This morning Nathan Goulding (a.k.a. Chaka) and I attended a John McCain rally in Florence, SC and shot some video. A few notes:
Today’s edition of USA Today became a useful prop for McCain on the stump, carrying as it did a story headlined, “Military says 75 percent of Baghdad areas secure.” McCain waved the paper around and said the headline vindicated his early support for a troop surge into Iraq, but he added that al Qaeda was on the run, not defeated.
McCain addressed South Carolina’s economic situation without using the kind of careless language that got him into trouble into Michigan (“jobs aren’t coming back,” etc.). He pitched a few ideas for stimulating the economy (cutting the corporate tax rate to 25 percent, offering businesses new tax breaks on capital costs) that NRO recently endorsed.
Finally, we talked to a woman who used the Q&A period to ask McCain about No Child Left Behind, which he called a “good beginning.” She disagreed.
According to the RealClearPolitics average, McCain is leading Huckabee 28.4 percent to 24 percent in the polls. Both candidates have busy schedules around the state today, but we’ll be following McCain to Myrtle Beach and then to Charleston and posting updates this evening.