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Monday, September 15, 2008

Why John McCain needs his pretty sidekick

At his first rally without Sarah Palin since selecting her as his running mate, on Monday John McCain attracted roughly McCain 3,000 people at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena with contains 16,000 seats.

When Palin campaigns with McCain, crowds are larger—although not quite the sizes the straight-talk Republican’s campaign officials have been claiming. According to Bloomberg.com:

“…officials say they can't substantiate the figures McCain's aides are claiming.

McCain aide Kimmie Lipscomb told reporters on Sept. 10 that an outdoor rally in Fairfax City, Virginia, drew 23,000 people, attributing the crowd estimate to a fire marshal.

Fairfax City Fire Marshal Andrew Wilson said his office did not supply that number to the campaign and could not confirm it. Wilson, in an interview, said the fire department does not monitor attendance at outdoor events.

In recent days, journalists attending the rallies have been raising questions about the crowd estimates with the campaign. In a story on Sept. 11 about Palin's attraction for some Virginia women voters, Washington Post reporter Marc Fisher estimated the crowd to be 8,000, not the 23,000 cited by the campaign.”

This isn't plain-talking, it's more like truth-stretching. This is not “presidential” and does not justify support from conservatives who want an end to the worst of old-style politics.

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