mr Giuliani. There are, however, worries that he lacks the fire in the belly - and the in-frastructure - to sustain a challenge. A possible entry by Newt Gingrich, the former House Speaker, this year will shake up the already volatile Republican race even further...

One thing is clear: US presidential politics is a mercurial and brutal affair where conventional wisdom is often turned on its head. Michael Dukakis warned his party this week how quickly things can change. He should know. In July 1988 the former Democratic nominee held a 17-point lead over George Bush Sr. Three months later he lost in a landslide.

War chests of the hopefuls


Rudy Giuliani, the former Mayor of New York City, raised $43.9 million (£21.9 million) during the first six months of 2007

Mitt Romney, multimillionaire Mormon who also lent his campaign $8.9 million from his pocket. $35 million

John McCain, the Vietnam War veteran who had to fire staff because his campaign is short on funds, has raised $24.3 million...

You can read the full text of the original article here. You can contact Campaignia at publisher@campaignia.org.

The New Yorker: McCain "is still an either/or kind of guy" and "regrets the inexorable movement of earlier and earlier primaries"

In the September 3 issue of The New Yorker, Senator McCain was interviewed for the purpose of promoting Hard Call. Here are some excerpts from the article, titled "Escapist Express":

Politics is all sports metaphors,” John McCain said the other day. “It’s unfortunately overwhelmed with clich├ęs from sports. It’s sickening, almost.” ...

... he spoke with regret about “the inexorable movement of earlier and earlier primaries,” coupled with the compressed schedule of primary season. “You could never have a Hart-Mondale race anymore, where Hart won the early primaries and Mondale came back to defeat him,” he said...

[Note from Campaignia: McCain was referring to the protracted battle between Senator Gary Hart of Colorado - a good friend of McCain's - and former Vice President Walter Mondale for the 1984 Democratic presidential nomination, during which the primaries lasted for months. They became friends while McCain was serving as the Navy liaison officer on Capitol Hill, prior to his first election to the U.S. House in 1982. Hart, in fact, was an usher at McCain's wedding to Cindy Hensley, according to McCain's 2002 book, Worth the Fighting For, co-authored by long-time aide Mark Salter.]

The hard calls discussed in McCain’s book are an
eclectic and decidedly historical bunch: Solzhenitsyn’s decision to publish “The Gulag Archipelago,” Gertrude Ederle’s determination to swim the English Channel,
Reinhold Niebuhr’s conversion from pacifism. Still, an obvious contemporary issue came to mind. “Is Iraq a hard call?” he said. “I think it’s not that hard, because I have had no doubt. It hasn’t been a struggle within me.”

Bud Selig’s treatment of Barry Bonds was much the same. “I would have done one of two things: not go or stand up and applaud,” he said. McCain is still an either /or kind of guy...

You can read the full text of the original article by clicking here. You can contact Campaignia at publisher@campaignia.org.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Former Ariz. Gov. Symington: if McCain is not GOP nominee, Hillary becomes the next president

According to the Arizona Republic, former Gov. Fife Symington - a Republican and a strong ally of McCain's - believes that unless Senator McCain captures the Republican nomination, Senator Hillary Clinton will become the next president. Here's an excerpt from the article:

The former GOP governor remains strongly loyal to Sen. John McCain and had just commented to a reporter that unless McCain finds a way to pin down the Republican presidential nomination, he figures Hillary Clinton will be the next president.

You can read the full text of the original article here. You can contact Campaignia at publisher@campaignia.org.
On Thursday, John Marelius of the San Diego Union-Tribune's Newsblog feature had the following to say, about the fundraising e-mail sent out by the official campaign under Cindy McCain's signature:

Sign John McCain's birthday card (oh, and send

This isn't the hokiest online fundraising gimmick of the 2008 presidential campaign season. That honor goes to John Edwards' mother hawking her pecan pie recipe in exchange for a $6.10 donation to her son's campaign in honor of the candidate's June 10 birthday. Republican John McCain's wife, Cindy, is emailing around an electronic birthday card that people can sign and return before the Arizona senator's 71st birthday next Wednesday.

"Birthdays are always special occasions in the McCain family," she writes. "Even during this grueling, historic campaign, we can't lose sight of what's really important. I know my husband won't." And what's really important? Well, money for starters.

"I hope you'll consider commemorating his birthday with a special gift of $142 -- just $2 for each year as a friendly reminder of his birthday?" she says. Of course,
anybody wanting to wish McCain a really special birthday is free to send in the
maximum allowable contribution of $2,300. But no pecan pie.

Posted by John Marelius August 24, 2007 11:02

You can read the full text of the original article here. You can contact Campaignia at publisher@campaignia.org.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

CBS' Jeff Greenfield: "Campaigning for Votes... and Laughs"

Jeff Greenfield of CBS News has an entertaining piece on how candidates - including Senator McCain - have begun appearing on Comedy Central with increasing frequency:

Campaigning for Votes... and Laughs: Comedy Central's Late-Night Talk Shows Have Become a Stop for Presidential Hopefuls of Both Parties

(CBS) If you're running for president, you have to show up at the Iowa State Fair and you have to debate just about every day. Now there's a new tradition that's fast becoming as familiar as kissing a baby or chowing down on local grub: an appearance on "The Daily Show" or "The Colbert Report" — the twin towers of the Comedy Central network's political coverage, labeled "Indecision 2008," reports CBS News chief political analyst Jeff Greenfield.

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., was with Jon Stewart on Wednesday night. "With the experience thing, have you thought about running a smaller country first?" asks "The Daily Show" host. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee was with "Colbert Report" host Stephen Colbert last week. "I was on the Stephen Colbert show not once, but twice, and you gave me the bump the last time," Huckabee said on the show. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a "Daily Show" favorite, has been on 10 times; most recently, to talk abut his campaign woes. "In the words of Chairman Mao, 'It's always darkest just before it's totally black,'" he quipped.

