Lingle says McCain is still a contender
Gov. Linda Lingle, preparing for next week's Republican National Convention, says it will be an exciting time for the GOP because of the closeness of the presidential race.
Many national polls show the race a statistical dead heat between Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama.
Obama's addition of Delaware Sen. Joe Biden did little to change that, Lingle said.
"If you would go by the coverage in our state, you would think that the race was a foregone conclusion for Senator Obama," Lingle said this week. "But if you look at any national poll, it's neck and neck.
"After Senator Biden's selection as the vice presidential candidate, it didn't move the numbers at all. So clearly he was not an addition to the ticket - there's nothing that he really brought to it."
Democrats have applauded the choice of Biden as someone who brings a wealth of experience - including 35 years in Congress - to the ticket.
Lingle leaves this weekend for the GOP convention, which starts Monday in St. Paul, Minn.
She is scheduled to deliver a short speech to the convention on Tuesday night, ahead of keynote speaker Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor.
"The general nature of it is why Senator McCain is a perfect person to elect president of the United States at this time in the world's history and the kinds of issues that tie him to Hawaii," Lingle said.