December 21st, 2007
09:20 AM ET
12 years ago

For one N.H. voter, it's between McCain and Obama

McCain personally paid Flanagan a visit earlier this year.

(CNN) - Erin Flanagan is still undecided.

Hardly news, right?

But there's more. Last week, we told you about this independent New Hampshire voter and her anguish over her vote - and the second anniversary of her brother's death in Iraq.

John McCain came to her house a while back for dinner, and made a strong impression.

But she was still undecided - and considering, as we reported last week, Barack Obama as well.

Her dilemma: she liked Obama and McCain for their promises to work across the aisle, but couldn’t decide which is right when it comes to the course of future Iraq policy.

Well, the Obama camp saw our report and requested a meeting - and it happened Wednesday night, at a campaign event in Manchester. (Watch: Soldier's sister torn)

"He was very kind... greeted me with a gentle handshake and a sympathetic hug," Erin told us in an email exchange. She says Obama asked about her brother, and " discussed his respect and admiration of the troops."

Erin described the Illinois senator as friendly and "very sincere."

But: "I'm still undecided."

Earlier: Brother's death in Iraq to color sister's vote

- CNN Chief National Correspondent John King

soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Beth & Jeff Chicago, IL - HILLARY IN 2008


    She's the only one who can "roll up her sleeves and clean up the mess" left by the GOP — NOT dreamer boy!!

    Or vote Biden or Richardson b/c heaven help our country if the newbie gets elected – who isn't even wise enough to realize what he DOESN'T KNOW yet; let alone play pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey in the Oval Office –> He clearly could have waited until 2012 or 2016. He's only 47, but he's such a baby that he's demanding to be King now 😦 Sadly the great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Senator Obama is certainly NOT!! AND Oprah should stick with her own life and hawking her Book Club (which she can't even get right all the time either).

    Senator Obama wants to raise the minimum age to receive maximum Social Security benefits! How much longer will our parents and elders have to wait to retire? And how much longer will we have to wait for our turn?

    NO MORE having to explain to our children – why it's (NOT) OKAY for the President Of Our Nation to do drugs!!! It's time to take back our country and make America proud again.



    December 21, 2007 10:36 am at 10:36 am |

    Obama is now targeting McCain?

    Is this a case of 'monkey see, monkey do' politics? Wait, tomorrow I bet McKinney will be there to garner the Independent vote!

    In this case, of Ms Flanagan, I highly doubt her mind will be made up before the next millenium celebration. It's all very nice to get the attention of the candidates and the media, but she knows it would end if she gave a definitive viewpoint. Nobody's courting the decided voters, just the undecided idiots.

    December 21, 2007 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  3. Tewde, FL

    she will decide after Obama wins Iowa

    December 21, 2007 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  4. Fred, Reston Va

    She personally met Obama and STILL could not decide? What does that say about his prospects among independents in the general election?

    December 21, 2007 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  5. Dave, Evergreen CO

    An Obama – McCain match up in the general election would be good for America. I'm an Obama supporter but still respect McCain for speaking many of the same reasons; honesty and speaking from conviction based on their beliefs, not polls.

    December 21, 2007 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  6. J. McKinney SW MO

    Milk it for all it's worth, Erin. This is your 15 minutes of fame. You might want to look into Hillary, also.

    December 21, 2007 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  7. Dave, Evergreen CO

    Fred, read the whole story. She already had dinner with McCain. She had trouble deciding even before meeting Obama. Understandable if you are getting that much personal attention.

    Beth & Jeff, you can thank all three for their support for the Iraq war in 2002-2003. I for one want someone with better judgment.

    December 21, 2007 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  8. Ben smith,ca

    Bush, that is.

    He's still looming over both sides of the race, and one of the axis on which the candidates will be evaluated is who is least like the unpopular president.

    Is Hillary like "Bush-Cheney lite", as Obama has suggested, because they're both Washington types who supported the invasion of Iraq? Or is it Obama, who's pitching himself as a uniter whose judgment trumps conventional experience, who's more like the Decider?

    Clinton advisor Howard Wolfson over the summer responded to an Obama shot on CNN that a "Democrat comparing another Democrat to George Bush [is] worst kind of tactical political maneuvering."

    But Hillary appears to have done just that today - though the explicit discussion was only of Bush - and it's clearly an important subtext.

    December 21, 2007 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  9. Patrick, Denver Colorado

    Count me as having the same dilema as this voter. If both of these men win their primaries it would be great for America b/c I don't think you can go wrong. I'm leaning towards McCain but I do think Obama would be a good choice as well. Maybe they would do something great for the United States and run together. That is what we need, no more parties, no more partisan bickering.

    December 21, 2007 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  10. manny james marietta ga

    Who cares what she feels!!! She like everyone else knows who's going to win the nomination...Hillary all the way...I like obama but he doesn't have the strenth it will take to fix this country.. He is indeed a lightweight. America can't afford to have another George!!!We need someone who has a clear Vision..Hillary in "08". By the way, I am an African American Male who will be voting for Hillary..

