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McCain in South Carolina: A Photo Essay


Photos by Nathan Goulding

Nathan and I followed John McCain all day yesterday as he made a last-minute push to get out the vote in the coastal areas of South Carolina where he has the most support. Today is supposed to be cold and rainy, but McCain and his supporters urged South Carolinians to brave the weather and head to the polls.

McCain held his first event of the day at a hospital conference center in Florence, S.C. — inland, but within striking distance of Myrtle Beach. The idea was to get an early start in this important town, then rush east to Myrtle and head south down the coast Charleston.

Well, at least the idea was to get an early start. McCain ended up running very late, and a gentlemanly state senator named Hugh Leatherman had to stall for time. When Leatherman ran out of things to say, he announced, “We’re going to listen to some country music now,” and the song “Let’s Get It Started” came blasting from the speakers.

McCain finally arrived with an exuberant Lindsey Graham in tow…

… but after a full day of campaigning, Graham appeared less chipper.

Pete Hegseth, executive director for Vets for Freedom and an NRO contributor, told a crowd gathered in Charleston that he’s backing McCain in large part because of McCain’s early and vocal support for a troop surge and a new counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq. McCain often tells jokes featuring his daughter Meghan, a recent graduate of “that great bastion of conservative thought,” Columbia University. “If anyone knows of any job openings for an Art History major,” McCain says, “see me after the event.” Here Meghan plays along, even though she has heard this joke at least three times today.

McCain’s wife, Cindy, always carries herself well. If they held a separate election for First Lady, she’d be a lock.

No rest for the weary; after today’s vote, McCain’s off to Florida to campaign for a primary that is only 10 days away.


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