The Washington Times - February 13, 2008, 09:50PM
Sen. John McCainPolitico’s Jonathan Martin’s SEE RELATED:


\ But McCain’s campaign doesn’t see much need for outreach, and says the real story is conservatives reaching out to McCain. This is from Rick Davis, the campaign manager, speaking to reporters today, when asked if the campaign is considering some gesture to convince conservatives McCain is one of them.\

\ “The grand gesture, I think, is really being made on the part of conservatives to John McCain, saying, we believe that you would make a good president and are willing to put our political capital to your disposal. I think that is an incredible, grand gesture.”\

\ Here’s the answer in full:\

\ “When you look at what has happened in the last two weeks, really since Super Tuesday, inside the McCain campaign and the McCain orbit, if you want to call it that, you’ve seen, heard, a landslide of high-profiile Republican conservatives supporting John McCain. And so, I think, without trying to parse it by who brought what to the table, it’s every ideological mix. In other words, there are economic conservatives, there are defense hawks, there are social conservatives. Every single thread of the Republican blanket has covered John McCain.”\

\ (Davis interrupted his own stream of thought to tell reporters he was thrilled with having crafted that line: “That was pretty good, I kind of like that. That’s got to go out in a release like in an hour, that’s really good stuff.”)\

\ “The grand gesture, I think, is really being made on the part of conservatives to John McCain, saying, we believe that you would make a good president and are willing to put our political capital to your disposal. I think that is an incredible, grand gesture.\

\ “You look at the response he’s gotten at the CPAC event, you look at the people who have signed up, Ted Olson and others, who are symbolic to the movement, and they’ve said, I want to be part of the McCain operation, I want John McCain to be president. To me, that is the grand gesture. And I think John appreciates that a great deal and actually is very excited about having all these people come in to make a stronger campaign for him.\

\ “Other than a few voices out there, I don’t hear the demand for John McCain to be anything other than John McCain. I think there’s a belief, regardless of your ideology, that what got him to securing this nomination, assuming we will secure the nomination, is exactly the same kind of campaigner that would make a good candidate in the general election.”\

\ — Stephen Dinan, national political reporter, The Washington Times\