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Meeting With the American Public is Risky Business

ST. LOUIS — After attending a fund-raiser in the affluent suburb of Creve Couer — literally "Broken Heart" — at the opulent estate of former ambassador to Belgium, Stephen F. Brauer, Sen. John McCain last night visited Ted Drewes Frozen Custard Stand to satisfy his sweet tooth. Drewes, a local institution, specializes in what it calls a "concrete" — a custard frozen so solid, it is served upside down to demonstrate it won’t fall out of the cup. After ordering a plain chocolate concrete — they are available with mixed-in ingredients of your choice, like Heath bars or brownies — McCain made the rounds to greet the locals. It was at this point that the otherwise cheery campaign visit with the locals took an unpleasant turn for the presumptive Republican nominee. From the pool report:

The senator then headed out to the parking lot, where he shook hands with several customers. Twenty-nine year old Betsy Reznick, who was holding her four-month old daughter in a sling, shook his hand and smiled before berating him for his war policy.

“Hi, I’d like you to bring our troops home now. Quickly,” Reznick told him.

“With honor and victory,” McCain replied, somewhat nonplussed, as he moved to shake another person’s hand.

“There are too many dying,” she said.

Reznick explained that she works as a communication manager for the St. Louis-based National Veterans for Peace office, an anti-war group, but did not stage her protest. “We happened to be walking on the street and saw all the cars,” she said.

The exchange, obviously, took place in front of both the national and local press. According to some of the national pool reporters, when the local reporters got wind of where McCain was headed, they called up a bunch of their friends who showed up to view the scene. Ah, the risks of dropping in unexpectedly for a friendly chat with the American public, when you’re running for president largely on your unwavering support for an unpopular war.

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