    December 21, 2007 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  11. Monte Brown, New York, NY

    The Obama campaign thinks that his judgment will make up for his lack of experience. That’s a knee slapper, especially when Obama is known to sidestep issues. How will he make “judgment” when he’s not there? Yes, Obama, many Americans were for the war and fewer were against the war, but at the time the Democrats had NO POWER, whatsoever, to stop the war from happening. Today Emperor Bush still has his grip on the House and the Senate with the mighty veto. When Obama takes swipes at Hillary’s elect ability he is, in essence, aiding and abetting the reactionaries. Every liberal knows what the Clintons will do to the right wingers when the Clintons return to the White House. The Republicans and their media puppets are helping Obama with his smear because the Republicans see the end of their right wing policies fast approaching. They love Obama because they can take Obama down. Obama is a Republican attaché.

    I don’t mean to pigeon hole, but after hearing the candidates on the issues, one has to question a person who chooses Obama, or Edwards, over Hillary. Are we trying to elect a qualified and experienced president or are we trying to feed egos? We don’t NEED the other candidates. You can’t possibly call yourself a liberal and choose the others over Hillary. If you are Independent you should be concerned about the state of this country and the future you want for America. Independents might want to close their ears to the Republicans and their demagoguery and the small talking rhetoric of Obama and Edwards. The Republicans want blood and carnage but they will disguise themselves to make you think otherwise. America should want to clean up the mess of the reactionaries and to move forward with REAL CHANGE, not they hype of which the other candidates propose.

    December 21, 2007 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  12. Cal, Mobile, AL

    Either way, Erin, you have made a mistake.

    December 21, 2007 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  13. Independent in CA

    Everyone can hope that if Senator Obama doesn't get the Democratic nomination that - he can declare himself an Independent and run with Bloomberg.

    Then there would be a ticket for everyone 🙂

    December 21, 2007 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  14. Jim - Tucson

    I'd like to thank CNN for hosting this blogs. It's a great way for people to express their opinions. I haven't seen a blog like this on any other news site. You will post almost everything that people submit (myself included) now matter how crazy or even anti-CNN it may be. It is very entertaining too. So to sum it up, rocks – very lame.

    December 21, 2007 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  15. Jim - Tucson

    I need a new editor. My previous post should read. "I'd like to thank CNN for hosting these blogs."

    December 21, 2007 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  16. Mike, NY

    What's so special about someone who wants to work across the aisle to enact the same crappy policies? How about a President that will follow the Oath of Office and fight the crazy spending of Congress?

    December 21, 2007 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  17. Jeff, Minnesota

    McCain stands for more of an endless war in Iraq. Obama will bring them home. It's an easy choice between these two.

    December 21, 2007 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  18. Jayson, Beale AFB, CA

    Jeff and Beth,

    You guys are a hoot. The woman is looking for someone who can work across the aisle and Hillary is the one candidate least capable of doing anything with the Republicans.

    Hilary is also the last person that the military would want as their commander in chief since military officers would prefer to avoid acting as hiring help for the Clintons once again. Not to mention the fact that she was married to the dirtbag that left the military with the majority of it's equipment shortages and problems that Bush inherited.

    Also I guess the two of you think that the social security taxes should be jacked up so that the younger citizens of this nation can get even less bang for their buck from Social Security just so that the older citizens of this nation can have theirs now. The founding fathers believed in personal responsibilty and accountabilty and it is about time we moved back to what this nation was founded on and got away from this system where candidates can buy a portion of the vote with the promise of Social Programs.

    December 21, 2007 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  19. Andy, Minneapolis, MN

    Are you kidding me? She torn between McCain and Obama??? That doesn't even make sense. It seems to me like she should probably look into the policies of Ron Paul, and see that he is the perfect compromise.

    December 21, 2007 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  20. stan pitts pa

    She personally met Obama and STILL could not decide? What does that say about his prospects among independents in the general election?

    Posted By Fred, Reston Va : December 21, 2007 10:45 am

    just a reminder she also met mccain and couldnt decide either, and this is mccain who once had the votes of independents in iowa, when you listen to her you can see she is leaning towards obama!

    December 21, 2007 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  21. stan pitts pa

    I'd like to thank CNN for hosting this blogs. It's a great way for people to express their opinions. I haven't seen a blog like this on any other news site. You will post almost everything that people submit (myself included) now matter how crazy or even anti-CNN it may be. It is very entertaining too. So to sum it up, rocks – very lame.

    Posted By Jim – Tucson : December 21, 2007 12:19 pm

    i agree, thx cnn for trying to play it fair, just stop being the clintons network and americans will love you again, good work!

    December 21, 2007 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  22. Allen, Cleveland, OH

    How can you be undecided and considering two totally different candidates. They are dissimilar is so many ways. I guess she must be very flexible regarding that for which she stands.

    December 21, 2007 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  23. Ian, Eastham MA

    Erin Flanagan – Look into Ron Paul.

    He leads all the Republican candidates in donations from active military personnel. Don't you wonder why?

    December 21, 2007 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  24. charlie houston texas

    follow the lead of our troops. Ron Paul gets more donations from active military than any other candidate, democrate or republician.

    December 21, 2007 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  25. Millie, San Anselmo, Ca

    Erin must feel very important about now. Unfortunately, her opinions are of no consequence. By being undecided as to which candidate to back, McCain (who came to dinner at her house and made a "strong impression") or Obama (because he's "friendly and very sincere"), she shows a total lack of understanding. She is, in effect, comparing apples and oranges. So basically, she has nothing of substance to say and is sucking up attention like a sponge. Who cares what her opinion is and why is CNN courting her?

    December 21, 2007 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
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