As the Democratic skirmish drags on, presumptive Republican nominee and Arizona Sen. John McCain is shifting his attention from opponents to fundraising opportunities as he heads across the country — and across the Atlantic — to build both his war chest and his international appeal.
This week, McCain holds events in New York, New Hampshire, Boston, Pennsylvania and Chicago courting financial backers in a bid to draw in funds to match his deep-pocketed Democratic rivals.
“Through Jan. 31, Mr. McCain brought in $55 million, compared with Mrs. Clinton’s $138 million and Mr. Obama’s $141 million. And the Democratic candidates continue to raise money at a record pace,” the New York Times reported.
Fundraisers for McCain’s team are being offered incentives, such as “honorary titles, each coming with new perks and levels of status, in much the same way the Bush campaign did by naming its biggest fund-raisers Rangers and Pioneers,” according to the Times.
Next week, McCain’s tour will shift gears and time zones as it heads to Israel, London and Paris in an effort to boost McCain’s international recognition and appeal.
The former Naval aviator and ranking minority leader of the Senate Armed Services Committee has made foreign policy and national security a focal point of his campaign and emphasized the message in a recent TV ad.
McCain, who begins his overseas trip on March 18 with a visit to Israel to discuss the Middle East peace talks, will focus on the Middle East and address issues such as “Hamas, a terrorist organization now governing Gaza (and) considerable unrest in southern Lebanon,” should he be elected, the candidate told reporters in Phoenix according to Reuters.
He will head to London on March 19 and Paris on March 21 and will be joined on the trip by Independent Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman and South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham.
Continuing his travels, McCain will be holding more fundraising events upon his return to the states, and in a few weeks he’ll even be embarking on what aides refer to as a U.S. “biography tour,” according to U.S. News and World Report.
“The purpose is to flesh out his background for the electorate,” U.S. News reported. “The stops will include the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., and McCain Naval Air Station in Meridian, Miss., named after his grandfather, who was an admiral.”
Fortunately, it seems the 71-year-old senator will be in good health for his extensive travel schedule. McCain told the Associated Press Monday he is cancer-free after a medical examination and cancer screening earlier that day. McCain’s bout with melanoma ended over seven years ago after an operation to the left side of his face, but he is often questioned about the possibility of its recurrence.