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McCain takes shot at Obama for not standing up to Illinois Democrats at Chicago fund-raiser. Pool report.

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WASHINGTON--John McCain praised running mate Sara Palin for taking on her own party-and slammed Barack Obama for not standing up to Illinois Democrats while in Chicago for a fund-raiser on Monday night.


"The America people want change in Washington and they want the right kind of change. They are glad that someone like Gov. Sarah Palin has taken on her party and the special interests in Alaska. I have stood up against my party when I had to. And Sen. Obama has never once stood up to his party. You know that very well in the state of Illinois," McCain said.



McCain Local Pool Report #1

Rick Pearson

Chicago Tribune

Top lines:

McCain touts polls showing him ahead

Blasts Obama for not pushing change within his own Illinois Democrats

Says Obama has "averaged" about $1 million a day in Senate in seeking earmarks

The event opened to the pool was the general reception, which was held on the 2nd floor overlook of the lobby at the Chicago Hilton and Towers, adjacent to the grand ballroom and facing Michigan Avenue. It was designed as a people-milling event, without only about a dozen tables available for donors to use for their appetizers and beverages from at least two bars that were set up. About 200 people attended the general reception, while another 100 combined attended two earlier events.

McCain spoke for just more than 15 minutes (15:51) in front of an industrial blue curtain and a small stage less than three feet high. The stage was placed between the columns that make up the second-floor balcony overlook, though no toga jokes a la Denver were evident. Much of McCain's speech dealt with his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, although he did get in a few shots at his rival, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois.

Among the locals attending the general reception were Illinois GOP Chairman Andy McKenna, U.S. Senate candidate Steve Sauerberg, state Sen. Dan Rutherford of Chenoa, Chicago businessman Ron Gidwitz, new Illinois Republican national committeeman and McCain-ally Pat Brady. At about 6:50 p.m., state Rep. Jim Durkin of Westchester took to the stage and gave a 30 second introduction of McCain.

"This has been an amazing week coming off an incredible convention," Durkin said. "I can't be more proud of John McCain and Gov. Palin. I tell you last week, as I walked out of that convention center, I've never felt that electricity in my political life and it will continue on until November."

McCain thanked Durkin and his family, taking a shot by crediting "all 87 of them." He also thanked Fred Malek, the founder and chairman of Thayer Capital Partners and a longtime adviser to GOP presidents from Nixon to Bush, who is playing a major fundraising role as a deputy national finance chairman in the current campaign. Noting Malek's long history, McCain joked that he was "a member of the Coolidge administration."

McCain sprinkled references to Palin throughout his short speech. At one point, touting Palin's background on energy through negotiations on a $40 billion pipeline, McCain said it would bring natural gas "down to the lower 40." Not sure what eight states would be left out.

"She was thoroughly vetted and I'm proud of the experience and talent that she brings to our ticket and she will bring to the vice presidency of the United States of America," McCain said 10 days after he selected her.

"I'm very happy with where we are. I'm very happy with our convention. I'm most happy to have traveled already in the last several days with the governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin," McCain said. "Crowds have been incredible and enthusiastic at our rallies and I have said that you know, she speaks before me and introduces me and I can hardly wait to introduce her to Washington, D.C."

McCain recounted the story that "she took on the old bulls in her own party, she became governor, she had an executive jet so she put the executive jet up on EBay and she fired the chef and she now drives to work and she's a remarkable person."

"I guarantee you, we have two mavericks together as a team," McCain said.

McCain then joked about polling in the contest, noting that whenever the results aren't favorable "as we did for months," you say, "We don't pay any attention to polls."

"Now we're up in the polls, 5 points up in Gallup. So those polls are always exactly right," McCain said to cheers. "Always exactly right, right on the mark, totally accurate. It's funny how life is with polls."

Labeling the message of his campaign as "reform, prosperity and peace," McCain contended Republicans were a better change ticket than the Democrats.

