POLITICS
10/02/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

McCain Plans To Use Hurricane To His Advantage

As often as not, presidential campaigns are won or lost because of the unexpected, not the predictable. In the heat of a final push towards Election Day, what usually makes the difference is how each candidate responds to and takes advantage of unforeseen events. Two weeks ago, for instance, the Obama campaign had no way of predicting that John McCain could not count, at a moment's notice, the number of houses he and his wife own. But they reacted instantly. Within hours, Obama's minions pounced, broadcasting the gaffe for days in what amounted to the Democrat's single biggest negative attack of the campaign.

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John McCain can't stop the storm, but his campaign is determined to make the most of it by using it to rebrand a new generation of Republicans as leaders who govern effectively and rise above partisanship. "There's very little doubt that we have to go from a party event to a call to the nation for action, action to help our fellow citizens in this time of tragedy and disaster, action in the form of volunteering, donations, reaching out our hands and our hearts and our wallets to the people who are under such great threat from this great natural disaster," McCain said midday Sunday, after receiving a briefing on preparedness with four Republican Gulf coast governors.

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