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McCain Stumps for DeWine

Arizona Sen. John McCain has traveled the country this year in support of Republican candidates (and his own presidential aspirations). But rarely has he devoted as much time to a single candidate as he will later this week in support of Sen. Mike DeWine -- one of the most endangered Republicans up for re-election this November.

McCain will spend two full days with DeWine on Sunday and Monday, raising money and campaigning with the Ohio Republican all over the state. On Sunday afternoon McCain appears at a DeWine fundraiser in Findlay, Ohio, hosted by Rep. Mike Oxley (R), who will retire at the end of his current term. On the same night the two Senators are in Aurora, Ohio for a picnic -- $1,000 per person for the VIP reception, $100 per person for the general reception.

On Monday, McCain and DeWine are in Hanoverton, Ohio for an event at the Spread Eagle Tavern and Inn ($1,000 per person for the VIP luncheon. $100 per person for the general luncheon). Come Monday night McCain and DeWine will be in Akron, Ohio -- Democratic nominee Sherrod Brown's political backyard -- to headline a Summut County party dinner.

Why so much attention?

"Mike DeWine is a good and decent man with a record on the vital issues of the day -- securing our nation and leading in the fight against terror -- which deserve re-election," said McCain political svengali John Weaver. "He is a dear friend of John McCain's, but more importantly, is a huge asset to the U.S. Senate and to the nation."

Sure, but what's the real reason?

There are at least two that we can think of.

First, DeWine was one of only four Senators (Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson, Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel and Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl were the others) to endorse McCain's presidential primary bid against George W. Bush. In politics, loyalty is everything so McCain is making sure that DeWine is rewarded for taking a risk on him six years ago. McCain also has an eye on 2008 and has already recruited Graham as well as Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott and Oregon Sen. Gordon Smith to his presidential campaign. Presumably, McCain would like DeWine to join that list.

Second, McCain could be looking forward to the 2008 general election when, if 2004 is any indication, Ohio will again be one of a handful of battlegrounds between the parties. Keeping McCain in front of Ohio voters could well pay dividends if he is able to win his party's nomination. A poll done by the Columbus Dispatch in April showed McCain leading the 2008 Republican field with support from 30 percent of those surveyed. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani had 24 percent, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice took 20 percent and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich won 10 percent. No other candidate registered in double digits.

McCain's travel schedule remains tightly packed. He spent Tuesday and early Wednesday in Iowa before flying to Louisiana for a state party luncheon. Thursday and Friday he is in South Carolina, and Saturday will take him to Florida where he will campaign in Pensacola, Miami, Orlando and Jacksonville for state Attorney General Charlie Crist, who is running for governor.

All of McCain's stops have a purpose. Some -- like his visits to Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina -- are patently obiovus, while others -- like his Ohio trip -- take a bit more figuring out. Watch where McCain spends his time between now and November and whether the candidates he helps reciprocate by quickly endorsing his presidential campaign either later this year or in early 2007.

By Chris Cillizza  |  August 17, 2006; 1:55 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Next: Lieberman Loved by GOP; Hillary Looks to 2008


McCain is not my GUY,

Legal? Helping politicians win their elections in exchange for future endorsements is straight from the presidential hopefull playbook!

By and large, liberals and indies only like McCain because he has a habit of sticking his thumb in the GOP's eye. That kind of behavior is not going to get him nominated OR elected.

Posted by: murphy | August 21, 2006 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Wow, only 7 comments so far about McCain and his mission to help other Republicans win elections this year as long as they endorse him for president. Is that legal? I think McCain is being exposed as using political blackmail in order to fly in and help raise money for candidates.

I like McCain in 2000, now he is just a politican seeking favors.

Posted by: McCain is not my GUY | August 18, 2006 4:06 PM | Report abuse


I am afriad that there is a factual error in this statement:

"Still, New Jersey Republicans haven't won a contested race for governor or Senate since Christie Todd Whitman was elected governor in 1993. (Previous ranking: 8)"

In 1997 the GOP won when Whitman was reelected.


Posted by: NJ | August 18, 2006 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Glad to see Condi in the OHIO poll.

Here is the results of CAST YOUR KERNEL from Iowa.
McCain 24%
Condi 20%
Rudy 20%

cute farm poll from Iowa at the state fair.
Imagine the small pen to write the names on kernels of field corn? So it is great to see that other people also agree with me that Condi should run and could be a viable contender in 2008.

Posted by: Tina | August 18, 2006 11:45 AM | Report abuse

The wat I see it, the Republican Primary is already down to two men, McCain and Allen. Seems that McCain is doing what he has to do to win. He s raising as much money as he possibly can while doling out favors to as many people as possible. Frankly, I would love to see someone who has sacrificed so much for our nation win. Allen couldnt wipe McCains boots.

Posted by: McCains the Best | August 17, 2006 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Excuse me I forgot to mention the Huntington, WV airport has been shut down, this is where I live. These terror alerts are coming to often for me to think they are nothing more than an effort to keep the focus off the Iraq situation. By the way July was the worst month of this war and Aug. is on the way to being even worse.

Posted by: lylepink | August 17, 2006 4:08 PM | Report abuse

McCain would be the best person that the Republicans could put on their ticket in '08. He likely will not get the nomination though.

Posted by: J. Crozier | August 17, 2006 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Here we go again. My crystal ball is at it again. How McCain can even think he will get the 08 nod is now making a little sense. For him to try and rescue the most embattled, at the moment, he somehow will be Owed support. I seem to recall a simular time about 6 years ago and something that happened in South C. To pander in this manner does not fit the McCain we have come to know. This is only one reason, among many, he cannot win the 08 primary.

Posted by: lylepink | August 17, 2006 3:54 PM | Report abuse

McCain stumps for another Repug? Well, Rove and the Bush Whitehouse are doing it, too. I don't know if anyone has noticed it (Chris - I'm sure you have. Write about it!) but wherever there is a close race for the upcoming elections Homeland Security is running amuck, using terrorism and their office as a political tool. Today the Port of Seattle was shut down. Yesterday it was in another close election state. Soon we will witness the idiot lights of their alert system going to orange, the Golden Gate Bridge being closed, who knows? All I know is, the Bush Administration is using terrorism and the threat of terrorism as a political weapon, as a means of controlling people and I am outraged! How, pray tell, does what this Whitehouse is doing differ in any way from Bin Laudin or any of the rest of the international terrorists? At the very least, this is a form of treason and Bush and Cheney ought to be impeached and imprsoned for it. McCain has sold his soul to Bush and lost my vote. He doesn't deserve your vote either.

Posted by: MikeB | August 17, 2006 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Really, McCain is so DESPERATE.... he stumps for Sen. George "Macaca" Allen in VA (really low turnout) and then he rushes to the epicenter of state corruption, Ohio, to convince voters they need more of the same with DeWine.

Maybe we need to change McCain's nickname to the "Scattershot Shooter," sadly he I(and other desperate GOP candidates) are the only ones who don't recognize the bloom is off of his political rose.

If only he had stuck to his guns, stiffed Bush and his raving right (as they well deserved after their treatment of him in 2004) instead of so obviously trailing behind the Big Elephant, pooper-scooper in hand.

At least DeWine had the guts to support McCain in 2004. But, this isn't 2004, and McCain's bus is out of gas.

Posted by: Truth Hunter | August 17, 2006 2:31 PM | Report abuse

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