One of our favorite John McCain stories to tell is about the time we sat watching McCain read a (well written and reasoned) speech off a teleprompter.
McCain's delivery was awful. Nails on a chalkboard awful.
So we turned to one of Johnny Mac's senior advisers and asked, "What's going on? Why is it so bad?"
And the adviser said to us, "Because at the end of every sentence McCain wants to hand over the mic to the audience and ask, 'Any questions?'"
That story stuck with us. And for the last 15 months, with very few exceptions, we watched as Johnny Mac turned over his mic to the press/public and asked, "Any questions?"
And, with very few exceptions, McCain's way has worked and worked beautifully (imagine that, voters/press like a candidate that they can interact with).
Of course, the McCain's accessibility stories have already all been written.
But now, as McCain gears up for a general election campaign, Team McCain has to figure out a way to roll the town hall format that has worked for McCain in New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina (message of the day? yeah, right!) into a 50 state strategy involving tens of millions of people and hundreds of thousands of airplane miles.
That's going to be hard. Not impossible, but hard.
Noted: The WaPo's Mike Shear has a piece up this morning on this subject.
But we think that Team McCain will figure out a way to do it and to do it well.
Because at the end of the day candidate John McCain wouldn't have it any other way.