McCain stirs crowd with Action plan

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Facing a challenge

By George L. Jones

The Selma Times-Journal

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The mood in front of the Bridgetender&8217;s House at the St. James Hotel was a lot like the man who was the focal point of the morning &8212; relaxed yet straightforward.

Sen. John McCain didn&8217;t go into a lot of detail Monday morning about issues concerning his platform. However, he seemed to have appeased his listeners with direct, concise answers.

Looking like anything but a stranger in a foreign land, the man who looks like the frontrunner for the Republican ticket in this year&8217;s presidential race began his journey through the heart of the Democratically-controlled Black Belt.

Shumate said he is not loyal to any party and attended the Arizona senator&8217;s speech because he didn&8217;t want to pass up on the chance to see a potential presidential candidate.

With Alabama Gov. Bob Riley and Sen. Hank Sanders, D-Selma, at his back, McCain talked about &8220;Bloody Sunday&8221; on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, border control, America&8217;s dependence on foreign oil, and the need to help both community colleges and small businesses.

McCain&8217;s speech on those issues kicked off his It&8217;s Time for Action Tour, which began in the Black Belt region and will continue through impoverished areas around the country. He said he is specifically targeting the areas that are &8220;forgotten&8221; by other candidates.

Henrietta Morgan, who said she would vote Republican, was glad to see the senator hadn&8217;t neglected areas where there is a Democratic stronghold.

Morgan also had some advice for potential candidates on both sides.