McCain says he’s the underdog against Obama
Republican John McCain has gone with underdog, declaring himself just that in an interview with ABC News’ Charles Gibson on Thursday, two days after Illinois Sen. Barack Obama became the presumptive Democratic nominee.
“Are you the underdog?” Gibson asked, according to a transcript of the interview.
“Oh, yes, I think so. I think so,” McCain replied.
“I think — I’m surprised, frankly, to see the polls as close as they are, given our brand problems in the Republican Party. I’m pleased where we are.”
Sometimes you don’t want to be the favorite.
Hillary Clinton, who is set to end her campaign for the Democratic nomination this week, was the clear front-runner last year before she lost to Obama in January in Iowa, the first state to hold a nominating contest.
McCain does have some obstacles. He has to compete with the historic nature of his opponent’s bid — Obama would be the first black U.S. president — and the unpopular Republican president, George W. Bush, whom both hope to succeed.
McCain played down the role of race at an event in Florida and is already working to gather some of the attention that has been showered on his Democratic rivals — and to find a style that suits him.
After his speech on Tuesday night was panned for poor delivery, the Arizona senator ditched his teleprompter on Thursday and spoke from the cuff, looking more natural and more comfortable.
He’ll have several more months to perfect his style if he wants to give up the underdog mantle.
Photo credit: Reuters/Jim Young. McCain points to the audience as he arrives to speak before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington on June, 2008.