"The America people want change in Washington and they want the right kind of change. They are glad that someone like Gov. Sarah Palin has taken on her party and the special interests in Alaska. I have stood up against my party when I had to. And Sen. Obama has never once stood up to his party. You know that very well in the state of Illinois," McCain said.

In a compare and contrast, McCain contended that Obama has asked for $932 million in "pork barrel projects" during the Illinois senator's "short-time" in the Senate while the Republican touted not having sought earmarks for Arizona.

"That averages out to about $1 million a day that he's been in the United States Senate," McCain said of Obama. "So, who's going to be the team of change, Obama and Biden or McCain and Palin? I think we know the difference."

McCain also touted Palin's opposition to the so-called bridge to nowhere, though he did not mention the controversy surrounding her initial support for the project while she was a candidate for governor. Of her opposition, McCain said, "That's guts. That's guts."

McCain restated his positions on economic growth, energy, takes and Iraq. But he also devoted a few minutes to what he called Russian aggression in Georgia, saying it was more than a conflict among a former Soviet satellite, but "a move on the part of the Russians to control vital energy supplies going to Europe." At the same time, McCain said the Russian moves in Georgia were an attempt "to intimidate other countries in the region like Ukraine and the Baltics that the Russians are intent on reassembling the old Russian Empire. So, we're going to have to stick with our friends."

"I want to assure you all of my life I have put my country first and I will do that as president of the United States," McCain said in closing. ".I'm not going to let you down."

McCain departed to applause at 7:18 p.m. for motorcade.

8 Comments

Ok, what is the difference between a bridge to nowhere and a bridge in Oklahoma? Are there good earmarks or just bad one's? When you take an earmark are you serving yourself and not your country? I thought earmarks were for projects in your state? Is that not part of your country? I agree that earmarks have gotten out of control but, not all earmarks are bad, right? I mean an earmark in your state may mean 50-100 more jobs which means the state pays less money on assistance and you get a new bridge to drive on or a community center for kids and the elderly. I'd like to take a look at Obama's earmarks but, I don't know what the economy and livelyhood are in Illinois so I'm not sure what difference that will make. What I do know is that in the state of Oklahoma, Mr. Inhofe has provided very well for my state and no one here including me has ever asked that the money get sent back.

It feels good to think of earmarks as a form of wasteful spending but, I don't think it's THE reason we are in debt and I don't think stopping all earmarks will solve the problem. Reform is good but, what else? Congress holds the purse strings and all it takes is a 60 vote majority to override a veto. Tell me, if a vote for funding our troops has earmarks, you think McCain will veto it? Do you think congress won't pass it with a 60 vote majority? And you can tell the american people all about what earmark a senator snuck in but, I bet the people in their state will welcome the money and vote for them next election.

It feels good to focus on earmarks as a form of wasteful spending and some are but, I don't think that's the reason the economy is sluggish and unemployment is the highest in 5 years. No one was manning the store folks, they thought that by asking us to spend and leaving it to the market, we'd get out of the slump. We got out of one ditch and found ourselves in another. No earmarks are GREAT but, what else?

WHEN AMERICANS VOTE IN NOVEMBER, IT DOESN'T
MATTER WHAT THE POLLS SAY, IT MATTER WHAT'S IN
THEIR BANK ACCOUNTS, THE RICH MAY VOTE FOR MCCAIN
BUT THE OTHER 95% WILL VOTE VOTE FOR OBAMA AND
BIDEN, BECAUSE THEY KNOW WHAT MCCAIN AND PALIN
ARE SELLING WON'T HELP THEIR FAMILIES IN THE
LONG RUN!
MCCAIN AND PALIN MAY LOOK LIKE THEY HAVE SOMETHING
THAT'S ATTRACTIVE NOW, IT WON'T FLY IN NOVEMBER
AMERICANS AREN'T STUPID!
YOU HAVE BANKS FAILING, GAS PRICES HIGH, FOOD
PRICES HIGH, A WAR THAT WON'T END, FANNIE MAE,
FREDDIE MAC, GETTING BAILED OUT, FORECLOSURES
MOVING AT A HIGH PACE, MCCAIN AND PALIN DON'T
HAVE A CHANCE, AND ALL THE MONEY AND ADS WON'T
GET IT DONE EITHER, UNLESS MCCAIN CAN TELL US
HOW HE IS GOING TO FIX THE ECONOMY HE IS A DONE
AND PALIN CAN GO BACK TO ALASKA AND HUNT MOOSE!
P.S. TO TUCKER BOUNDS YOUR POLITICAL CAREER IS
ABOUT TO END AS WELL, WHAT YOU TRIED WITH
CAMPBELL BROWN FROM CNN WAS FLAT OUT WRONG!

