After stealing presidential rival Barack Obama’s thunder over the need for root and branch change in American political life the Republican contenders for the White House hit the campaign trail the moment their four-day convention drew to a close.
Presidential candidate John McCain portrayed himself as a reformer and the real agent of change in the battle to win the hearts and minds of the American people. “Fight with me. Fight with me. Fight for what’s right for our country,” he said. “Fight for the ideals and character of a free people. Fight for our children’s future. Fight for justice and opportunity for all. Stand up to defend our country from its enemies. Stand up for each other. Stand up, stand up, stand up and fight.”
McCain’s running mate, Sarah Palin, unknown almost a week ago, emerged as the biggest star at the convention, almost stealing the show.
The Alaska Governor did McCain’s dirty work, lambasting Obama as an out-of-touch liberal whose sense of the real world could not match McCain’s – forged in a Hanoi prison cell.
Her feisty address on Wednesday almost matched Obama’s record convention speech TV audience, reaching 37 million US viewers. McCain appeared almost deferential in comparison, underlining his desire to serve.
The two-month campaign trail leading to the election has been mapped out and Palin power may prove to be John McCain’s secret weapon.