Senator John McCain held more than 100 town-hall style meetings during his 2000 and 2008 presidential campaigns in New Hampshire and became known for his "Straight Talk Express" tour of the state, engaging freely with voters and the press and casting himself as a candid politician willing to take on special interests. McCain died on Saturday at his home in Arizona after a months-long battle with brain cancer. The six-term Senator and Vietnam veteran was 81. We're talking with Granite Staters about John McCain and his strong bond with New Hampshire, which he called his second favorite state -- after his home state of Arizona.
Former U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte -- She considered Senator John McCain a political mentor and served on the Armed-Services Committee with McCain. While in the U.S. Senate, she travelled around the world with McCain, including to Vietnam and Afghanistan.
Chris Galdieri - Associate Professor of Political Science at St. Anselm College.
Joe McQuaid - Publisher of the New Hampshire Union Leader.
Wayne MacDonald - Chairman of New Hampshire's Republican Party. He was one of several vice-chairs of Senator John McCain's 2000 campaign in New Hampshire.
From the NHPR Archives:
For a few years, the NH Presidential Primary hardly seemed complete with hearing Sen. McCain sit down with Laura Knoy. The Maverick made his first appearance on The Exchange ahead of the 2000 primary, in the midst of a five-day bus tour of the state.
Though he won the primary, he did not receive his party's nomination to be on the ballot that year. An outcome that might have eluded him eight years later. The next time he fielded questions from granite staters on NHPR, the 2008 primary was heating up. He had just shaken up his campaign staff, after the resignation of several key aides, and many predicted the demise of his campaign.
But friends and colleagues were frequently heard to warn about counting him out. Polls put him in third place when he joined The Exchange one last time in December, 2007. But he seemed to be on the rise again, and had just recveived two important endorsements from the Union Leader and the Boston Globe.