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Making the Pitch for McCain


Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling with John McCain in N.H. last night. (AP).

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- If there is a political equivalent to being down 3-0 in a best-of-seven series, then it is probably the situation that John McCain found himself in earlier this year, when, with his fundraising and poll numbers tanking, he had to lay off dozens of staffers just to keep his presidential campaign afloat. So as McCain sees glimmers of hope for a resurgence in New Hampshire, there are few better symbols of inspiration for him to call on than Curt Schilling, a key member of the Boston Red Sox's unprecedented 2004 comeback from a 3-0 hole against the New York Yankees.

Schilling, who knows McCain from his days playing for the Arizona Diamondbacks, joined him at a prep school here last night to praise the Republican senator before a packed auditorium. Endorsements carry only so much weight in politics, and ones by sports figures probably even less than others, but the Red Sox brand is not a bad one for a New Hampshire candidate to be associated with these days, and at the very least, Schilling's presence probably drew an extra hundred or two residents to see McCain -- most of them even over voting age.

"We are now in a time and place where elections for everything in this country seem to be going to the person we dislike the least. It's a horrible place, and our country deserves a lot better than that," Schilling said, looming over McCain in a blazer and slacks. "I am tired of watching politicians speak in the broadest, most general terms they can possibly speak. I understand them no more when they're done than when they started. We are at a point in time when integrity, honor, loyalty and respect stop being punch lines. They have to be the core components of the character and the makeup of the person we put in the White House."

It is not the first venture into politics for Schilling, a veteran right-hander and avid military history buff who is known in Boston for speaking his mind freely (he maintains a well-read personal blog) and on occasion rubbing some the wrong way. Shortly after the 2004 championship, he dismayed a fair number of Sox fans in left-leaning Massachusetts by taking to the hustings on behalf of President Bush's reelection. His name is also bandied about as a future Senate candidate, though he dismissed that notion when asked about it by a member of the crowd last night. (McCain did chide him for having political potential when he gave carefully constructed responses to questions about some his nemeses, including Alex Rodriguez and Randy Johnson.)

The McCain campaign made the most of Schilling's appearance, going so far as to incorporate into the McCain campaign video it showed the crowd one of the Fenway Park theme songs, a rocking number by the Dropkick Murphys. One McCain supporter in the crowd, Ron Proulx, said he hoped the invocation of Sox spirit would help further spur McCain, who Proulx had for a while considered leaving for another candidate earlier this year because McCain seemed no longer viable.

"I'm seeing enough groundswell, and it seems that he has enough notoriety, to counter his lack of monetary funds," said Proulx, 43, an industrial X-ray technician. "Curt's never afraid to voice his opinion, and this will certainly help [McCain's] image and connection with the average sports fan."

--Alec MacGillis

By Washington Post editors  |  December 6, 2007; 10:48 AM ET
 
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Comments

I always liked Mr. McCain. I now support Dr. Ron Paul. I always say; I have no idea what is going on in Iraq. Thank you to CBS and 60 minutes for letting us know of the murder and displacement of Christians in Iraq. Either I didn't hear or no one else wanted us to know including John McCain. Isn't it convenient he visits Iraq, encourages the 'surge' and happens to be running for president. He has no reply as to why active military officers donate much more to Dr. Paul. Is anyone out there?

