|Republican candidate for
President of the United States
November 4, 2008
|Running mate||Not yet determined|
|Opponent(s)||Not yet determined|
|Incumbent||George W. Bush (R)|
August 29, 1936 |
Coco Solo Naval Air Station, Panama Canal Zone
|Spouse(s)||Carol Shepp (m. 1965, div. 1980)
Cindy Hensley McCain (m. 1980)
|Children||Douglas (b. ~1960), Andrew (b. ~1962), Sidney (b. 1966), Meghan (b. 1984), John Sidney IV "Jack" (b. 1986), James (b. 1988), Bridget (b. 1991)|
|Alma mater||United States Naval Academy|
|Profession||Naval aviator, Politician|
Episcopalian (to 1990s)
Baptist (by 2000s)
Legion of Merit
Distinguished Flying Cross
Prisoner of War Medal
|Website||U.S. Senator John McCain|
|Service/branch||United States Navy|
|Years of service||1958–1981|
|Unit||USS Forrestal (CV-59)
USS Oriskany (CV-34)
|This article is part of a series about the life of
|Early life and military career
House and Senate career until 2000
2000 Presidential primaries campaign
Senate career, 2001–present
2008 McCain-Palin campaign
Cultural and political image
John Sidney McCain III (born August 29 1936) is the senior United States Senator from Arizona and presumptive Republican Party nominee for President of the United States in the upcoming 2008 election.
McCain's grandfather and father were the first pair of father/son Four-Star admirals in the United States Navy. McCain graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1958. He became a naval aviator, flying attack aircraft from carriers. During the Vietnam War in 1967, he narrowly escaped death in the Forrestal fire. On his 23rd bombing mission over North Vietnam later in 1967, he was shot down, badly injured, and captured as a prisoner of war by the North Vietnamese. He spent five and a half years as a prisoner of war, including periods of torture, before he was released in accordance with the Paris Peace Accords in 1973.
McCain retired from the Navy in 1981 and was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona's 1st congressional district in 1982. After serving two terms, he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1986, winning reelection in 1992, 1998, and 2004. While generally adhering to conservative principles, McCain has established a reputation as a political maverick for his willingness to disagree with his party on several key issues. Surviving the Keating Five scandal of the 1980s, he made campaign finance reform one of his signature concerns, eventually co-sponsoring the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act in 2002.
McCain lost the Republican nomination in the 2000 presidential election to George W. Bush after closely contested battles in several early primary states. In the 2008 presidential election cycle, McCain staged a comeback after his campaign stumbled in mid-2007, and by the end of January 2008, he was the Republican front-runner once again. Following victories in early February and the withdrawal of his closest competitors, McCain gained enough delegates to solidify his status as the presumptive nominee on March 4, 2008.
- 1 Early life and military career
- 2 House and Senate career, 1982–1999
- 3 2000 presidential campaign
- 4 Senate career after 2000
- 5 2008 presidential campaign
- 6 Political positions
- 7 Cultural and political image
- 8 Awards, honors, and decorations
- 9 Environmental Record
- 10 Electoral history
- 11 Writings by McCain
- 12 Bibliography and further reading
- 13 References
- 14 External links
Early life and military career
Formative years and education
John McCain's early life began in the tropics. He was born at Coco Solo Naval Air Station in Panama within the then-American-controlled Panama Canal Zone to Navy officer John S. McCain, Jr. (1911–1981) and Roberta (Wright) McCain (b. 1912).
McCain's family (including his older sister Sandy and younger brother Joe) followed his father to various naval postings in the United States and the Pacific. Altogether, he attended about 20 schools.
In 1951, the family settled in Northern Virginia and McCain attended Episcopal High School, a private preparatory boarding school in Alexandria. There he excelled at wrestling and graduated in 1954.
Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, McCain entered the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis. There, he was a friend and leader for many of his classmates, and stood up for people who were being bullied; he also became a lightweight boxer. McCain had run-ins with higher-ups and he was disinclined to obey every rule, which contributed to a low class rank (894/899) that he did not aim to improve. McCain did well in academic subjects that interested him, and he graduated in 1958.
Military service and marriages
John McCain's pre-combat duty began when he was commissioned an ensign, and started two and a half years of training as a naval aviator at Pensacola. There he also earned a reputation as a party man. Graduating from flight school in 1960, he became a naval pilot of attack aircraft. McCain was then stationed in A-1 Skyraider squadrons on the aircraft carriers USS Intrepid and USS Enterprise, in the Caribbean Sea and in the Mediterranean Sea. He survived two airplane crashes and a collision with power lines.
On July 3 1965 McCain married Carol Shepp, a model originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. McCain adopted her two young children Douglas and Andrew; he and Carol then had a daughter named Sidney.
McCain requested a combat assignment, and in December 1966 was assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal, flying A-4 Skyhawks. McCain's combat duty began when he was 30 years old. In summer 1967, Forrestal was assigned to a bombing campaign during the Vietnam War. McCain and his fellow pilots were frustrated by micromanagement from Washington; he would later write that "In all candor, we thought our civilian commanders were complete idiots who didn’t have the least notion of what it took to win the war."
By then a lieutenant commander, McCain was almost killed on July 29, 1967, when he was at the epicenter of the Forrestal fire. McCain escaped from his burning jet and was trying to help another pilot escape when a bomb exploded; McCain was struck in the legs and chest by fragments. The ensuing fire killed 134 sailors and took 24 hours to control. As Forrestal headed for repairs, McCain volunteered for the USS Oriskany.
John McCain's capture and imprisonment began on October 26, 1967. He was flying his 23rd bombing mission over North Vietnam, when his A-4E Skyhawk was shot down by a missile over Hanoi. McCain fractured both arms and a leg, and then nearly drowned when he parachuted into Truc Bach Lake in Hanoi. After he regained consciousness, a mob attacked him, crushed his shoulder with a rifle butt, and bayoneted him; he was then transported to Hanoi's main Hoa Loa Prison, nicknamed the "Hanoi Hilton".
Although McCain was badly wounded, his captors refused to treat his injuries, instead beating and interrogating him to get information. Only when the North Vietnamese discovered that his father was a top admiral did they give him medical care and announce his capture. His status as a prisoner of war (POW) made the front pages of The New York Times and The Washington Post.
McCain spent six weeks in the Hoa Loa hospital, receiving marginal care. Now having lost 50 pounds (23 kg), in a chest cast, and with his hair turned white, McCain was sent to a different camp on the outskirts of Hanoi in December 1967, into a cell with two other Americans who did not expect him to live a week. In March 1968, McCain was put into solitary confinement, where he would remain for two years.
In July 1968, McCain's father was named commander of all U.S. forces in the Vietnam theater. McCain was immediately offered early release. The North Vietnamese wanted a worldwide propaganda coup by appearing merciful, and also wanted to show other POWs that elites like McCain were willing to be treated preferentially. McCain turned down the offer of repatriation; he would only accept the offer if every man taken in before him was released as well.
In August of 1968, a program of severe torture began on McCain, at the same time as he was suffering from dysentery, and McCain made an anti-American propaganda "confession". He has always felt that his statement was dishonorable, but as he would later write, "I had learned what we all learned over there: Every man has his breaking point. I had reached mine." His injuries left him permanently incapable of raising his arms above his head. He subsequently received two to three beatings per week because of his continued refusal to sign additional statements. Other American POWs were similarly tortured and maltreated in order to extract "confessions" and propaganda statements, with many enduring even worse treatment than McCain.
McCain refused to meet with various anti-war groups seeking peace in Hanoi, not wanting to give either them or the North Vietnamese a propaganda victory. From late 1969 on, treatment of McCain and some of the other POWs became more tolerable. McCain and other prisoners cheered the B-52-led U.S. "Christmas Bombing" campaign of December 1972 as a forceful measure to push North Vietnam to terms.
