John McCain urged New Hamsphire voters this morning to help him "one more time" as he runs an "underdog campaign" against Democrat Barack Obama, who appears to be surging toward the White House.
"We'll again come from behind and take our victory all the way to Washington," he said at a rally at St. Anselm College in Goffstown.
"Some of my happiest, happiest memories are in this state," he said. "I feel I know it. I feel I know you."
McCain had kind words for US Senator Judd Gregg -- that "old skinflint" -- and for Senator John Sununu, who faces a tough re-election fight. He also reminded the crowd of Matthew Stanley, the Wolfeboro, N.H., soldier killed in Iraq. McCain was given a memorial bracelet by Stanley's mother during the primaries.
"I will every single day for the rest of my life," he vowed.
Victories in the New Hampshire primaries in 2000 and 2008 kept his presidential hopes alive both years, but McCain is trailing Obama in recent polls. The state, narrowly won by Democrat John F. Kerry in 2004 and Republican George Bush in 2000, offers four electoral votes.
McCain said it doesn't matter what the pundits say or how his confident opponent appears -- Obama is "acting like the election is over" -- because the voters of New Hampshire and elsewhere haven't spoken yet.
And they'll sour on Obama as more candid glimpses of what an Obama presidency would look like, McCain said, repeating the story of Joe the plumber, who challenged Obama on his tax plans in Ohio earlier this month. Obama said he wanted to "spread the wealth."
"The redistribution of wealth is the last thing America needs right now," McCain said.
On his trip to the Granite State last week, Obama also used New Hampshire as on object lesson, warning supporters not to get too complacent and reminding them he lost the primary in January despite polls that predicted otherwise.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.