by Jill Zuckman
SEDONA, Ariz. – So, you’re on the verge of nailing down the Republican nomination for president. What do you do?
If you’re John McCain, the Arizona senator, you invite some of your most loyal, elected supporters to visit you in one of the most gorgeous spots on earth just to say thanks.
McCain is expected to win the number of delegates necessary to clinch the Republican nomination on Tuesday, following primaries in Ohio, Texas, Rhode Island and Vermont. This weekend, he’s camped out at his cabin here in the midst of red rocks, canyons, cliff dwelling ruins and cottonwood trees.
And he’s invited about 30 of the lawmakers and their spouses who stumped for him throughout the primaries to join him. They include: Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Mel Martinez of Florida; former Senators Phil Gramm of Texas and Trent Lott of Mississippi; and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, among others. Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, whose last minute endorsement helped push McCain to victory there, was invited, but couldn’t make it at the last minute.
This afternoon, McCain is hosting the group at a luncheon in Jerome, a historic copper mining town set on top of Cleopatra Hill, between Prescott and Flagstaff. According to the Jerome website, the home to miners was once known as “the wickedest town in the West.”