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Friday, February 22, 2008
McCain Blogger Conference Call Report

The senator started by stating his feelings on the Kosovo situation and the storming of the embassy in Belgrade. He indicated that it was his understanding that it was a case of drunken hooligans and slow response from the local police. On the Cuba situation, Senator McCain indicated that he disagreed strongly with Barack Obama's statement last night that he'd meet with Raul Castro with no conditions.

I got the chance to ask Senator McCain a question about the electoral college map given reports that a McCain/Obama matchup might shake things up, and asked him to tell us the states he felt he could break through in, and for one state that he felt would be difficult to defend.

He replied that he didn't want to get too far ahead of himself in respect for Governor Huckabee (no mention of fruitcake Ron Paul), but that he felt he does have to run a 50-state campaign. He did feel that he could be competitive in California (I agree), New Jersey (ditto) and New York (probably a stretch). He cited New Mexico as a state which will have to be vigorously defended.

There were no significant questions on the New York Times story; one blogger did express the thoughts of (I believe) most of us, that the story was nothing more than a smear job.

Fausta asked a question about a Hawaiian native bill that is apparently kicking around in Congress; Senator McCain expressed concern that this might be an attempt to give the natives a status similar to that of Native Americans (i.e., Indians), which had been settled at the time of Hawaii's admission to the union.

James Joyner of Outside the Beltway asked about Cuba, pointing out that the current US policy towards that island nation has not changed in his lifetime. Senator McCain noted that our policy towards Cuba has prevented them from exporting Castroism elsewhere, and that Raoul Castro is every bit the thug that his brother has been. I agree here, and note that Obama's comments will make it very difficult for him to be competitive in Florida, where the Cuban exile community is based.

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