Altogether, McCain was held as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam for five and a half years. He was finally released from captivity on March 14, 1973. McCain's return to the United States reunited him with his wife and family. His wife Carol had suffered her own crippling ordeal during his captivity, due to an automobile accident in December 1969. As a returned POW, McCain became a celebrity of sorts.
McCain underwent treatment for his injuries, including months of grueling physical therapy, and attended the National War College in Fort McNair in Washington, D.C. during 1973–1974. By late 1974 McCain had his flight status reinstated, and in 1976 he became commanding officer of a training squadron stationed in Florida. He turned around a mediocre unit and won the squadron its first Meritorious Unit Commendation. During this period, the McCains' marriage began to falter; he would later accept blame.
McCain served as the Navy's liaison to the U.S. Senate, beginning in 1977. He would later say it represented "[my] real entry into the world of politics and the beginning of my second career as a public servant". McCain played a key behind-the-scenes role in gaining congressional financing for a new supercarrier against the wishes of the Carter administration.
In 1979, McCain met and began a relationship with Cindy Lou Hensley, a teacher from Phoenix, Arizona, the only child of the founder of Hensley & Co. By then McCain's naval career had stalled; it was unlikely he would be promoted further, because he had poor annual physicals and had been given no major sea command.
His wife Carol accepted a divorce in February of 1980, effective in April of 1980. The settlement included two houses, and financial support for her ongoing medical treatments resulting from the 1969 automobile accident; they would remain on good terms. McCain and Hensley were married on May 17, 1980. McCain retired from the Navy on April 1, 1981, as a captain, and headed west to Arizona.
House and Senate career, 1982–1999
U.S. Congressman and a growing family
McCain set his sights on becoming a Congressman upon moving to Arizona, because he was interested in current events, was ready for a new challenge, and had developed political ambitions during his time as Senate liaison. Living in Phoenix, he went to work for Hensley & Co., his new father-in-law Jim Hensley's large Anheuser-Busch beer distributorship, as Vice President of Public Relations. There he gained political support among the local business community, meeting powerful figures such as banker Charles Keating, Jr., real estate developer Fife Symington III, and newspaper publisher Darrow "Duke" Tully. In 1982, McCain ran as a Republican for an open seat in Arizona's 1st congressional district. As a newcomer to the state, McCain was hit with repeated charges of being a carpetbagger. McCain responded to a voter making the charge with what a Phoenix Gazette columnist would later label as "the most devastating response to a potentially troublesome political issue I've ever heard":
Listen, pal. I spent 22 years in the Navy. My father was in the Navy. My grandfather was in the Navy. We in the military service tend to move a lot. We have to live in all parts of the country, all parts of the world. I wish I could have had the luxury, like you, of growing up and living and spending my entire life in a nice place like the First District of Arizona, but I was doing other things. As a matter of fact, when I think about it now, the place I lived longest in my life was Hanoi.
With the assistance of local political endorsements, his Washington connections, as well as money that his wife lent to his campaign, McCain won a highly contested primary election. He then easily won the general election in the heavily Republican district.
McCain was elected the president of the 1983 Republican freshman class of representatives. Later that year, he opposed creation of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, but eventually changed this view, calling King "a transcendent figure in American history" who "deserved to be honored."
In 1984 McCain and his wife Cindy had their first child together, daughter Meghan. She was followed two years later by son John Sidney IV (known as "Jack"), and in 1988 by son James. Although McCain chooses not to make it a "talking point," James ("Jimmy") served in Iraq until February 2008. In 1991, Cindy McCain brought an abandoned three-month old girl needing medical treatment to the U.S. from a Bangladeshi orphanage run by Mother Teresa; the McCains decided to adopt her, and named her Bridget.
