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The Cindy McCain weight-loss plan -- hit the road

July 11, 2008 | 11:55 am

The John McCain "Straight Talk Express" rolled into Hudson, Wis., this morning for a town hall session on women in business. But the conversation wasn't all business, as the attendees also got a prescription from Cindy McCain on weight loss, our colleague Maeve Reston reports.

These kinds of events usually feature two or three introductory speakers, and first up this morning was J&L Steel Erectors Chief Executive LouAnne Reger. She told the crowd of more than 500 people -- mostly women -- about her two divorces, losing weight and a recent Nordstrom shopping trip. Cindy McCain then followed with her own weight-loss experience.

The best way to lose 30 pounds, she said, was to get out on the campaign trail. As proof: The white pants she was wearing were two sizes too big, she said. This, as Reston points out, comes from a woman who told Vogue that she wears size 0 Lucky Jeans. Not the kind of detail that's likely to strike a chord of empathy. Or, for that matter, the kind of experience the women in the crowd -- any crowd -- could replicate. How many will have a chance to hit the presidential campaign trail, as spouses or candidates?

Before the session began, the attendees were sung to by a barbershop quintet wearing American flag ties. The song list? "Let Me Call You Sweetheart," "A Bicycle Built for Two" and "You Raise Me Up" (dedicated to the women in the crowd who have been "touched by cancer").

By the time it was candidate McCain's turn, Reston reports, he looked very relieved to get the mic.

-- Scott Martelle