So what's the appeal? "You actually end up being more truthful and talking more substance on a show like this than you do sometimes on some of these other shows," says Obama. You can see why candidates would flock to shows that can reach more than a million mostly young, mostly male viewers — one of the most elusive and desirable of audiences.

For Comedy Central, there's a clear bottom-line payoff. "It's big business for us now," says Michelle Ganeless, a Comedy Central vice president. "The franchise of 'Indecision' has become one of our biggest success stories with advertisers." Advertisers like Volkswagen, which has made a multimillion-dollar buy. The network, which has launched a freestanding
"Indecision 2008" Web site, also plans a politically-themed comedy tour. "They're reaching an audience that's interested in politics — but that's younger, and that's a rarity," says Ganeless. It's the kind of coverage that has a very different feel from the old days: When John Kennedy went on Jack Paar's "Tonight" Show back in 1960; the treatment was deferential — almost fawning. "May … may I call you Jack?" Parr asked. That's not so much the case today.

"I only mean this in the most respectable way: Who the hell are you?" Colbert recently asked Huckabee. And Stewart to Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del.: "Is there anything in Delaware the Bidens don't control?" "It's tough humor, but there's always an intellectual bite to it," Biden said. Not every candidate finds the network comfortable turf. Neither Hillary Clinton, Rudy Giuliani nor Mitt Romney has shown up so far. Even so, Comedy Central is showing that political funny business can mean serious profits.

You can read the full text of the original article
here. You can contact Campaignia at publisher@campaignia.org.

ABC News: " '08 Campaigning on a Jet Plane" sheds light on cost of charter jets

On Friday, August 24, Jennifer Parker of ABC News wrote an extremely insightful report on how candidates travel, via either charter (corporate or otherwise) or commercial flights. Here are excerpts, some of which are directly relevant to Senator McCain's campaign, with others shedding light on the relative benefits and costs of campaigning via private jet, as opposed to commercial flights.
Aug. 24, 2007

As the end of the summer travel season nears, many
Americans have an air travel horror story. Delayed or even canceled flights. Lost baggage. Ever-changing security rules. Cramped seats. Some of the '08 presidential candidates have bypassed travel nightmares by flying high in style -- either on expensive privately chartered jets or by hitching a ride on the corporate jets of some of the world's wealthiest businesses.

Other White House wannabes fly with the masses on commercial flights -- either because of ethical reasons or simply because they can't afford to travel any other way. However, with a packed campaign event schedule, large entourages, more hands to shake than ever because of the early primary voting states, criss-crossing the nation on regular commercial flights has become a challenge.

Travel Delays Thwart '08 Presidential Candidates

A delayed flight caused Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. to miss a scheduled campaign event last month in Pittsburgh. The White House wannabe was forced to address supporters by speaker phone. Early in the campaign McCain pledged he wouldn't take flights on private corporate planes...

Many politicians, including Biden, freely admit they would rather fly on a private or corporate jet. "If I had a plane, I would make 30 percent more appearances in the state of Iowa, in New Hampshire, in Nevada," Biden told Radio Iowa's O. Kay Henderson last month. "That's where money does make a difference," said Biden, whose
fundraising effort lags far below '08 rivals Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. ...

Candidates Flying High on Chartered Jets

Cash-rich presidential candidates, like Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., are flying to rallies, debates and fundraisers, using their vast campaign war chests to charter private jets. Both Obama and Clinton have promised to forgo corporate jets in favor of chartering their own private planes. But chartering your own private jet can be costly. A return flight from Washington, D.C., to Manchester, N.H., on a chartered Citation III jet, which seats eight passengers, would cost almost $22,000 return, according to Air Charter, a private jet company based out of Missouri and frequently used by Obama's campaign.

The Obama campaign spent $340,000 on private planes in just February and March of 2007, using Air Charter, according to FEC documents. Obama has spent the most on travel so far, according to the
Center for Responsive Politics, spending about $696,000 on hotels, private planes, commercial flights and rental cars. Other White House wannabes have found a way to get those costs down by using corporate jets and reimbursing the owners the cost of a first-class ticket, which is far below the cost of operating a private plane.
Candidates Fly on Corporate Jets at Reduced Rate

Almost half of the Republican and Democratic '08 candidates running for president are traveling at reduced rates on corporate private jets, according to federal election campaign disclosures. Federal Election Commission rules allow candidates to pay what amounts to a first-class ticket to fly on corporate-owned private jets....

Romney, Edwards, Giuliani, Richardson Fly on Private Jets

Early on Romney's campaign actively solicited corporate jets as a way to save money.
The Romney campaign has spent almosy $620,000 in travel expenditures on corporate jets, commercial flights, hotels and vehicles, according to a campaign document filed with the Federal Election Commission. The Edwards campaign has paid more than $430,000 to Fred Baron for the use of his private plane, according FEC documents.
Baron, a successful asbestos trial lawyer, is a former president of the Association of American Trial Lawyers and is currently the national finance chair of Edwards' '08 presidential bid. Giuliani has paid more than $175,000 this year for flights on private jets leased by Elliott Asset Management, a company owned by Paul E. Singer, a hedge fund executive.

"Corporate jets are a much easier way to get around the country than commercial jets," said Ritsch. "Anyone who's been to an airport recently knows how difficult it is to get in and out. If presidential candidates had to do that they'd waste a lot of time that they could be spending with voters or with campaign contributors, so that's why they do it," he said.

Running Into Candidates in the Airport

Many presidential candidates fly on commercial planes to save money, and even to be seen by voters as down-to-earth.

You can read the full text of the original article here. You can contact Campaignia at publisher@campaignia.org.