Earlier this month, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) hosted a “thank you” Sunday cookout for over 40 reporters from a wide variety of news outlets at his vacation home in Arizona. McCain’s expression of goodwill came despite a brief falling out with those covering his presidential campaign following the New York Times story that questioned his relationships with lobbyists.
ThinkProgress noted at the time that the reporters took the bait. His “charm offensive” to “woo the reporters” and appease the press — who have been said to be his political “base” — paid off as reports from the event not only praised McCain but also boasted of his cooking skills.
Now, McCain is reaping the dividends. The Associated Press published an article this afternoon that focused solely on the fact that, even though he has access to a charter plane, McCain took a train from Washington D.C. to Philadelphia. More than that, the article praised him for it, calling him a “man of the people.” Yet two sentences later, the AP included a detail of the trip that completely undermines that claim:
John McCain traveled like a man of the people Friday morning, riding an Amtrak train to Philadelphia after a late night of voting in Washington.
“Nice to see you, nice to see you,” McCain said to workers and passengers who greeted him on the 8 a.m. high-speed Acela Express train.
McCain, accompanied by a campaign aide, was left alone by the public as he sat in the first-class car for much of the 1 1/2 hour trip.
It is well known that McCain tries to cozy up to the press. The fact that McCain has “flattered, befriended, and courted reporters” allows articles published about him to say he’s a “man of the people” despite taking an upscale, “high-speed” train while riding in “the first-class car.”