Don't Shame The Name is the slogan of the www.McCainsforObama.com website. The website is a family affair, literally. Matt McCain, and advertising professional in Washington state, bought the domain and put up the website, and Alice, his mother, handles incoming submissions for other McCains who want to join the website.
Matt says the website was his parents' idea. His mother Alice and his father Bruce have been active in politics for decades. Alice says she was inspired to become politically involved as a teenager by John F. Kennedy's inspirational words, "ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country," and she says today her children and grandchildren have been inspired in the same way by Barack Obama. I asked Matt what he feels is most important about this election. He paused for a moment to reflect, and he said solemnly, "I can't imagine the world's future with McCain-Palin."
The site asks Obama supporters who share the McCain name to sign up, posting a photograph and a short paragraph. The site is only a few weeks old, and has 16 supporters pictured. Lauren McCain of Denver, Colorado, is pictured in a Sarah Palin costume -- she is dressed as Ms. Global Warming and is accompanied by a friend in a polar bear costume. The photo, she says, is from a protest at a McCain-Palin rally in Colorado Springs.
Matt McCain, the site founder, says that he is friends with an Obama staffer who told him that the Obama campaign has approximately 1100 supporters with McCain last names, but they are unable to share any other information.
The website sells tee shirts that say McCains for Obama. Jan McCain of Columbus, Ohio says the tee shirts get a lot of attention and usually require an explanation but then, "we get a big grin." Sean McCain of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, vows not to allow presidential candidate John McCain to "ruin the McCain name."
At least some of the site supporters may be related to John McCain. Matt says that his father has traced the family genealogy, and they believe they are distantly related to the presidential candidate. Carmen McCain also claims a distant familial relationship to John McCain. She is from Madison, Wisconsin, but currently lives in Nigeria, and she says, "I feel much more akin to Barack Obama's global experiences." She adds, "If the world could vote in this election, at least from what I've seen, McCain wouldn't have a chance."
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