A few of John McCain’s early supporters, and some former critics, were in the crowd last night at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul.
John McCain wound up finishing fourth in the Iowa Caucuses, but by early March, McCain was the last Republican candidate standing. John Bloom of Des Moines was among the small band of Iowans who voted for McCain in the Caucuses. Bloom was in the room last night when McCain formally accepted his party’s presidential nomination.
"For me, he was one of the best candidates because he’s been able to get meaningful legislation accomplished by working across the aisle and I think that’s what we need," Bloom says. "…I certainly agreed with his approach on the Iraq war and I thought he was right on that from the beginning and it’s turning out now that it’s looking pretty favorable, so I think that was important."
Edward Thornton of Iowa City supported McCain in the Caucuses, too. "It’s great to see the person tht you stayed with move on to be the actual nominee," Thornton says.
Phil Corr of Charles City caucused for Mitt Romney on January 3rd, but Corr says he’s "thrilled" to be backing McCain now. "Especially with the choice of Sarah Palin," Corr says. McCain’s decision to ask Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate seems to have energized the Iowa delegates at their party’s national convention.
Nicole Baker of Clinton, chair of Clinton County Republicans, backed Fred Thompson in the Caucuses. "In fact, I sent John McCain an email and said, ‘I’ll never vote for you,’ way back in the beginning right after he’d made some comment that was really offensive to me and I can’t even remember what it was," Baker says. "But the fact that he picked Sarah Palin, oh my gosh, that just got me. I mean, he had me before…but now I’m excited and I’m going to go back and do the work that needs to be done to get him elected."
Bill Clark of Clive says Palin brings a new intensity to the race. "I truly believe that we are in the throes of surprising a lot of people (who thought) that this was a give-away to the Obama forces, if you will, a few weeks ago," Clark says. "We are not the frightened ones now. I think that they are becoming concerned."
McCain confidant Bud Day of Sioux City warns there’s lots of game left before November 4. "We’ve got the ball on the one yard line now after a very disappointing, scary start," Day says. "We were absolutely flat broke and every had already counted him out, not recognizing that he’s the ‘comeback kid.’" Day, the most-decorated American veteran alive, first met McCain when the two were prisoners of war in Hanoi.