First two terms in U.S. Senate
McCain's Senate career began in January 1987, after longtime American conservative icon and Arizona fixture Barry Goldwater retired as United States Senator from Arizona. McCain defeated his Democratic opponent, former state legislator Richard Kimball, by 20 percentage points in the 1986 election.
Upon entering the Senate, McCain became a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, with whom he had formerly done his Navy liaison work; he also joined the Commerce Committee and the Indian Affairs Committee. He continued to support the Native American agenda. McCain was a strong supporter of the Gramm-Rudman legislation that enforced automatic spending cuts in the case of budget deficits.
McCain soon gained national visibility. He delivered a well-received speech at the 1988 Republican National Convention, he was mentioned by the press as a short list vice-presidential running mate for Republican nominee George H. W. Bush, and he was named chairman of Veterans for Bush.
McCain became enmeshed in a scandal during the 1980s when he was one of five United States Senators comprising the so-called "Keating Five". Between 1982 and 1987, McCain had received $112,000 in legal political contributions from Charles Keating Jr. and his associates at Lincoln Savings and Loan Association, along with trips on Keating's jets that McCain failed to repay until two years later. In 1987, McCain was one of the five Senators whom Keating contacted in order to prevent the government’s seizure of Lincoln, which was by then insolvent and being investigated for making questionable efforts to regain solvency. McCain met twice with federal regulators to discuss the government's investigation of Lincoln.
On his Keating Five experience, McCain said: "The appearance of it was wrong. It's a wrong appearance when a group of senators appear in a meeting with a group of regulators, because it conveys the impression of undue and improper influence. And it was the wrong thing to do." Federal regulators ultimately filed a civil suit against Keating. The five senators came under investigation for attempting to influence the regulators. In the end, none of the senators were charged with any crime. McCain was rebuked by the Senate Ethics Committee for exercising "poor judgment", but their 1991 report said that McCain's "actions were not improper nor attended with gross negligence and did not reach the level of requiring institutional action against him." In his 1992 re-election bid, the Keating Five affair was not a major issue, and he won handily, gaining 56 percent of the vote to defeat Democratic community and civil rights activist Claire Sargent and independent former Governor Evan Mecham.
During the 1990s, McCain developed a reputation for independence. He took pride in taking on battles against establishment forces, was willing to challenge party leadership, and became hard to categorize politically.
As a member of the 1991–1993 Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, chaired by Democrat and fellow Vietnam War veteran John Kerry, McCain investigated the fate of U.S. service personnel listed as missing in action during the Vietnam War. The committee's unanimous report stated there was "no compelling evidence that proves that any American remains alive in captivity in Southeast Asia." Helped by McCain's efforts, in 1995 the U.S. normalized diplomatic relations with Vietnam. McCain was vilified by some POW/MIA activists who believed large numbers of Americans were still held against their will in Southeast Asia; they objected to McCain not sharing their belief and his pushing for Vietnam normalization.
McCain made attacking the corrupting influence of large-scale contributions — from corporations, labor unions, other organizations, and wealthy individuals — on American politics his signature issue. Starting in 1994, he worked with Democratic Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold on campaign finance reform; their McCain-Feingold bill would attempt to put limits on "soft money". McCain and Feingold's efforts were opposed by some of the moneyed interests targeted, by incumbents in both parties, by those who felt spending limits impinged on free political speech, and by those who wanted to lessen the power of what they saw as media bias. Despite sympathetic coverage in the media, initial versions of the McCain-Feingold Act were filibustered and never came to a vote. The term "maverick Republican" became a label frequently applied to McCain; he has also used the term himself.
McCain also attacked pork barrel spending within Congress. He was instrumental in pushing through approval of the Line Item Veto Act of 1996, which gave the president power to veto individual spending items. It was one of McCain's biggest Senate victories, although in 1998 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the act unconstitutional.
In the 1996 presidential election, McCain was again on the short list of possible vice-presidential picks for Republican nominee Bob Dole, although the position went to Congressman Jack Kemp. The following year, Time magazine named McCain as one of the "25 Most Influential People in America".
