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McCain Takes South Carolina

Photo credit: Lauren Burke, WDCPix

CHARLESTON, S.C. — A Jubilant crowd of supporters cheered as Sen. John McCain claimed victory here in South Carolina.

After taking the stage to the theme-song from "Rocky," McCain thanks his volunteers and staff and quickly touching on his South Carolina campaign history.

"It’s taken us a while, but what’s eight years among friends," McCain said, clearly proud to have claimed a victory, however narrow, in a state that ended his presidential ambitions in the 2000 GOP race against then-Gov. George W. Bush.

McCain also invoked the state’s primary history—or the "gateway to the south"—where every Republican presidential nominee since its primary moved forward has gone on to win the nomination.

"I am aware that for the last 28 years, the winner of the South Carolina primary has been the nominee of our party," he said. "We have a ways to go, of course. There are some tough contests ahead, starting tomorrow in the state of Florida. But, my friends, we are well on our way tonight. And I feel very good about our chances."

McCain’s supporters at the victory celebration, many of whom have spent days or weeks doing the mundane tasks of campaigning—setting up events, knocking on doors and placing phone calls to supporters and undecided voters alike—said it was McCain’s famed straight talk that brought him on to his team.

"It works for McCain because he tells it straight," said Andrew Foxwell, 22, who also volunteered as an intern for the campaign in New Hampshire. "People are starting to catch on to the fact that he’s going to tell it how it is."

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