John McCain Vows to Bring Change to Washington

John McCain is preparing to give the biggest speech of his political career. With polls indicating a close race between McCain and Obama, the outcome will likely be decided in scattered swing states in the Midwest and the Southwest. McCain hopes to reach out to many of these voters tonight at the Republican National Convention with a speech which will discuss changes in Washington.

Reuters

Credit: Reuters

From the Associated Press:

John McCain, a POW turned political rebel, vowed Thursday night to vanquish the “constant partisan rancor” plaguing the nation as he launched his fall campaign for the White House. “Change is coming” to Washington, he promised the Republican National Convention.

“I will reach out my hand to anyone to help me get this country moving again,” McCain said in remarks prepared for the a prime time address. “I have that record and the scars to prove it. Senator Obama does not,” he said of his rival for the White House, Sen. Barack Obama.

McCain also invoked the five years he spent in a North Vietnamese prison. “I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else’s,” he said. “I was never the same again. I wasn’t my own man anymore. I was my country’s.”

McCain’s speech was the highlight of the final night of the party convention, but before he took the podium, delegates unanimously awarded the vice presidential nomination to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. She is the first female ticketmate in Republican history.

McCain, 72 and campaigning to become the oldest first-term president in history, faced a delicate assignment as he formally accepted his party’s presidential nomination: presenting his credentials as a reformer willing to take on his own party and stressing his independence from an unpopular President Bush.

He and Palin were departing their convention city immediately after the Arizona senator‘s acceptance speech, bound for Wisconsin and an early start on the final weeks of the White House campaign.

Palin has been the object of intense scrutiny since McCain tapped her as his running mate last week. “I’m very proud to have introduced our next vice president to the country,” he said. “But I can’t wait until I introduce her to Washington.”

The last night of the McCain-Palin convention also marked the end of an intensive stretch of politics with the potential to reshape the race. Democrats held their own convention last week in Denver, nominating Delaware Sen. Joseph Biden as running mate for Obama, whose own acceptance speech drew an estimated 84,000 partisans to an outdoor football stadium.

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