When the Straight Talk Express Rolled Through New Hampshire

Ahead of the 2000 Republican primary, Sen. John McCain held 114 town hall meetings in the Granite State and visited every town.

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Only a few dozen supporters showed up for Sen. John McCain’s first town hall meetings ahead of the 2000 New Hampshire primary. By Election Day, however, hundreds of so-called McCainiacs were jamming into assembly rooms and auditoriums to hear the would-be Republican nominee deliver remarks and take questions from the audience. In this episode of Whistlestop, John Dickerson explains how retail politics won the day in the Granite State.


Whistlestop is Slate’s podcast about presidential campaign history. Hosted by our political correspondent and Political Gabfest panelist John Dickerson, each installment revisits a memorable (though sometimes forgotten) moment from America’s quadrennial carnival.

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