John McCain

member of US Senate, representing Arizona

Oct'2008 Tim Dickinson Rolling Stone profile

  • His wounds were attended to only after the North Vietnamese discovered that his father was a Navy admiral. What has never been disclosed is the manner in which they found out: McCain told them. According to Dramesi, one of the few POWs who remained silent under years of torture, McCain tried to justify his behavior while they were still prisoners. "I had to tell them," he insisted to Dramesi, "or I would have died in bed."
  • But during the course of his medical treatment, McCain followed through on his offer of military information. Only two weeks after his capture, the North Vietnamese press issued a report — picked up by The New York Times — in which McCain was quoted as saying that the war was "moving to the advantage of North Vietnam and the United States appears to be isolated." He also provided the name of his ship, the number of raids he had flown, his squadron number and the target of his final raid.
  • "John allows the media to make him out to be the hero POW, which he knows is absolutely not true, to further his political goals," says Butler. "John was just one of about 600 guys. He was nothing unusual. He was just another POW."
  • To finance his campaign, McCain dipped into the Hensley family fortune. He secured an endorsement from his mentor, Sen. Tower, who tapped his vast donor network in Texas to give McCain a much-needed boost. And he began an unethical relationship with a high-flying and corrupt financier that would come to characterize his cozy dealings with major donors and lobbyists over the years. Charles Keating, the banker and anti-pornography crusader, would ultimately be convicted on 73 counts of fraud and racketeering for his role in the savings-and-loan scandal of the 1980s. That crisis, much like today's subprime-mortgage meltdown, resulted from misbegotten banking deregulation, and ultimately left taxpayers to pick up a tab of more than $124 billion. Keating, who raised more than $100,000 for McCain's race, lavished the first-term congressman with the kind of political favors that would make Jack Abramoff blush.
  • When McCain became a senator in 1986, filling the seat of retiring Republican icon Barry Goldwater, he was finally in a position that a true maverick could use to battle the entrenched interests in Washington. Instead, McCain did the bidding of his major donor, Charlie Keating, whose financial empire was on the brink of collapse. Federal regulators were closing in on Keating, who had taken federally insured deposits from his Lincoln Savings and Loan and leveraged them to make wildly risky real estate ventures. If regulators restricted his investments, Keating knew, it would all be over. In the year before his Senate run, McCain had championed legislation that would have delayed new regulations of savings and loans. Grateful, Keating contributed $54,000 to McCain's Senate campaign. Now, when Keating tried to stack the federal regulatory bank board with cronies, McCain made a phone call seeking to push them through. In 1987, in an unprecedented display of political intimidation, McCain also attended two meetings convened by Keating to pressure federal regulators to back off. The senators who participated in the effort would come to be known as the Keating Five.
  • Following his failed presidential bid in 2000, McCain needed a vehicle to keep his brand alive. He founded the Reform Institute, which he set up as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit — a tax status that barred it from explicit political activity. McCain proceeded to staff the institute with his campaign manager, Rick Davis, as well as the fundraising chief, legal counsel and communications chief from his 2000 campaign. There is no small irony that the Reform Institute — founded to bolster McCain's crusade to rid politics of unregulated soft money — itself took in huge sums of unregulated soft money from companies with interests before McCain's committee.
  • The myth of John McCain hinges on two transformations — from pampered flyboy to selfless patriot, and from Keating crony to incorruptible reformer — that simply never happened. But there is one serious conversion that has taken root in McCain: his transformation from a cautious realist on foreign policy into a reckless cheerleader of neoconservatism.
  • Far from the portrayal he presents of himself as an unflinching maverick with a consistent and reliable record, McCain has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to taking whatever position will advance his own career. He "is the classic opportunist," according to Ross Perot, who worked closely with McCain on POW issues. "He's always reaching for attention and glory."

not a citizen?

Carol Mc Cain 1st wife, he dumped her. When McCain returned from Vietnam, he discovered that his wife, a former swimsuit model, had been seriously injured in an automobile accident. "My accident is well recorded," Carol said in a rare interview with the Daily Mail. "I had 23 operations. I am 5 inches shorter than I used to be, and I was in the hospital for six months. It was just awful, but it wasn't the reason for my divorce," she said. "My marriage ended because John McCain didn't want to be 40; he wanted to be 25. You know that happens . . . it just does," she said.

Cindy Mc Cain 2nd wife

  • was addicted to painkillers, stole from her medical charity to get them, and they played some heavy-duty games to try and cover it up. Dowd tried to get back at the man on Cindy McCain's staff, Tom Gosinski, who had blown the whistle on her drug pilfering to the DEA. But in the course of trying to get local law enforcement officials to investigate Gosinski -- Dowd and the McCains considered him an extortionist; others might call him a whistleblower -- Dowd set in motion a process that would eventually bring the whole sordid story to light. When that maneuver backfired, the McCain media machine went into overdrive to spin the story.

Aug'2018 Tim Dickinson again upon McCain's death:

McCain’s legacy is more complex than his legend, of course. Many of his maverick moments covered for less-noble motivations – of pique or public relations. And his dying regret that he did not select Joe Lieberman as his running mate does not heal the damage he did to our body politic. By tapping Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for the 2008 ticket, McCain opened a Pandora’s Box of right-wing populism, energizing the nascent Tea Party and presaging the triumph of Donald Trump.

McCain diminished himself early, opposing the creation of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday – a vote he would later regret.

He voted against the first Bush tax cut and reportedly even flirted with becoming a Democrat. But as the early days of the War on Terror solidified Bush’s political standing, McCain stepped back – and swung, instead, hard right.

The senator who had briefly stood up for the environment — calling global warming “a serious and urgent economic, environmental and national security challenge” — would campaign for the presidency in 2008 on a platform of “Drill, Baby, Drill!” The man who’d once urged military caution in Lebanon would embrace the ideals of neoconservatism, and joke on the stump about “that old Beach Boys song,” singing: “Bomb, Bomb, Bomb; Bomb, Bomb Iran” to the tune of “Barbara Ann.” He once said he’d be “fine” if American troops remained in Iraq for “a hundred years.”

The selection of Palin as his running mate is perhaps McCain’s defining legacy. “I see a straight line from the announcement of Sarah Palin as the vice-presidential nominee to what we see today in Donald Trump, the emergence of the Freedom Caucus, the Tea Party, and the shift in the center of gravity for the Republican Party,” President Obama reflected in the summer of 2016

In McCain’s political career, there were a few constants. One was steadfast opposition to torture

McCain’s commitment to America’s veterans, and to defense appropriations, was also resolute

But on many other issues McCain was a chameleon

A one-time champion of campaign finance reform, McCain was backed in his final election by $4.2 million from a Super PAC called Arizona Grassroots Action, funded by Las Vegas casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson

Up to and including his final year in office, McCain’s bold declarations of principle were often later reversed, or quietly abandoned

Obit by Erik Loomis: Any decent obituary of John McCain has to be as much about the media fawning over him as about the man himself. This was a not a good man and yet no one was more lionized by the Beltway media establishment in the entire recent history of American politics; possibly no one since John F. Kennedy has received more fawning coverage and much of that for JFK was post-1963. Why McCain received this adoration may remain a mystery to historians for years because it’s completely nonsensical based on the man’s actual career.

Edited:    |       |    Search Twitter for discussion