In 1997 McCain became chairman of the powerful Senate Commerce Committee; he was criticized for accepting funds from corporations and businesses under the committee's purview, but in response said the restricted contributions he received were not part of the big-money nature of the campaign finance problem. McCain took on the tobacco industry in 1998, proposing legislation that would increase cigarette taxes to fund anti-smoking campaigns and reduce the number of teenage smokers, increase research money on health studies, and help states pay for smoking-related health care costs. Supported by the Clinton administration but opposed by the industry and most Republicans, the bill failed to gain cloture.
McCain won re-election to a third senate term in November 1998, prevailing in a landslide over his Democratic opponent, environmental lawyer Ed Ranger. In 1999, McCain shared the Profile in Courage Award with Senator Feingold for their work in trying to enact their campaign finance reform, although the bill was still failing repeated attempts to gain cloture.
2000 presidential campaign
McCain announced his candidacy for president on September 27, 1999 in Nashua, New Hampshire, saying he was staging "a fight to take our government back from the power brokers and special interests, and return it to the people and the noble cause of freedom it was created to serve". The leader for the Republican nomination was Texas Governor George W. Bush, who had the support of, and was funded by, most of the party establishment.
left|thumb|Presidential campaign logoMcCain focused on the New Hampshire primary, where his message held appeal to independents. He traveled on a campaign bus called the Straight Talk Express, and held many town hall meetings, answering every question voters had, in a successful example of "retail politics"; he used free media to compensate for his lack of funds. One reporter later recounted that, "McCain talked all day long with reporters on his Straight Talk Express bus; he talked so much that sometimes he said things that he shouldn't have, and that's why the media loved him." On February 1, 2000, he won the primary with 49 percent of the vote to Bush's 30 percent. Analysts predicted that a McCain victory in the crucial South Carolina primary might give his campaign unstoppable momentum; a degree of panic crept into the Bush campaign and the Republican establishment.
The battle between Bush and McCain for South Carolina has entered American political lore as one of the dirtiest and most brutal ever. A variety of interest groups that McCain had challenged in the past now pounded him with negative ads. Bush tried to co-opt McCain's message of reform, while refusing to disassociate himself from a veterans activist who accused McCain (in Bush's presence) of having "abandoned the veterans" on POW/MIA and Agent Orange issues.
Incensed, McCain ran ads accusing Bush of lying and comparing the governor to Bill Clinton, which Bush said was "about as low a blow as you can give in a Republican primary". An unidentified party began a semi-underground smear campaign against McCain, delivered by push polls, faxes, e-mails, and flyers, claiming most infamously that he had fathered a black child out of wedlock (the McCains' dark-skinned daughter Bridget was adopted from Bangladesh), that his wife Cindy was a drug addict, that he was a homosexual, and that he was a "Manchurian Candidate" traitor or mentally unstable from his North Vietnam POW days. The Bush campaign strongly denied any involvement with the attacks.
McCain lost South Carolina on February 19, with 42 percent of the vote to Bush's 53 percent, in part because Bush mobilized the state's evangelical voters and outspent McCain; this allowed Bush to regain lost momentum. McCain would say of the rumor spreaders, "I believe that there is a special place in hell for people like those." According to one report, the South Carolina experience left McCain in a "very dark place".
McCain's campaign never completely recovered from his defeat there, although he did rebound partially by winning in Arizona and Michigan on February 22. He made a February 28 speech in Virginia Beach that criticized Christian leaders, including Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, as divisive conservatives, declaring "... we embrace the fine members of the religious conservative community. But that does not mean that we will pander to their self-appointed leaders." McCain lost the Virginia primary on February 29 and nine of the thirteen primaries on Super Tuesday to Bush. With little hope of catching Bush's delegate lead, McCain withdrew from the race on March 9, 2000. He endorsed Bush two months later, and occasionally made appearances with Bush during the general election campaign.
