Mar 24, 2008 10:11 am US/Pacific
McCain Filling Campaign Coffers In California

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5 / KCBS) ― Likely Republican presidential nominee John McCain returned to California Monday for a three-day campaign swing to take a shot at putting California back in the Republican column this fall.

The Arizona senator was scheduled to spend three days in California, meeting military families and Latino business owners in Southern California, and raising money, from La Jolla to San Francisco.

McCain has six top-dollar fundraisers, including a lunch at Pebble Beach Wednesday, followed by a reception at the Ritz-Carlton on Nob Hill.

"He is staying in the news by doing public appearances, and he's replenishing his campaign coffers, which he needs to do obviously," said Bill Whalen at the Hoover Institution, a longtime Republican media consultant and speechwriter.

But Whalen thinks McCain's designs on California are wishful thinking. He says the Golden State remains a long shot for the Republicans in November, and McCain doesn't need it to win the presidency.

"There are all the Bush states, which he would plan to hold on to, then there are a handful of pickup states that he's considering right now. Those would be Minnesota, New Hampshire, Michigan and Wisconsin. Then you get into kind of the fanciful thinking, and that would be where California is. But it's very expensive fanciful thinking because it takes a lot of money and a lot of time out of the candidate's schedule," said Whalen. ... 83662.html