McCain has hit the issue of who has the guts to be the real agent of change.Obama for all his political life has NOT stood against his own party
when there is so much corruption in City Hall, & in Springfield. People are now languishing in jail
yet we have NOT heard anything form Obama. Obama
should CHANGE.

Has anyone seen the Charlie Rose interview with Sarah Plain where she compares her experience being a waitress and a baby-sitter with running the State of Alaska?
http://hottiesinthenews.blogspot.com/2008/09/video-sarah-palin-be-afraid-be-very.html
Astonishing stuff.

It's so ridiculous when McCain and Palin pretend to be "mavericks". They vote with their own party most of the time, and McCain changes his views whenever it is politically expedient.

Ron Paul is the real maverick. He is the one that TRULY takes on the party and the establishment as a whole. He voted NO to the Patriot Act, NO to the war in Iraq, NO to the Military Commissions Act, and against countless other interventionist, expansionist, and inflationist measures.

If you want REAL change, vote for someone with a proven track record. If you want a liar/puppet, vote McCain or Obama. Take a look at their voting records if you want to see where the REALLY stand.

Wait a minute here.. ok this is a good sucker punch that hurts because McCain is right. Il politics is a joke and while Rep politics is a laughing stock as well as an empty well, too many dem politicians in IL continue to fight each other with no progress. Obama did very little to promote change at home and cease the bickering. Granted Obama had his eye on the bigger prize but the opportunity to promote change at home was a bit missed.

HOWEVER I do not think Palin is a shining example of local change and action. There are far too many questionable practices in her agenda and actions. Oh yea btw does anyone realize that she was in freaking alaska? I may run for gov of Hawaii implement change and become a VP rep candidate.

Mc Cain is jumping on the bandwagon of good momentum. Country first and change sometimes dont mix well so Im skeptical how mccain relates the two and whether he will pull it off. McCain is looking to win points for the election while Im seeing Obama trying to make progress.

McCain your letting your competitive side take over again this isnt a game its people's lives. Remember the last time you wanted to be ballsy and be competitive and win a game? Yeap you ended up in a prison camp and we all know what happened there.

It strikes me funny that McCain is looking at the polls now. Gallop has him 5 points ahead of Obama. Who the hell are they polling? All other polls have McCain trailing.

O another note, when are they going to let Sarah (President) Palin speak. I'm foaming at the mouth. This is going to be the best entertainment available at any price. Not only doesn't she know what the VP does, but she admitted it in July. What about Trigs birth certificate. Is Bristol really pregnant? What about Track being forced into the military by a judge for destroying a fleet of school buses.

Sarah, just ansnwer any one of these questions truthfully, and it godd bye charlie.

OBAMA = BETRAYAL
Obama supporters are foolish to think that he will never betray them.
Obama was a close friend of Pastor Wright for TWENTY YEARS.
Obama threw Wright under the bus for personal ambition.
McCain would not betray his country even after 5 years of torture.
You can put lipstick on a traitor, but he's still a traitor.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on September 8, 2008 9:19 PM.

When it comes to defending Palin's right to run for vice president, where are the feminists? was the previous entry in this blog.

Obama says McCain, Palin no mavericks in ad is the next entry in this blog.

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