Lindsey Graham photo

Press Release - New Hampshire Public Radio: "Graham's Campaign is Similar to McCain's Earlier White House Bids in Many Ways"

August 03, 2015

On N.H. Primary Campaign Trail, McCain Remains the Standard

By Brady Carlson

August 3, 2015


McCain was back on the trail again this weekend, but this time it was on behalf of his friend, GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham. Graham's campaign is similar to McCain's earlier White House bids in many ways.


"Almost every candidate running right now, they are doing John McCain-type things," says longtime political strategist Mike Dennehy, who ran McCain's New Hampshire campaign when the insurgent beat frontrunner George W. Bush in the 2000 New Hampshire primary. Dennehy, who's now working for Rick Perry's presidential bid, says McCain wasn't the first candidate to engage with New Hampshire voters in the town hall format, but he held so many of those events that they've become almost required for presidential hopefuls.

"Voters want a dialogue," Dennehy says. "They want to meet the candidate, shake their hands, look into their eyes, ask a question and have it answered. It's now become expected of presidential candidates because of John McCain's efforts in 2000 and again in 2008."


It remains to be seen whether running the McCain playbook will work for any of this year's candidates, though Lindsey Graham seemed to be reading off several of its pages at the VFW hall in Manchester. He promised to barrage voters with non-stop campaigning. He cracked self-deprecating jokes, and when questioners pointedly disagreed with him, such as one who criticized what he called Israel's "military occupation" of Palestinian territories, Graham sounded much like his friend and Senate colleague.

"I'm the worst possible choice for you for president," Graham said, smiling. "You don't want to vote for me, and let me tell you why."


"You'd be doing me a great favor, and I think the people of this country, a great favor. Because you hold a very, very unique position that selects the next commander in chief."

So goes the judgment of perhaps the most-examined presidential candidate to pick up a microphone at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire.

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Lindsey Graham, Press Release - New Hampshire Public Radio: "Graham's Campaign is Similar to McCain's Earlier White House Bids in Many Ways" Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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