McCain to Return to New Hampshire Town Full of Memories
By Juliet Eilperin
When John McCain journeys to Peterborough, N.H., this evening to hold his final town hall meeting of the campaign, the event will hold as much sentimental as political significance for the Republican presidential nominee.
McCain held some of his earliest town hall meetings in the scenic New England town during both his 2000 and 2008 presidential bids, and returned to the town late in the race in 2000. At his first meeting there, the campaign distributed 1,000 fliers and offered free ice cream. Between 15 and 30 attendees showed.
McCain senior aide Steve Duprey, who chaired the New Hampshire GOP in 2000, said the campaign will open doors on a first-come, first-served basis and will not be serving frozen treats. "We don't have to do that anymore. It only took us eight years," he observed.
A cadre of longtime political allies will accompany McCain on the one-hour bus ride between Manchester and Peterborough, including Sens. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.), along with former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge (R).
Once he arrives, McCain will meet with several New Hampshire politicos who have supported him for years: Michael Dennehy, his state director in 2000; Jayne Millerick, former chair of the state GOP; former New Hampshire governor Walter Peterson; and Peter Spaulding, a former New Hampshire executive councilor.
Polls consistently show Barack Obama leading in New Hampshire, but McCain and his aides believe they still have a chance to eke out a win in the state that delivered two of his most important come-from-behind primary victories, though in both those instances he led his opponent in polls days before the election (by 9 points in a 2000 Gallup poll, and by 4 points in 2008's one).
When asked by reporters if McCain was returning to Peterborough for nostalgic reasons, Duprey replied, "No, he wants to win New Hampshire."
Posted at 2:52 PM ET on Nov 2, 2008
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