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The Trail

Thursday, August 14, 2008

CAMPAIGN CASUALTY

Supporter Injures McCain's Wife's Wrist As She Shakes Hands at Michigan Fundraiser

Cindy McCain was rushed to the hospital Wednesday afternoon after a supporter shook her hand too hard, re-injuring a wrist that was broken and operated on many years ago, her husband's campaign said.

"When the supporter shook her hand, knowing the problems that she has had in the past, she decided to have doctors look at it," said Laurye Blackford, Cindy McCain's communications director.

McCain was attending a fundraiser at the Shenandoah Banquet, Golf and Conference Center in West Bloomfield, Mich., when she was injured. She was taken to a hospital in nearby Royal Oak, where she received X-rays, according to the campaign, then was released in time to attend her husband's afternoon news conference.

McCain appeared at her husband's media availability with her right wrist and hand wrapped and wearing a blue sling decorated with a rhinestone pin.

"Many of you are wondering about Cindy's new attire," John McCain told the assembled press. "An individual shook her hand very vigorously at the last event we were at and she has a minor sprain," he said.

"I'm fine," she added.

She later elaborated: "I'm absolutely fine. We had a great luncheon fundraiser and I shook hands with a very enthusiastic supporter and it got me the wrong way. But I'm absolutely great and this is a precautionary thing."

John McCain's communications director, Jill Hazelbaker, released a statement thanking people for their concern. "During the rope line an enthusiastic supporter shook Mrs. McCain's hand and exacerbated an existing condition," she said. "Out of an abundance of caution, she decided to leave the event and visit the local hospital for X-rays."

In June, 2004, Cindy McCain told the Associated Press that she broke her wrist while shaking hands on the campaign trail in 2000.

"I just thought it was sore, but I had stress fractures up my arm. It was broken, pinned and now it has fused," McCain said at the time. "So I guess there is a down side to campaigning."

-- Kimberly Kindy and Robert Barnes

ON THE BATTLEGROUND

McCain Makes Appeal to Workers In Economically Distressed Midwest

BIRMINGHAM, Mich. -- John McCain resumed his tour of the contested Midwest on Wednesday with fundraisers and a stop at a defense contractor outside Detroit. At a fundraiser in West Bloomfield, McCain told the crowd he had come to "a swing county in a swing state, so let's have no doubt that this will be a battleground state."

"I know and you know that Michigan has been badly and hard-hit by this economic situation that we are in today," McCain said. "We'll have to be on the bus all around this state and convince people we have a plan of action to restore the economy."

McCain said he believed promotion of more fuel-efficient and alternative-fuel automobiles could lead the way, and he personalized his usual campaign remarks about the productivity of the American worker.

"I have confidence that Detroit is very capable, is very capable, of developing this kind of new technology in automobiles, and I believe the most innovative and productive worker in the world is in the state of Michigan," he said.

-- Robert Barnes

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