(WILMINGTON, DEL.) - "Can I get you anything sir?" asked a flight attendant, as John McCain sits, staring ahead and silent, aboard Joseph Biden's campaign plane. "No?"
No time for the "straight-talk" he's known for, McCain sat motionless as Biden staff members texted on their Blackberrys and members of the press filed as they prepare to take off for Kalispell, Montana.
McCain had nothing audible to share, was without Secret Service, and was missing a dimension.
That's because he's made of cardboard.
Members of the press have put a life-size paper stand up of McCain's likeness in row 16, seat F of the plane that carrys Barack Obama's running-mate around the country.
Purchased in a shopping mall music store for $30, Cardboard McCain made his debut in the coach area.
While some see it as amusing, it also serves a reminder that there is another politician outside the Obama/Biden bubble.
Biden spokesman David Wade, not on board as Cardboard McCain was unveiled this morning, had already received news of his presence and sent out an email to members of the national press corps.
"I hear a cardboard cut-out of John McCain is seated comfortably in row 16 of Air Biden." wrote Wade.
"You realize you could've made history: [if] you'd found a cardboard cut-out of Governor Palin, that's the closest she would've been to taking tough questions from the national media since she was selected. Then again, I guess the Republicans are continuing their recent history of keeping their vice presidential picks in secure, undisclosed locations. Yet another way that McCain-Palin is more of the same."
Cardboard McCain, grinning and mute, paid no attention.