Fifty-four years ago John McCain was a lanky senior at Episcopal High School, someone his classmates called rambunctious, combative and raffish. He wore blue jeans with his coat and tie and shoes held together by tape. He prided himself as a tough guy, seemingly ready to fight at the drop of a hat, one classmate is quoted in a recent biography.
On Tuesday night, the 71-year-old McCain was all pinstripes and power tie, returning to the city which gave him an education to accept the ultimate prize in American politics: that of the presumptive Republican nominee for President.
The Arizona Republican told a ballroom of supporters at the Alexandria Holiday Inn on First Street that Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama’s message of hope “is not enough” for Americans. McCain added that although he doesn’t know “who will have the honor of being the Democratic Party’s nominee for president,” he’s sure of where the Democrats will lead the country.
“Hope, my friends, is a powerful thing,” said the 71-year-old Senator, taking a swipe at the Democrat whose autobiography is titled The Audacity of Hope.
“To encourage a country with only rhetoric rather than sound and proven ideas that trust in the strength and courage of free people is not a promise of hope. It is a platitude,” McCain concluded. “I’m fired up and ready to go.”