January 7th, 2008
09:27 PM ET
15 years ago

Last-minute decision for one Granite State voter

BEDFORD, New Hampshire (CNN) - Put Erin Flanagan in the John McCain column.

We visited with Flanagan before Christmas, when she told us she was torn between McCain and Barack Obama; supportive of their calls to work on a bipartisan basis if elected president but torn over which one has the right Iraq policy.

It is personal for Erin; her brother was killed in Iraq two years ago.

Flanagan first encountered Senator McCain when she asked him a question about the war at a debate several months ago. He followed up and she invited him to her Bedford home for dinner.

After our report in December about her conflict, the Obama campaign contacted Flanagan and she met with him in Manchester.

Flanagan told CNN in an email exchange Monday that she had settled on McCain over the weekend, convinced he was the best choice to be commander-in-chief.

CNN talked with McCain on Monday as he campaigned in Keene, and when asked about Erin’s decision, he said: “I’m very grateful. She called me and said she had a long process and she was supporting my candidacy and wanted to do everything she can to help us win. I was very honored.”

He recalled her question at the debate, which included a reference to how her brother’s death had devastated the family. “It was one of the toughest questions I’ve ever had,” McCain said. “And I’m grateful for her support.”

–CNN Chief National Correspondent John King

Filed under: John McCain • New Hampshire
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Mrs. America

    I want to disconnect my comment completely from the circumstances of the person about whom the article is written, and I feel sad for her and her family on losing a loved one in Iraq.

    As for people who still don't have their minds made up about the candidates–I can only think they have not been following the campaigns for very long, and that is why they have trouble making up their minds. It totally baffled me that people were going to caucus in Iowa, walking in without yet knowing who they were going to caucus for. which candidate they support, they have been missing something along the line, most probably having to do with not paying attention.

    January 7, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  2. San Francisco, California

    Obama's typical speech messages:
    "….stand by me and we will change the country and the world…".
    " The country needs a real change…."
    "…folks, change is what this country need right now!",
    "…we don't want the same people in the white house, we need change"
    "…I am an agent for change, help me implement change…"
    "…this is a revolution for change!"
    "…..if you vote for me you will be voting for change"

    Notice the lack of content. Notice the repetitive term "change". Notice the lack of willingness to point to any realistic records for change. Notice the lack of details to the changes that he is proposing. Most importantly, notice how broad the definition of 'change' is and how VAGUE it is. A vote for Obama is a vote to confirm that you this country can not be bother with specifics. A vote for Obama is a vote to say…"don't ask don't tell"…..A vote for Obama is a vote for ignorance. The country is at a cross road, we need a Woman who has defy the odds to get where she is now….a woman who has done the tough battles….a woman who knows what it really takes to make change happen and know too well that talk is cheap.

    January 7, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  3. Debbie

    I watched the Republican Presidential Forum on Fox last night. After the program the network showed several people in a restaurant that were suppose to be undecided voters. One of the comments that really stood out was made by a man who commented that Gov Huckabee was riding his faith too much and that the people of New Hampshire did not wear their religion on their sleeves. In other words, it sounded like he was saying the people of New Hampshire were not impressed.
    You know what, the rest of America seems to be impressed with Gov Huckabee. This is a solid man. I have not seen or heard him waiver on any topic and I have watched each candidate, both Republican and Democrat for the past 6 months.
    On the other hand, I have seen several instances where Romney flops like a fish out of water. It is amusing how some of them are setting the stage for tomorrows debates by what went on last night. After Iowa, everybody is crying "change". We do not need change just for the sake of change. We have had it with that. We need what Mike Huckabee is bringing to us. Someone with faith, conviction, stability, and honor. This man, above all else, knows the penalty for lying, and being dishonest, and not honoring what he says. The majority of his citizens that have spoken, and many people from Arkansas that I know personally, liked Mike Huckabee as a leader.
    I always thought it would be IMPOSSIBLE for a man with deep religious committment to be in a high political office. As the norm, doing what is right and doing what is "politically correct" are two very different things. Sometimes what is right in the eyes of God is certainly not right in the eyes of some. They need to study the very early documents written by the Founding Fathers and read the speeches that were given by the first few Presidents. Those men, every single one of them, leaned on God for guidance. It brought us down the path to were we are in excellent form, up until 25 ro 30 years ago. Now look at us. We have heard all the promises and saw all the actions. People like me who have good jobs are not even making 30,000 per year, and taxes eats a huge hole in that.
    So yes, I believe that myself and all the other understaffed, underpaid 911 dispatchers in America would love to see the FREE TAX come to be. Mike Huckabee is giving people in America something they have not had in a long long time. Something to hope for. Thank You CNN.

    January 7, 2008 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  4. Walt, Belton, TX

    A very touching story; unusual for CNN. Thank you!

    January 7, 2008 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  5. Cameron Lynch

    Unfortunately no matter who she chooses for President won't bring her bother back, BUT it may save another persons brother. For that reason MY vote will only go to a canidate who promises to bring home my loved ones still stuck in the middle east.

    January 7, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  6. AJ, IL

    First off...I'm sorry for Erin's loss. But why was Erin torn between McCain and Obama? McCain supported and voted for the war in Iraq, Obama didn't.

