Fri, September 05, 2008
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McCain to highlight reform, bipartisanship on U.S. Republic convention

2008-09-04 21:40:30 GMT2008-09-05 05:40:30 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English

U.S Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain acknowledges supporters at an airport in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he arived to attend the 2008 Republican National Convention September 3, 2008. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

John McCain and his wife Cindy (R) greets his running mate, vice presidential candidate Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (3rd R) and her family after arriving at the airport in Minneapolis, Minnesota September 3, 2008. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

ST. PAUL, the United States, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Republican presidential candidate John McCain will vow to challenge the "status quo" and push bipartisanship in his speech at the Republican National Convention Thursday night.

In an interview with the Star Tribune, his speechwriter Mark Salter said the senator from Arizona will explain not only "where, how and why he wants to lead the country," but will outline "policy differences with his Democratic rival Barack Obama."

Also, Salter said, McCain will tell Americans how he is "prepared to lead and change the status quo in Washington" while atthe same time "appeal for bipartisanship."

McCain is looking to "re-create that kind of enthusiasm and pageantry tonight" that Palin brought to the Xcel the previous night with her spirited address, he added.

McCain will make his speech from a reconfigured stage that offers more intimacy in the hockey arena. Beginning at midnight Wednesday, crews began dismantling the flat podium that had served as the setting for convention speakers the past three days. In its place is a narrow, beauty-pageant style runway that will extend toward the convention floor. Designers say the runway is meant to put McCain closer to the delegates, and give the podium more of a "town hall" feel.

"John McCain likes to be in and around people," said Rick Davis, his campaign manager. "And I think it gives John a unique ability to position himself around the people he likes to be with."

The last of the convention's four days will start this evening with Sarah Palin's name being put into nomination as McCain's vice-presidential running mate.

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