2008 presidential campaign

john mccain
Howard Wilkinson / Personal Collection

Editor's note: John McCain died Saturday at the age of 81 from brain cancer. In the story that follows, originally published in May, WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson recalls his many times on the campaign trail with the Arizona senator and former presidential candidate. 

hillary clinton mailings
Carolyn Kaster / AP

Most of the American people have never seen Hillary Clinton lose her temper or blow her cool, reasoned demeanor in public.

Not even when she would have been entirely justified in doing so, after being provoked again and again two years ago.

barack obama dayton
Skip Peterson / AP

Ed. note: Howard Wilkinson launched his "Tales from the Trail" column on July 15, 2017, in an effort to take you behind the scenes of politics and hear some of the funny—and occasionally outright bizarre—situations that happen on the campaign trail. Since Wilkinson has been covering politics for more than 40 years, he has plenty of stories to tell. To mark the one-year anniversary of his column, we are republishing Wilkinson's first-ever "Tales from the Trail" here today.  

john mccain
Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

Here's another story that ought to convince you that John McCain is not your typical politician.

Jim Nolan / WVXU

When you are on the road with a presidential candidate, campaign press aides will promise you the moon and stars to make you happy.

They promise to make sure you are fed, that you have plenty of time to file your stories, that you will have dependable transportation to get from one event to another.

They may even promise you some quality time with the candidate.

After a while, though, you learn to take these promises with a grain of salt.