    January 7, 2008 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  7. dubins

    McCain is too old. He’ll die in office. He even admitted he has more scars than frankenstein, many of them due to melanoma in 1993, 2000, & 2002 on his shoulder and face. His prognosis is 5-15 years at best. What’s 2008 minus1993?…

    January 7, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  8. EDDIE

    BUSH the dad 4years Clinton 8years the son BUSH 8years ,20years of there family to run our U.S.A. Ihope we can see this,come now 20 years of TWO family. GIVE someone any one ,but not these two FAMILY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 8, 2008 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  9. Suanne

    McCain is in favor of keeping troops in Iraq for 100 years. Why would anyone who has been hurt by this illegal, immoral war for profit support the warmonger McCain, or any of the other warmongers for that matter?

    Ron Paul is the only candidate who intends to bring all the troops home from around the globe, so they can actually defend America instead of offending everyone else.

    Wake up people, unless you're in favor of perpetual war, which will demand a military draft soon and will eventually bankrupt our country, Ron Paul is your only choice.

    January 8, 2008 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  10. Janice - 4 Peace

    I want peace and therefore will vote for Romney.

    McCain scares me with his constant beat of the drum and his idea being American means being at war.

    Its time for Mitt Romney to turn the page and use as he puts it pressure with our friends and allies on dictators. They need money to war against us,

    McCain constant pound of the war drum is scary.

    January 8, 2008 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  11. G


    January 8, 2008 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  12. JD

    Thanks alot, Erin. John McCain appreciates your vote in helping him send even more young men like your brother to die in the Middle East.

    January 8, 2008 03:24 am at 3:24 am |
  13. Tom, NY

    Erin take a good look at Ron Paul, he has everything you are looking for. His economic knowledge and his real "bring our troops home" plan is something the be excited about.

    January 8, 2008 03:50 am at 3:50 am |
  14. Anonymous


    January 8, 2008 03:55 am at 3:55 am |
  15. Mandylee

    At least she is supporting someone and getting involved... oh, and by the way, I think it is 'nail'.

    January 8, 2008 04:11 am at 4:11 am |
  16. Grace

    She must think that continuing the war will make her brother's death meaningful. Voting for McCain is only going to cause more people's brothers to die. Stupid choice Erin! Instead of fixing the problem people like Erin choose to keep making the same mistake. More people will suffer and die because of this stupidity.

    January 8, 2008 05:27 am at 5:27 am |
  17. Pete

    G's comment is typically angry and partisan, likely a product of the Reid-Pelosi slash and burn agenda. This report shows how one person analyzed the choices and came to a considered, likely agonized choice. Good for her; she did what every citizen must do. That she choose McCain is not unreasonable-he is an honest and honorable man who truly wants to work for all Americans regardless of party.

    What is good about this election is that there are candidates who seem willing to try to bridge the differences between the parties, who may actually work to unite us. I consider those to be Obama, McCain & Huckabee.

    These candidates know Washington is broken. I live in NJ and I know what broken government is! I wish McCain and Obama were campaigning for the governorship of my state!

    January 8, 2008 05:52 am at 5:52 am |
  18. Grey, Austin TX

    Her brother's death already means something. We've accomplished a lot in Iraq. The facts on the ground simply dont support the ongoing propagandized perception you anti war types keep presenting. Particularly when viewed in historical perspective. McCain is the only choice for CinC. Hooah.

    January 8, 2008 05:55 am at 5:55 am |
  19. emeka

    Erin, you should not vote for someone who is going to send even more young men in harm's way. We should cherish our lives and not let other people decide on our death. Obama and huckabee would be the only persons out there capable of reshaping the Image of the american people.

    January 8, 2008 06:23 am at 6:23 am |
  20. James Cox

    Although I disagree with her decision, this woman has the right to vote for who she wants. At least she labored over her decision and that's a good thing. I wish more people would analyze over their options because honestly, if that had been done four years ago we wouldn't have re-elected Bush.

    January 8, 2008 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  21. Ann Aloha, PA

    I didn't realize America wasn't ready for a woman president until I heard the old same rhetoric and insults said about a women in man's world. Like…She's emotional, too passive today, too agressive tomorrow, too many moods, which Hillary will we see today as if it is PMS…her cackle laugh, old looking, pantsuit insults, her hair, her make-up, her relationship wth her husband…and etc.

    America, I thought we were past that. I knew we were past most racist views but you still can't deal with a woman in a an authoritive position. Wow.

    The media, aren't you tired of spinning…

    January 8, 2008 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  22. Isaac, Lexington MA

    The pen has been mightier than the sword for some time now. Choose the Republican candidate who can best wield the pen, not the sword. Choose Romney. McCain will (rather correctly) be painted as an outright warmonger, desiring to conquer the Middle East by force. His election as the Republican nominee for the presidency would be disasterous and he'd undoubtedly lose by a wide margin. Romney however can take his main emphasis – the domestic economy – and take it off the Iraq war. Romney 2008.

    January 8, 2008 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  23. kmcital

    c'mon people, does this political frenzy really make us all so disrespectful to Erin's family for their loss? I was bothered by all of the initial comments directed to Erin (by G and JD). Regardless of how we got there, it is always an honor to fight for our country and I respect the greatest sacrifice made by Erin's family. Show some decency people, please.

    January 8, 2008 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  24. Kimberly Peacock

    You guys destroy Clinton and then if someoe goes over to Mccain your upset.

    It's just crazy.

    January 8, 2008 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  25. Carly, Newtown, PA

    Put me in John McCain's column, too. He's the only candidate in either party who can LEAD this nation, pull it out of recession and gain the world's respect for the U.S. again.

    January 8, 2008 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
1 2