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Going forward, Mr. Hynes said, the campaign would like to have Mr. McCain talk to sports bloggers, too, as a way to “humanize John McCain as something other than a carbon-copy politician running for office, delivering talking points.”

On yesterday’s call, Mr. McCain fielded seven questions, including three from non-conservative bloggers: Kate Sheppard, political reporter for environmental Web site; Joanne Bamberger of PunditMom (http://punditmom1.; and Erin Kotecki Vest, who blogs at catchall site as well as liberal sites and

“I give them an A for effort,” Ms. Vest said in a phone interview after the conference call.

She asked Mr. McCain whether the vision he laid out yesterday of U.S. troops succeeding in Iraq by 2013 didn’t amount to the sort of timetable he has criticized when Democrats propose a specific date for withdrawal.

Mr. McCain shot right back: “Either you didn’t read or didn’t understand my speech. One of the two.”

Ms. Vest said she “read it and understood it just fine, and I don’t understand how 2013 isn’t a date.”

She said she doesn’t expect bloggers to be as nice as some of the traditional media have been in asking him questions, and was thankful for the chance.

“The fact that I could ask my question and have it smacked down is farther than a lot of people could get,” she said.