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McCain Buzz: Lots of Sugar and a $20 Tip 

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain

click to enlarge street24_mccain_200.jpg

Arizona Sen. John McCainAŸï¨«'A,.AŸ.飼.飼飼�­A,飼AŸ.飼.飼飼�_A,.s presidential campaign entourage briefly occupied a Shockoe Slip cul-de-sac before heading to the Omni Hotel for a June 9 fundraiser. The mission: coffee.

A dozen cars AŸï¨«'A,.AŸ.飼.飼飼�­A,飼AŸ.飼.飼飼飼A,VbCrLf including four state police vehicles, four press vans, two champagne-colored Suburbans and a handful of staff cars AŸï¨«'A,.AŸ.飼.飼飼�­A,飼AŸ.飼.飼飼飼A,VbCrLf curled around a fountain in front of The Martin Agency just after 11 a.m.

McCain hopped out of one of the Suburbans accompanied by his wife, Cindy Hensley McCain. The former cheerleader-cum-international-philanthropist wore a beige sleeveless dress and chunky metallic gold high heels. Both McCains sported sunglasses.

Inside Shockoe Espresso & Roastery, the senator made small talk with the staff, asking how business was going. Meanwhile, barista Ryan Wirt says, Mrs. McCainAŸï¨«'A,.AŸ.飼.飼飼�­A,飼AŸ.飼.飼飼�_A,.s order ran into trouble.

"His wife ordered a latte and all the beans just went pweeeeeeBANG," he says, mimicking the sound of a jar of roasted espresso beans sliding off the machine and onto the counter.

(The McCains join a growing list of Shockoe Espresso celebrity customers. Actor Anthony Hopkins and Sen. Jim Webb have both been through, and Tommy Chong popped in once for directions to the airport.)

That was about all the bean-spilling that went on, though. Only the tightly controlled national media pool was allowed near the senator, who lingered only a few minutes in the shop. In that time he ordered a house brew, left a $20 tip, added a hefty dose of sugar, shook hands with a clutch of local Republicans and left. The motorcade exited through the back of the lot and proceeded a few blocks up to the Omni Hotel for a noon fundraiser.

After the excitement died down, Rye Clifton, a senior strategy planner with The Martin Agency, scooped up the senatorAŸï¨«'A,.AŸ.飼.飼飼�­A,飼AŸ.飼.飼飼�_A,.s still-full mug as a souvenir.

"He didnAŸï¨«'A,.AŸ.飼.飼飼�­A,飼AŸ.飼.飼飼�_A,.t drink his coffee," he joked. "I think thatAŸï¨«'A,.AŸ.飼.飼飼�­A,飼AŸ.飼.飼飼�_A,.s the real story here."

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