Tales from the Trail

Nostalgic McCain bids adieu to his traveling press corps

November 5, 2008

ABOARD “STRAIGHT TALK AIR” – Republican John McCain, who basically cut off contact with his traveling press corps in the last two months of the presidential race, walked to the back of his campaign plane on Tuesday to say goodbye.

“We’ve had a great ride, we’ve had a great experience, and it’s full of memories that we will always treasure,” the Arizona senator told reporters, who crowded into the aisle and the front of the plane’s press section to hear.

“We’ve spent a lot of time together, some, we’ve been together for almost two years,” he said during a flight from New Mexico to Arizona. “I wish you all every success and look forward to being with you in the future.”

McCain, who appeared subdued, said he was looking forward to the night’s results.

“I’m feeling good and feeling confident about the way things have turned out,” he said, with his wife Cindy at his side.

And that was that. McCain did not take questions, returning instead to the front of the plane, after which a brown curtain was drawn to separate reporters from the candidate and his staff.

McCain developed a brand for himself by holding long sessions with reporters on the back of his Straight Talk Express Bus during both of his presidential campaigns, but he stopped that practice in the last months of the 2008 campaign as his aides sought to keep him to a tighter message.

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage.

- Photo credit: Reuters/Brian Snyder (McCain talks to reporters on his plane)

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