Posted by: OkCorralFl | December 10, 2007 2:07 AM | Report abuse

Presidential Candidate Ron Paul Bears Empty Pot For Americans
December 6, 2007
Carl Fiser
(Smithtown, N.Y.) Many contend that Ron Paul, although an honest, plain-talking man, comes to the 2008 presidential campaign podium without a lot of achievement. While in office, he hasn't steer-headed proposed legislation into law, or galvanized broad-based support for this national agenda or that, or even been on board with most post-911 bills and actions. For almost twenty years, he's been a dedicated representative for his Texas District and has not a potpourri of achievements about which to boast on the presidential campaign trail. Is this exactly true? How could someone serve for so long, and have so little to show for it?
At this time, I should share a story I heard from two entertainers at my son's grade school. The entertainers were turning books from different parts of the world into short, little plays, in order to spark the children's interest in reading. The following story took place centuries ago in the Far East.
The wise, old emperor was keenly aware that he was getting along in years, and he worried about finding a suitable replacement to lead the people. One day, he solicited the young people of his kingdom to gather, and he shocked them by telling them that he would be stepping down and that he would choose one of them to be his successor. "I am going to give each one of you a seed today, a very special seed. I want you to plant the seed, water it and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next emperor!"
One young man named Ling, a son of a farmer, was there that day, and he was certain that he could cultivate that seed better than anyone else. He got a pot, filled it with rich soil and watered it carefully. Day after day, he checked the pot. Weeks passed by, then months, and still nothing had grown. Other youths from the kingdom began to talk about their plants and flowers and trees, but Ling said nothing. He was sure that he somehow had killed the seed.
After a year had passed, all the youths of the kingdom brought their plants to the emperor for inspection. Ling's first inclination was not to attend, but he showed up that day, sick to his stomach. He was amazed at the plants that the others had brought. They were of all different varieties and all so beautiful. Some of the others made fun of Ling's empty pot and others felt pity for him. Ling stood toward the back of the crowd.
The emperor looked over the vast array and seemed pleased. Then, he spotted Ling standing at the back of the room with his empty pot, and he ordered his guards to bring the young man to the front. Ling was led grudgingly, fearful that he may be punished for his utter failure. The emperor asked his name. "My name is Ling," he replied. Now, all the youths were laughing and making fun. The emperor then announced to the crowd, "Behold your new emperor! His name is Ling!"
The emperor continued,
One year ago today, I gave everyone here a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds which would not grow. The rest of you substituted your own seeds for the one I gave you, but Ling was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be your new emperor!
Ron Paul, like Ling, is a great truth-teller. His voting record is one of the most consistent
this writer has ever seen. No flip-flops are to be found. As well, he is a courageous and wise man, and a heck of an economist. Just ask the Wall Streeters. However, he bears to his fellow countrymen (and countrywomen), an empty pot. He can't claim to have brought you wars or higher taxes, which we now have. He never brought you an unbalanced budget, which is a perennial joke. He never voted himself a wage increase and, to this day, gives back part of his salary every year. He has always voted to preserve the Constitution, cut government spending, lower healthcare costs, end the war on drugs, secure our borders with immigration reform and protect our civil liberties. Sorrowfully, he was outvoted or shot down on all measures. The Constitution has been chiseled down, government spending is through the roof, healthcare costs are out of control, the war on drugs keeps getting less effective, immigration issues remain unresolved and our civil liberties have been crimped for our own safety. I'll just throw in that Ron Paul opposes regulation of the internet, which has been a revolution in the exchange of ideas, this article being a case in point.
The eye-popping reality of the situation is this. No longer can it be said that Ron Paul is running for President. Amazingly enough, his candidacy has been hijacked, and it appears now that the people are running for President. . . through Ron Paul! That's the true revolution about which your neighbors are speaking.
So, do you want the plants and flowers that your other government representatives have cultivated for you year after year, or do you want an open and honest effort at change, not for the powerful interests, but for you and for members of your family yet to arrive. If you want to see an unprecedented effort at change - starting with the only man on the campaign trail who is not afraid to tell you the truth - your action must start now. Get informed. Get angry. Get talking to your neighbors. Then, get to the voting booths!

http://www.ronpaul2008.com/

Posted by: US-Citizen | December 6, 2007 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I still can't understand why so many despise McCain. Wacko - McCain is one of the most direct, complete, and honest candidates out there. What questions would you ask him that you think are missing? As an example of incomplete answers: look at Romney: In the YouTube debate, Mitt Romney stated, "I took on a major issue, which was health care, found a way to get people health insurance without having to expand government, without having to raise taxes." Yet his 2006 health care law charged employers who don't provide insurance an annual fee of $295 per full-time employee. That's about as close to an outright lie as is by Romney. I'm sure his argument would be that he didn't raise taxes, he just raised fees!!

Posted by: donttreadonme | December 6, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

CLINTON SLEAZE FATIGUE WILL INVIGORATE GOP, DISPIRIT DEMOCRATS AND SINK DEMOCRATIC TICKET
.
It is possible that Senator Clinton is the best candidate. However, even though many may like the policies that Senator Clinton proposes, they should also consider her record, just as Senator Clinton insists.
.
The last Clinton Administration, when faced with the fact that protection rackets where assaulting, torturing and murdering people with poison and radiation, chose to avoid its responsibilities to incarcerate the criminals and to protect the citizenry.
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Instead, they made a deal with the criminal gang stalker protection rackets to leave them alone and to consequently abandon the citizenry.
.
Do we want a President who sells out the citizenry for votes?
.
Do we want a President who sends a \"crime does pay\" message to society?
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Would you vote for a President who signed nonaggression deals with the KKKlan or the Nazi party? Gangs that torture with poison and radiation are much like the KKKlan and Nazi Party.
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We do not need a sellout President. We need a principled leader President.
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If you are one of the few who do not know what the above refers to, do a web search for "gang stalking" to see the tip of the dirtberg. Please do it before you decide to reply to my post. Here let me make it easy for you: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%22gang+stalking%22.

Posted by: avraamjack | December 6, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

With the Count at 0 and 2, McCain should consider allowing Mitt Romney to Substitute!

Why Strike Out, when you can Join up with a Winner?

McCain would make an EXCELLENT Member of an Exectutive Team, but I do not think he has a Baseball made of Snow's chance of winning on his own!

He might be a Military Expert, but his Stance on the Economy and the damage done to it by Un-Documented Labor, have cut his Achillies Tendons!

He can't RUN!

Posted by: rat-the | December 6, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of what Schilling says, McCain is a politician like his competitors. I cannot understand how he can speak so forcefully against waterboarding when going after Romney after supporting the new Attorney-General who refused to characterize waterboarding as torture, just like Romney, and who said he would consult others on this issue, just like Romney.
See on this
http://www.reflectivepundit.com/reflectivepundit/2007/12/john-mccain-and.html

Posted by: bn1123 | December 6, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse

If I were there and had the access the WaPo has, I would have mostly ignored the endorsement and instead would have concentrated on trying to ask McCain questions designed to reveal his past misleading and incomplete statements. Since I'm very familiar with the immigration issue I could come up with a lot of questions to ask. And, if I wanted to ask about something else I would have contacted experts in those fields and asked them for some difficult questions.

In fact, I would have found it impossible to come up with a good excuse for not asking McCain real questions about his record and his policies.

But, that's just me. I'm not a real news source like the Washington Post.

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | December 6, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

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