Posted: August 13, 2007 6:03 PM
Avoiding the Heat of Ames, McCain Campaigns in New Hampshire
While other GOP candidates ate barbeque at the Ames, Iowa straw poll on Saturday, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., instead chose to campaign in New Hampshire — the base of much of his support.
McCain was listed on the ballot, but his absence was reflected in the vote tally; he came in 10th out of 11 candidates with 101 votes. He only beat businessman John Cox by 60 votes. The next closest candidate to McCain was Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., with 174 votes.
The Washington Post’s Dan Balz and Michael Shear wrote that McCain, along with other Iowa no-shows former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., were booed when their names were mentioned.
McCain’s campaign manager Rick Davis said, however, that the senator is “fully committed to competing successfully” in next year’s Iowa caucuses.
“Over the past eight months John McCain has met with Iowans across the state, built a broad base of support, and demonstrated why he is the most prepared candidate to lead America from day one,” Davis said. “We look forward to continuing to campaign aggressively in the Hawkeye State.”
In New Hampshire, McCain visited six towns in three days, holding town halls, media availabilities, and meet-and-greets. But McCain faced harsh questions about immigration and Iraq, and it was clear he didn’t enjoy the same support in the Granite State as he had in 2000.
According to Joelle Farrell of the Concord Monitor, one member of the audience at an event at an American Legion Post in Conway said “when I saw you embracing Bush, I was very disappointed. And it’s difficult for me now to justify my vote for you back in 2000, and I think a lot of people in New Hampshire feel the same way.”
McCain also gave an interview to Michael Mccord of the Portsmouth Herald.
On Monday, McCain was on his way to another early primary state, South Carolina. “Reuters’ Steve Holland” traveled with senator as he flew to Columbia on a commercial flight.
“This is what McCain’s legendary Straight Talk Express has become — no huge bus and accompanying entourage — just simply the Arizona senator, an aide carrying a briefcase, on a crowded commercial flight and a fairly anonymous arrival at Columbia’s airport,” Holland wrote.
McCain has events in Columbia and Charleston Monday, followed by a scheduled trip to Port Royal on Tuesday for an AARP town hall meeting.
Finally, it was reported last week that the senator received a campaign contribution from former Secretary of State Colin Powell. A Powell spokeswoman, however, said there has been no formal endorsement.