*Afternoon Update Below* 2:30 p.m.
Had to wonder last night at the Sheraton GOP banquet, whether I and the 400-plus mostly Republicans in attendance (I saw a couple Democrats and even one Progressive!), were watching the next president of the United States. Regardless, just knowing there will be a different president of the United States in office in 2 years and 4 months is reason to lift one's spirits, eh?
Sen. John McCain crushed Gov. George W. Bush in the 2000 Vermont Presidential Primary. The Arizona senator swept 60 percent of the Vermont vote, and you bet he remembered it Sunday. If only the nation would see it our way, eh? Plus he's a much better after-dinner speaker than the current prez.
"We have had a lot of speakers tonight," said McCain as he rose last in the line-up after dessert. "I feel a little bit like Zsa Zsa Gabor’s fifth husband who, on their wedding night said, “I know what I’m supposed to do I just don’t know how to make it interesting.”
He also mentioned former Sen. Barry Goldwater of Arizona who was the GOP presidential candidate in 1964 (backed by Howard Dean’s conservative Republican Wall-Street dad!).
McCain told the Vermont crowd about how on Election Night in 1986 when he succeeded Goldwater as senator, the old conservative icon got a little nostalgic.
"Barry said, 'If I had been elected president in 1964 and beaten Lyndon Johnson, you’d have never spent all those years in a North Vietnamese prison camp.'
"And I said, 'You’re right, Barry, it would have been a Chinese prison camp!'"
Old Jokes, but funny ones.
Earlier, at the Hinseburg Volunteer Fire Department, where he took questions from local press for 2-3 minutes, McCain gave great bite when it came to capturing Marvelous Martha Rainville in a soundbite.
"One thing I know about Martha is that she has had command. She’s an Independent thinker. She has a base of knowledge. She has lived here long enough to know and understand the state of Vermont. I would welcome her expertise in the Congress concerning military issues. We need a lot more people who’ve had the military experience she’s had as adjutant general of the state of Vermont. Her views would give her instant respect in the United States Congress."
And yes, a campaign video guy was there to get footage for upcoming TV spots. Hey, they'd be crazy not to use him. This Vermont House race is still very much in play and the boys in D.C. know it.
And..... Marvelous Martha's following up quickly on the McCain visit with a 10 A.M. presser this morning - word went out late last night. No topic given. Interesting.
Looks like we'll have an update Monday afternoon.....
Martha started with a call for "term limits." She'd like 12 years for both House and Senate. That's six terms in the House or two in the Senate. Gonna have to figure out a way to eliminate seniority first, eh?
Sen. Patrick Leahy's last run would have been 1980! Jeezum Jim Jeffords' last race would have been 1994. Bernie would have had to retire after the 2002 race.
Rainville also unveiled a snappy new TV spot that hits the screen tomorrrow. Plays on her recent job experience. In particular, her speaking up back in 2003 to ensure there'd be proper body armour on a group of about 45 Vermont Guard troops heading to Afghanistan.
Meanwhile her Democratic opponent Peter Welch has a nice new ad. Looking into the camera and talking. And saying what his side believes is the only thing voters need to know - a vote for Martha Rainville is a vote for George W. Bush!
This one will be a nailbitter.