McCain wraps up 7-state day to tears, cheers in Arizona
PRESCOTT, Az. – Republican John McCain ended a seven-state cross country sprint in the wee hours of Tuesday morning with an appeal to his home state to send him to the White House.
The 72-year-old senator, whose partially hoarse voice was the only visible sign of the long day he had behind him, expressed confidence in his chances of victory despite polls that show him behind Democratic rival Barack Obama.
“I’m confident because I’ve seen the momentum, my friends,” he told the cheering crowd, roughly 1,500 strong. “All we’ve got to do is get out the vote.”
The enormity of the moment, however, after a nearly 2-year campaign was not lost on his wife, Cindy, who choked up as she introduced her husband.
Obama recently started television advertising in Arizona, sensing weakness in his opponent’s position at home. Several hundred Obama supporters held a counter-rally of their own across the street.
McCain urged the crowd to make sure he carried his stage “in a big way” and promised to end a history of bad luck that previous White House hopefuls from Arizona — Barry Goldwater, Mo Udall and Bruce Babbitt — have experienced.
“Tomorrow, we’re going to reverse that unhappy tradition and I’m going to be the president of the United States,” he said.