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As the Democrats duke it out in Pennsylvania, Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s launched yet ridiculously entitled tour.

His last jaunt across the nation, the “Service To America” tour meant to spread McCain’s war-torn story and other biographical bits.

Now the Senator from Arizona’s launched his “Time For Action” adventure, which is also being referred to as the “Forgotten Places” tour.

McCain and his campaign hope that his crusade through poverty stricken towns will help project the so-called “compassionate conservative” image. He’s hoping that in doing so, he can take away some traditionally Democratic voters.

Said a staffer:

With him [McCain] on the ballot, a lot of new states are up for grabs. We’re going to compete in places where Republicans have not been competitive. Democrats will be on the defensive in places they do not expect.

And that naturally includes black voters, who overwhelmingly support Barack Obama at the moment.

Thus explains John McCain’s first stop on the tour: the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, scene of the infamous “Bloody Sunday” when white police officers beat down blacks trying to march to Montgomery.

The Bridge has become a civil rights landmark, and McCain knew what he was doing when he delivered the following words:

There must be no forgotten places in America, whether they have been ignored for long years by the sins of indifference and injustice, or have been left behind as the world grew smaller and more economically interdependent.

Unfortunately for McCain, black voters seem to have forgotten about his campaign. Or simply don’t care. Selma has an estimated population of 21,000. Of that group, 70% are reportedly black. Only about 100 people showed up for McCain’s speech on the bridge. Almost all of them were white. Alright, so that’s not surprising, but consider this: a black woman from a neighboring county later remarked that while she liked Obama, she appreciated McCain’s visit, because no other presidential candidate has ever stopped by their county. Ever.

First of all, that reminds us that there are a lot of people in this country who never receive the opportunity to engage our national politicians. More immediately, however, one would think that having a man as famous as McCain would draw more than 100 people in rural, poverty-stricken town like Selma. Could it McCain has slipped poor white voters’ minds, as well?

McCain’s race politics got even more remarkable later in his day, when he was “serenaded with old Negro spirituals by the quilters of Gee’s Bend, Alabama, in a slow-moving ferry ride on the Alabama River.” The group sang “The Old Ship Of Zion” and the campaign camera crew got the whole thing. McCain reportedly looks “vaguely embarrassed,” as he should be.

Finally, we’d like to share a particularly striking quote from McCain’s Selma speech:

Forty-three years ago, an army of more than 500 marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, an army that brought with them no weapons, which intended no destruction, that sought to conquer no people or land.

While that’s definitely true, we doubt the sincerity of his remarks. Remember how he voted against Martin Luther King day and then pretending like he didn’t know who Martin Luther King was – in 1983? Yeah, no wonder black people didn’t want to see him speak.

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