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Meet '08 contender John McCain ... again

His week-long tour stresses his family's military service – and why it makes him fit to be president.

Out and about: Sen. John McCain (center) and his wife, Cindy, attended an air show at the McCain field on the Meridian Naval Air Station in Mississippi on Sunday.

mary altaffer/ap

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John McCain is one of America's best-known politicians. In the latest Gallup favorability ratings for people in the news – a survey of all Americans, not just voters – the senior senator from Arizona clocks in at 67 percent favorable, 27 percent unfavorable, and 7 percent without an opinion. No one replied, "who's that?"

So why is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee taking a week to reintroduce himself to the American people, with special emphasis on his and his family's military service? Because as much as people think they know about Senator McCain, he wants to explain his story himself – and its relevance to why he believes he should be president.

"People know the basic contours of his life, but it's always good to fill in the profile before opponents do so," says Darrell West, a political scientist at Brown University in Providence, R.I. "There's a classic strategy of [campaign] advertising in which you start with biography, then you move to the issue profile, then go on the attack. He's following the three-step program."

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