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Ticket Pool Report: John McCain speaks at 2 fundraisers

August 13, 2008 | 10:09 pm

Another in a continuing Ticket series of press pool reports filed by traveling journalists for the benefit of their colleagues not present at the actual campaign event.

These two reports involve fundraisers held by Sen. John McCain as he campaigned today in Michigan. There's also a video of McCain's comments on the situation in Georgia. Two previous Ticket Pool Reports, designed to take Ticket readers inside the political reporting process, are available here and also here.

McCAIN POOL REPORT #3, 8/13/08

McCain fundraiser at the Townsend:

McCain spoke for about 15 minutes. He was introduced by [Sen. Joe] Lieberman, and [Sen. Lindsey] Graham was in the audience. Cindy was not there. (Click here to read why.) It was a mid-sized ballroom, respectable crowd but not packed.

The folks there wore red, yellow or blue name tags on lanyards. Waiters passed trays of snacks. Your pooler did not partake.

Lieberman: “Remember Ed McMahon? I sort of play the Ed McMahon, ‘Here’s Johnny’ role.’’

Supports McCain because “Being a Democrat, being a Republican. All important. But not more important than being an American.’’

Said McCain showed his leadership and experience with his statements about Georgia, but did not compare that to Obama. In fact, did not mention Obama. (See video for McCain comments on Georgia; Pool Report continues below.)

McCain noted the presence of Graham, whom he said the campaign picked up hitchhiking and gave a meal. Said if anyone wants to talk to him, the campaign employs an interpreter to translate.

Mentioned Graham was in the Reserves, but bad news was that he was a lawyer, which reminded him of a joke: What’s the difference between a lawyer and a catfish? “One is a scum-sucking bottom-feeder and the other is a fish.’’

Much laughter. “Anyway, there goes the lawyer contributions,’’ McCain said.

Talked about Georgia. “I hope the cease-fire will....

...hold. I’m not sure that it will.’’

Talked about the economy. “We all know Michigan’s hurting.’’ One of two states to lose population, he said. But “you don’t raise taxes in tough economic times.’’ This brought applause.

Said he had been to Detroit in previous trips and saw the Volt, which “epitomizes the future of the automotive industry.’’ Talked about the “absolute necessity for energy independence.’’ More applause.

Mentioned the question about the bailout legislation at the press [event] and repeated much of what he said then. “I’m not ready to have Detroit fail.’’

Made the energy pitch, nuclear, offshore drilling. “I’d be surprised if it went below $100,” he said of the price of a barrel of oil. Said Obama voted for the energy bill while he opposed it in part because of unneeded benefits for oil companies. “I’m the guy that’s in the pockets of the oil companies? Wow.’’

I have audio if you’d like elaboration.

Bob Barnes, Washington Post


If you liked the Townsend fundraiser, you would have loved the fundraiser in the Reserve, a ballroom of the Big Rock Chop House. Lots of the same material.

This event was for young professionals, or Aviators in Republican fundraising parlance. Several ranks, depending on how much you’ve raised, such as Airman, Wingman, Ace and Pilot ....

Stir-fry served in little Chinese takeout containers.

Meghan introduced her dad, saying in her year on the campaign trail the campaign has grown from a “teeny little bus” to a “big giant jet.’’

McCain said Megan was like her mother, “a little shy and she’s also beautiful.’’ Plugged her blog. “If you want to enjoy the campaign, go to their blog.’’

Georgia, lawyer joke, prison joke, energy, Detroit auto industry are mentioned as before. Hit a little harder on taxes. Don’t raise taxes in a tough economy. “That’s exactly what Sen. Obama wants to do. I will not raise your taxes. I will keep your taxes low.’’

Only real change for the different audience was this message to the “young people’’:

“I’m listening to the advice and counsel of my daughter Megan, my daughter Bridget, and my sons Jimmy and Jack and they know better than I do what I need to do. One of them by the way is going on Leno and Letterman and John Stewart and be subjected to all that humiliation.

But the other is that I understand, now, better, I understand that information and knowledge is widespread and it’s instantaneous. It’s on the Internet, it’s on the blogs. And there’s a flow of information back and forth. And we can get a younger generation behind us and win this election and get their enthusiasm and make sure this turnout is good in this upcoming election.’’

Audio available if you’d like to hear it all for yourself.

Bob Barnes, Washington Post.

-- Andrew Malcolm