Saturday, 29 January 2011

US Elections: Mccain's Week Goes From Bad to Worse

John McCain's bad week just got worse today. Desperate to grab a share of media attention from Barack Obama's Middle East and European trip, the Republican presidential hopeful planned a visit to a New Orleans today to coincide with the Democratic candidate's crowd-pulling Berlin speech.

The hope was to combine a photo opportunity with a news story. He would fly out to an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico to highlight his arguments for increasing domestic oil drilling and take with him Bobby Jindal, the Louisiana governor, who is on the shortlist as his vice-presidential running mate. The meeting was scheduled and the media notified.

But hours later it was canceled. McCain's team blamed weather that followed in the wake of Hurricane Dolly in the Gulf of Mexico for putting paid to his helicopter ride and the meeting with Jindal.

Even without the intervention of nature, he would probably had to cancel anyway.

An oil barge was hit by a tanker near New Orleans, spilling 400,000 gallons of oil into the Mississippi, not the ideal backdrop for making a case for more domestic drilling.

McCain, who had been in Pennsylvania yesterday for a town-hall meeting, flew instead to Ohio to arrive earlier than planned for a town hall meeting with Lance Armstrong, the cyclist and cancer survivor.

McCain will make one last effort tomorrow to change his karma. He is to divert briefly from the campaign trail for Aspen, Colorado, to meet the Dalai Lama, who he is participating in a three-day discussion celebrating Tibetan culture.