Republican presidential nominee John McCain officially kicked off his general election campaign today, promising to bring his race for the White House to “all 13 colonies.”

At a campaign stop in the Dominion of Virginia, Sen. McCain said that if his Democratic opponent, Sen. Barack Obama, takes any of the 13 colonies for granted, “he doth so at his peril.”

Sen. McCain made his remarks in the Dominion of Virginia, which many McCain advisers concede will be a key colony in the fall election. But in announcing his 13-colony strategy, Sen. McCain appeared to give notice that he intends to contest such traditional Democratic strongholds as the Province of Massachusetts Bay.

The Republican nominee gave his audience a sneak preview of the fall campaign by introducing what he clearly believes to be the dominant issue of the 2008 election: the high cost of tea.

“The American people cannot and should not tolerate the exorbitant prices they are paying for tea,” Sen. McCain said, adding that in some states tea had risen to as high as four dollars a gallon. He said that as president he would propose a number of measures to provide relief to tea consumers, including a “tea-tax holiday,” and that he would crack down on the big tea companies: “It’s time for their tea party to end.”

In the conclusion of his remarks, Sen. McCain vowed that his campaign would employ “the latest technology” to spread his message across the 13 colonies.

“We will use the telegraph key, the carrier pigeon, and the pony,” he said.

© 2008 Creators Syndicate Inc.

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