No Olympic Holiday for McCain's Presidential Bid

By: AP
By: AP

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- John McCain doesn't begrudge Democratic rival Barack Obama his weeklong holiday in Hawaii. In fact, the GOP presidential hopeful says he could use a little rest himself.

Speaking Friday to reporters aboard his campaign plane from Arkansas to Las Vegas, McCain said he planned to campaign as usual next week while Obama is on vacation and many voters are watching the Olympic Games.

"If you're going to take a week off, this is an intelligent time to do it," McCain said, adding that he looked forward to some down time of his own.

Aides said McCain will take a few days off at his Arizona ranch later in August, just before the Democratic convention gets under way in Denver.

In the meantime, McCain said he would concentrate on getting more sleep when he can.

"If I put in three or four 18-hour, 20-hour days in a row, I'm not sharp. It's just a fact," the Republican senator from Arizona said. "I'm more sharp if I get a little rest."

McCain said he feels best sleeping until 7:30 or 8 a.m., as opposed to his usual morning drill of rising at 5:30 or 6 a.m.

"It seems to help me to get up a little later in the morning," he said, joking, "Sorry to bother with that intimate detail."

McCain said he planned to take in as much of the coverage of the Olympics as his schedule will allow, and was especially interested in the U.S. basketball and baseball teams.

"We all get caught up in the excitement of it, especially us mediocre high school, junior varsity athletes," he said.

Long known for his freewheeling campaign style and extemporaneous exchanges with reporters, McCain has gotten more buttoned down and less available to the press in recent weeks as his campaign has ramped up its attacks on Obama.

McCain's latest jab came in his weekly radio address released Saturday by his campaign, where he said he anticipated an impressive speech from Obama at the Democratic National Convention later this month.

"Even the most stirring speeches are easily forgotten when they're short on content. Taking in my opponent's performances is a little like watching a big summer blockbuster, and an hour in realizing that all the best scenes were in the trailer you saw last fall," McCain said.

"In the way of running mates, Sen. Obama should consider someone with a knack for brevity and directness, to balance the ticket," he said.

McCain told reporters he adopted the new style to bring more discipline to his campaign message, but he said he hoped to be more available to the media in the future.

"My inclinations are always that," he said. "I know we've been out of contact, we'll get in more contact. It's been a busy couple weeks."

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