John McCain is this much closer to checking off that must-have presidential photo-op: Candidate in Camo (doing something mannishly outdoorsy).

The Patriot-Ledger reports that John McCain visited the Bass Pro stores in Harrisburg, PA yesterday and:

[B]efore leaving McCain bought a fishing scale and a green, camouflaged jacket. “Now all I need to do is catch a fish,” McCain joked while leaving the store.

And be caught catching a fish while wearing…camo? Who knew? (Clearly I’m not a hook and bullet swing voter).

The same Patriot-News reporter, Chris Courogen, reports on his ride on the Straight Talk Express:

Sen. John McCain calls his campaign bus the Straight Talk Express.

In a conversation Monday with four reporters who hitched a ride downtown from Harrisburg International Airport, McCain made sure the bus lived up to its name.

In the 20-minute ride to the Hilton Harrisburg, McCain touched on issues such as the criteria for picking a running mate, the economy, national security and the conflict between Russia and Georgia.

So there was Talk, at least, and twenty minutes of it. Maybe this was the “Straight” stuff?

McCain: “The vice president has two duties. One is in case of a tie vote in the U.S. Senate, the vice president comes and casts the tie-breaking vote. The other duty is to inquire daily as to the health of the president. That will be a pretty big responsibility as we all know, given my situation.”

UPDATE: The Morning Call’s John Micek was another of the four reporters “to snag” a ride on McCain’s bus yesterday and he offers a “partial transcript.” There was a question about “the large number of Pennsylvania National Guardsmen …getting ready to go to Iraq” and “a large number serving in Iraq and Afghanistan” and whether that leaves “the state vulnerable [in case of an emergency]?” And, there was this:

Q: In your weekly radio address, you compared Sen. Obama to a summer blockbuster where you realize you’d seen all the best bits in the trailer. So does that make you the slow-burn favorite who’s building Oscar buzz?


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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.