Sen. John McCain dies at 81

Wayne CurryAug 26, 2018

"Sen. John McCain was a maverick and a fighter, never afraid to stand for his beliefs".

McCain, a six-term senator and two-time Republican presidential contender was diagnosed with a brain tumor last July.

Politicians, celebrities, and journalists paid tribute to John McCain, who died on Saturday night after a battle with brain cancer.

Despite his unsuccessful runs for the White House, McCain's political career spanned more than 30 years as a Senator.

The "progress of disease and the inexorable advance of age" had rendered "their verdict", his family wrote. "They can not be degraded and demeaned in that fashion", he said.

On Twitter, the USA first lady wrote: "Our thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathy to the McCain Family".

McCain's military pedigree and independent streak won respect during the race but his choice of the unqualified Palin as running mate - apparently created to appeal to Christian evangelicals who deserted him in 2000 - damaged his credibility.

"Even when your dad got mad at me, said I should get the hell of the ticket, and remember what I said about your dad?"

"We're getting nothing done, my friends".

In one day, McCain signed his Navy discharge papers and flew west with his new wife to a new life. Notably just a year ago, McCain was the decisive "no" on legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a statement: "In an era filled with cynicism about national unity and public service, John McCain's life shone as a bright example". Biden's son Beau died in 2015 after fighting glioblastoma. McCain cast the deciding vote in the GOP's failed attempt at the so-called skinny repeal of Obamacare.

In the book, written in deepening recognition of his own mortality and at a polarized political moment, McCain wrote: "Before I leave, I'd like to see our politics begin to return to the purposes and practices that distinguish our history from the history of other nations". We saw this country as a place where anything is possible - and citizenship as our patriotic obligation to ensure it forever remains that way. "Even in times of political turmoil such as these, we share that awesome heritage and the responsibility to embrace it".

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He was the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, was a frequent critic as well as a target of his fellow Republican, Trump, who was elected president in November 2016.

McCain, a foreign policy hawk with a traditional Republican view of world affairs, was admired in both parties for championing civility and compromise during an era of acrid partisanship in United States politics. In 2014, he issued repeated warnings about a resurgent Russia under Putin after the Russian takeover of Crimea.

Senator John McCain was a humble hero and an American patriot.

That was not the McCain way, though he was not completely immune to criticism, nor to the egotism that is rampant on the second floor of the U.S. Capitol. It was during that race that McCain became the first GOP nominee to select a woman to be a vice-presidential nominee, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

McCain had lost to Bush for the presidency in 2000.

Rep. Martha McSally is the Washington-favored candidate, while former ER doctor Kelli Ward is the darling of the hard-right corner of the party that hates McCain.

He attended the naval academy in Annapolis. He served with the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War, being shot down over North Vietnam in 1967, where he remained in captivity for almost six years.

A few months later on Oct 26, 1967, McCain's A-4 Skyhawk was shot down on a bombing mission over North Vietnam's capital and he suffered two broken arms and a broken leg in the crash. He was pulled out of the water by a Vietnamese mob and was stabbed, beaten and taken to a prison commonly referred to as the "Hanoi Hilton".

There was, the late writer David Foster Wallace wrote in a Rolling Stone magazine elegy 18 years ago, "something about him [that] made a lot of us feel the guy wanted something different from us, something more than votes or money, something old and maybe corny but with a weird achy pull to it". "With his usual strength of will, he has now chosen to discontinue medical treatment", the statement read.

In captivity, he was tortured and held in solitary confinement. He was released in 1973.

Consequently, his death - and the seat that is now open - has the potential to reshape both the U.S. Senate and Arizona politics.

"Generations of McCains have served in our great Navy".

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