Republican presidential hopeful, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks at a town hall meeting in Indianapolis, Ind., Friday, Feb. 22, 2008. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
March 4, 2008
WASHINGTON (AP) - Arizona Sen. John McCain, a political maverick and unflinching supporter of the war in Iraq, clinched the Republican presidential nomination Tuesday night. Barack Obama defeated Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Democratic primary in Vermont, and the two rivals dueled in Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island in a riveting race for their party's presidential nomination.
McCain, 71, gained the 1,191 delegates needed to claim the Republican nomination with a series of primary victories, completing a remarkable comeback that began in the snows of New Hampshire six weeks ago. President Bush invited him to the White House for a show of support on Wednesday.
The former Vietnam prisoner of war is making his second try for the White House, after losing the GOP nomination to Bush in 2000. McCain went over the top in the Associated Press' delegate count based on his performance in the night's primaries as well as a late show of support from Republican National Committee members who are delegates to the party convention next summer in St. Paul, Minn. Campaign aides readied an enormous banner bearing the magic number
to serve as a backdrop for a victory celebration in Dallas.