Goosed by the early presidential announcements of virtually all the other major candidates, Sen. John McCain has junked his plans to announce in late spring and is pushing up his schedule to officially join the race.
One consultant said that it will come in "early spring," though the exact date hasn't been set. The campaign is planning a well-staged rollout that will be followed with a tour of the four first caucus and campaign states and then a few stops in key regional areas.
"Those details are still being worked out," said the consultant. The announcement will end a little debate inside the campaign over when to announce: early or late. In the end, the thought was "why wait?" said a McCain associate. Campaign officials said that they will use the rollout to reintroduce the Vietnam War POW and father to the nation. It will also offer McCain a chance to take on the talk that as the oldest nonincumbent presidential candidate in modern history, he lacks the energy to run. He'll be 72 next year.
"This guy will run nonstop, and you all will see just how much energy he has," said the McCain associate, who compared the senator's drive with that of former President Ronald Reagan, who at the time he ran in 1980 at age 69 was the oldest ever major party nominee to run for the White House.