Tales from the Trail

Cindy McCain’s wrist hurt by a campaign handshake

LIVONIA, Mich. – Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain said on Wednesday that his wife, Cindy, had become the victim of an overenthusiastic
supporter.

“An individual shook her hand very vigorously at the last event we were at and she has a minor sprain,” McCain told a press conference during a day of fund-raising in this cindy.jpgbattleground state.

Cindy McCain was X-rayed at a local hospital and treated for the sprain.

Appearing beside her husband with her arm in a blue sling, she said she was absolutely fine.

“I shook hands with a very enthusiastic supporter and he got me the wrong way,” she said.

The wealthy heiress of a large Arizona beer distributorship, Cindy McCain has been described as a well-coifed presence beside her husband on the campaign trail.

Freight Train sleeps through McCain’s whistle-stop tour

DES MOINES, Iowa – Republican presidential candidate John McCain conducted a whistle-stop tour through the Iowa State Fair on Friday but Freight Train was unimpressed.
 boar.jpg
The Arizona senator did what all politicians do at the fair. He pressed the flesh. He mounted a soapbox, actually a microphone placed behind bales of straw, and munched on some pork chops on a stick.
 
He may have won some votes when he praised the fair and its 1 million-plus visitors as true to the heartland of America. But he didn’t win over Freight Train.
 
The prize boar — all 1,259 pounds of him — stayed resolutely asleep throughout his visit, resting his enormous bulk on a bed of sand.
 
“I saw the new champion and world record-breaker boar, Freight Train. He’s in good health. I can tell you that,” McCain later said at a fund-raiser.
 
“I lament and had thought with some nostalgia about last year’s winner Big Red who is no longer with us. But perhaps I had part of him in a pepperoni pizza — who knows,” he said.

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage.

Photo credit: Reuters/Ilya Naymushin (A wild boar stands in an open cage at a zoo in the Siberian city of Krasnoyark in 2006)

Baby gets baptised, with a visit from Clinton

hillary-smile.jpgBOWLING GREEN, Kentucky – Katelyn Jenkins got a surprise visit from Sen. Hillary Clinton on one of the biggest days of her life so far. But odds are, she didn’t even notice.

The eight-week-old girl was getting baptised on Sunday morning at the State Street United Methodist Church, where the Democratic presidential contender paused in her campaigning to attend services.

At the sight of the former first lady, the baby’s father said: “I was pleasantly surprised and amazed.”

To Obama, it seems like there are more than 50 states

BEAVERTON, Oregon (Reuters) – The battle for the Democratic nomination has been long and tiring. So much so that Democratic frontrunner Barack Obama seemed to forget how many states were in the United States.

“Over the last fifteen months, we’ve obama4.jpgtravelled to every corner of the United States,” the Illinois senator said during a campaign event in Beaverton, Oregon.

“I’ve now been in 57 states, I think — one left to go,” Obama said. “Alaska and Hawaii I was not allowed to go to … my staff could not justify it,” he added after hearing laughter from the audience.

As politicians come to North Carolina, Edwards goes to Disneyworld

While Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton criss-cross North Carolina hunting for votes ahead of the May 6 Democratic primary election, one prominent resident of the state is missing: John Edwards.rtr1wh8r.jpg

He’s gone to Disneyworld, for a long-planned vacation with his family.

Edwards, who withdrew from his second presidential race in January, has not yet endorsed a candidate, though both Clinton and Obama have wooed him.

Though they’re supposedly away from the political infighting while at Disneyworld, Edwards’ wife Elizabeth is keeping her feet wet.

Wright speaks out, does he clear the air?

WASHINGTON – The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama’s former pastor, pinned the blame on the media for the controversy over his fiery sermons, saying they misinterpreted his remarks and the ensuing criticism was an attack on the black church.
 
rtr1zzfp.jpgObama has tried to distance himself from Wright, criticizing him for remarks that have included charges that the Sept. 11 attacks were an act of retaliation for U.S. policy and that the government may have created the AIDS virus to kill black people.
 
On Monday, Wright argued during a National Press Club speech that reporters did not listen to his entire sermons so they did not understand the context of his remarks and that people who question his patriotism are off the mark.
 
“I feel that those citizens who say that have never heard my sermons, nor do they know me.  They are unfair accusations taken from sound bites and that which is looped over and over again on certain channels,” he said. “I served six years in the military.  Does that make me patriotic?”

“How many years did Cheney serve?” he said, referring to Vice President Dick Cheney’s deferrals from the military draft. For his full remarks, click here
 
Does Wright’s remarks clear the air, does it help or hurt Obama, or has the issue run its course? 

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage

- Photo credit: Reuters/Larry Downing (Wright speaks to the National Press Club).

Hillary Clinton declares war on paperwork

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – Say goodbye to the FAFSA form if Hillary Clinton is elected president.

Reducing student loan paperwork may not qualify as a marquee issue like ending the Iraq war and establishing a universal health-care system. But it’s one way Clinton can portray herself as a detail-oriented policy wonk who will make voters’ lives easier.

While her rival Barack Obama delivers a broad message of hope and change, Clinton’s speeches are so laden with specifics you can almost see the bullet points.

Powell not necessarily in McCain’s corner

Colin Powell was President George W. Bush’s first secretary of state, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s supporting the presidential bid of fellow Republican John McCain.

“I’m looking at all three candidates, I know them all very, very well, I consider myself a friend of each and every one of them, and I have not decided who I will vote for yet,” Powell said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Powell, like McCain, is a military veteran who publicly supported the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and he served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the first Gulf War in 1991.powell.jpg

McCain’s Veep? The clear favorite is … nobody

WASHINGTON — Speculation about who would make a good vice presidential running mate for Republican John McCain ranges all the way from party also-rans Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney to Democrat Bill Richardson. But a new Gallup survey shows the largest bloc of rank-and-file Republicans — 31 percent — are those who cannot name a candidate for the job.

mccainflagThe next biggest group, 21 percent, prefer the choice marked “other.”

Huckabee and Romney, who were both defeated by McCain in the Republican presidential primary race, led the pack of named choices with 18 percent and 15 percent, respectively, in the telephone survey conducted March 24-27.