, the United States Senator
, launched his first candidacy for the presidency of the United States
in the 2000 presidential election
Announcing his run for the Republican Party
nomination in September 1999, McCain was the main challenger to Texas Governor George W. Bush
, who had the political and financial support of most of the party establishment. McCain staged an upset win in the February 2000 New Hampshire primary
, capitalizing on a message of political reform and "straight talk" that appealed to moderate Republican and independent
voters and to the press. McCain's momentum was halted when Bush won the South Carolina primary
later that month, in a contest that became famous for its bitter nature and an underground smear campaign run against McCain.
McCain won some subsequent primaries, but after the March 2000 Super Tuesday
contests he was well behind in delegates and withdrew. He grudgingly endorsed Bush two months later and made occasional appearances for him during the general election.
Leading up to the announcement
McCain was mentioned as a possible candidate for the Republican nomination beginning in 1997, but he took few steps to pursue it, instead concentrating on his 1998 senate re-election. The decision of General Colin Powell
not to run helped persuade McCain that there might be an opening for him. McCain... Read More