DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) – There were the familiar deep-fried candy bars, the colorful booths selling meats-on-sticks, and two hogs that weighed in at more than half a ton. But unlike the 2007 Iowa State Fair, which featured a posse of presidential hopefuls hunting for votes around nearly every corner, this year's event only saw one: John McCain.
The soon-to-be GOP nominee arrived in at the fair late Friday morning and first marched to one of his "favorite spots to visit in this whole fair," the vast and malodorous Swine Barn, where he observed "Freight Train," a champion Yorkshire boar from Webster City that weighs 1,259 pounds. The hog slept through McCain's visit.
McCain shook hands with Iowans and moved on to the fabled soapbox area of the fair grounds, a humble patch of grass surrounded by hay bales that's reserved for politicians, but which didn't actually feature a soapbox.
"This is what America is all about," he said. "This is the people I want to know and meet. And when the rigors of a presidential campaign, people talk about it, I get a chance to come here and meet and greet the real America. The people that are providing products all over this world, all over the world."
McCain's week has been built around similarly picturesque events that conjure Americana: he spoke at a massive biker rally in South Dakota on Monday, attended college football practice in West Virginia on Wednesday, and held a town hall meeting in Ohio on Thursday, during which he repeatedly praised the fortitude and optimism of the nation's heartland.
At the state fair, where corn takes center stage, McCain re-iterated his long-standing opposition to ethanol subsidies. But he did promise to "make sure that every market in the world is open to your products," taking time to heap praise on the state's pork industry.
"This agricultural products in the state of Iowa can feed the world and we're not afraid to compete with anybody in the world, my friends," he said.
McCain said we are facing an "energy crisis" and touted his plans for expanding nuclear energy and allowing offshore oil drilling, a pair of proposals that earned him loud applause from onlookers.
where sleeping pig lies, or when john Mccain lies.
oh all the same pigheaded views.
No one with common sense would vote for 8 more years of the same
It's like when Galludet University selected a president who couldn't sign. She was clearly not the right person for the job. The kids stood up and said no, we want someone who understands us.
So in the 21st century, why would we pick a president who can't use the internet. He couldn't respond to me as I'm blogging now, because he's still on 20th century time.
Barack is just one man, and he doesn't have all the answers, but at least he knows it'll take more than one person to get this country back on track. McCain acts like some Napoleon, who doesn't want to listen to anybody.
Why a pig picture? How about one of him? Bias? Maybe!
He can't attract an audience so now he going to where the audience is but this time their animals. He is getting truly desperate.
This picture is right before McCain slaps the lipstick on it.
McAttack .......The pig find you boring and will sleep this one OUT !!
Even the pig refuse your Slop.........OLD HOG JAW !!!
So I make my comments.... Away-to-go John... They will miss you, if they don't choose you.. "Why"? "Why"? How could I be this stupid! They will say...
You will be surounded, John in 2009; if you lose this election.. "History say's it all"... "None so Blind"....
that picture is the PERFECT descriptions of Senator McCain's campaign thus far.
McCain needs to get back to Ohio, Nevada, or Missouri. He has no chance in Iowa this year. Montana and Indiana are looking tough for him this time around.
Sorry McCain, but State Fairs ARE NOT what America is all about. Your perception of America is antiquated. Please at least try to bring yourself up-to-date. I am not at all surprised the hog slept through your visit.
People around the world love you and pray for american people.
CNN!! Put back the picture of the pig. Don't be bullied by the shameless GOP!
Thats not a picture of McCain is it? (I know bad joke)
Perfect – the biggest HOG of them all – musta found that one at the HOG RALLY in Sturgis – offered his wife for topless contest.
Looks like he brought the winner home with him.
Where's your sense of humor?
Put the picture back CNN !!!!! Truth in advertising ha ha ha ha ha
poor Iowa, first the floods and now McShame is there
PUT THE PICTURE BACK, OR WE WILL GOT TO FOX !!!!!
PUT THE PICTURE BACK, OR WE WILL GO TO FOX !!!!!
When Cheney is speaking at the RNC, I hope he will be able to hear Rage Agains the Machine playing their anti-government militant rhetoric across the river! It's going to be OFF THE HOOK!
Why is Michelle Obama's picture in this article?
I HAVE TO GET THIS OFF MY CHEST !!!!
WHAT WAS JOHN THINKING ????
LADY LOOKS LIKE A DUDE &
NOT A GOOD LOOKING ONE AT THAT !!!!
Matt August 8th, 2008 5:05 pm ET
More juvenile, ignorant Obama supporters remarks.
Is Obama proud to be propped up by a bunch of derelicts???
Matt...please you getting your wittle feelings hurt???? whaa whaa whaaa...seriously Matt do you really want me to pull up some of your prior comments posted on this site...if you cant take it, don't try and give it
HEY WHERE'S THE PIG ????
Obama will put this country into a depression. Why do you believe Obama uses negative approaches. That is his way of solving a problem. Don't meet a problem directly, but hedge around and the problem just might go away.