Local RNC Reaction

September 5, 2008 8:13:37 AM PDT
Local McCain supporters gathered at a restaurant to watch the senator's speech.Republicans chose this sushi restaurant and bar as a place to watch their candidate speak. It's very different from the backyard Bar- B-Q atmosphere Obama supporters chose last week. But those inside were enthusiastic about their man, and his call for change.

The Republican faithful watched, and cheered as John McCain pledged to change the country's course. A course set by his own party. But it was his re-telling of his days as a prisoner of war that seemed to resonate most with this crowd.

Carly Hammond: "It was so inspiring. It was amazing. His service to our country just showed through his words and everyone got a little emotional."

Even the chairman of Fresno County's Republican Party thought the story of McCain's Vietnam experiences overshadowed his policy positions.

Fred Vanderhoof , Fresno Co. GOP Chairman: "At the end of his speech when he was talking about his experience in Viet Nam, being in the Hanoi Hilton, that was really touching."

In addition to the lessons he learned in Hanoi, McCain pledged to bring about change, a new future.

Marcelino Valdez: "The thing I got is the message of the future, what we'll be expecting from the future in this administration."

But, the call for change comes from a candidate who has first criticized, then endorsed the current Republican Administration. Action News Political Analyst Tony Capozzi says McCain is borrowing from the Obama playbook.

Tony Capozzi: "I think Senator McCain has been reading the polls obviously the Obama campaign has caught on to change is what people are looking for. And I think McCain and his campaign have seen that's the issue and that's what's on everyone's mind is change, now how does he change from this President from his own party who he praised tonight?"

With Sarah Palins appeal last night to party conservatives, McCains speech seemed to be reaching for those undecided and independent voters, who want change, but maybe not from Democrats.

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