Senate career after 2000
Remainder of third Senate term
McCain began 2001 by breaking with the new George W. Bush administration on a number of matters, including HMO reform, climate change, and gun legislation; McCain-Feingold was opposed by Bush as well. In May 2001, the Senator was one of only two Senate Republicans to vote against the Bush tax cuts. Later, when Republican Senator Jim Jeffords became an Independent, throwing control of the Senate to the Democrats, McCain defended Jeffords against "self-appointed enforcers of party loyalty". Indeed, there was speculation at the time, and in years since, about McCain himself possibly leaving the Republican Party. McCain has always adamantly denied that he ever considered doing so.
After the September 11, 2001 attacks, McCain supported Bush and the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan. He and then-Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman wrote the legislation that created the 9/11 Commission, while he and Democratic Senator Fritz Hollings co-sponsored the Aviation and Transportation Security Act that federalized airport security.
In March 2002, McCain-Feingold passed in both Houses of Congress and was signed into law by President Bush. Seven years in the making, it was McCain's greatest legislative achievement.
Meanwhile, in discussions over proposed U.S. action against Iraq, McCain was a strong supporter of the Bush administration's position. He stated that Iraq was "a clear and present danger to the United States of America", and voted accordingly for the Iraq War Resolution in October 2002. He predicted that U.S. forces would be treated as liberators by a large number of the Iraqi people. In May 2003, McCain voted against the second round of Bush tax cuts, saying it was unwise at a time of war. By November 2003, after a trip to Iraq, McCain was publicly questioning Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, saying that more U.S. troops were needed; the following year, McCain announced that he had lost confidence in Rumsfeld.
In October 2003, McCain and Lieberman co-sponsored the Climate Stewardship Act that would have introduced a cap and trade system of greenhouse gases at the 2000 emissions level; the bill was defeated with 55 votes to 43 in the Senate. They reintroduced modified versions of the Act two additional times, most recently in January 2007 with the co-sponsorship of Barack Obama.
In the 2004 U.S. presidential election, McCain was once again frequently mentioned for the vice-presidential slot, only this time as part of the Democratic ticket under nominee John Kerry. McCain said that Kerry had never formally offered him the position and that he would not have accepted it if he had. At the 2004 Republican National Convention, McCain supported Bush for re-election, praising Bush's management of the War on Terror since the September 11 attacks. At the same time, the Senator defended Kerry's Vietnam war record. By August 2004, McCain had the best favorable-to-unfavorable rating (55 percent to 19 percent) of any national politician.
Fourth Senate term
On judicial appointments, McCain supports judges who "would strictly interpret the Constitution", and over the years has supported the confirmations of Robert Bork, Clarence Thomas, John Roberts, and Samuel Alito. In May 2005, McCain led the so-called "Gang of 14" in the Senate, which established a compromise that preserved the ability of senators to filibuster judicial nominees, but only in "extraordinary circumstances". The compromise took the steam out of the filibuster movement, but some Republicans remain disappointed that the compromise did not eliminate filibusters of judicial nominees in all circumstances.
Breaking from his 2001 and 2003 votes, McCain supported the Bush tax cut extension in May 2006, saying not to do so would amount to a tax increase. Working with Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy, McCain was a strong proponent of comprehensive immigration reform, which would involve legalization, guest worker programs, and border enforcement components: the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act was never voted on in 2005, while the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006 passed the Senate in May 2006 but failed in the House. In June 2007, President Bush, McCain and others made the strongest push yet for such a bill, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007, but it aroused tremendous grassroots opposition among talk radio listeners and others as an "amnesty" program, and twice failed to gain cloture in the Senate.
Owing to his time as a POW, McCain has been recognized for his sensitivity to the detention and interrogation of detainees in the War on Terror. On October 3, 2005, McCain introduced the McCain Detainee Amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill for 2005 and the Senate voted 90–9 to support the amendment; it prohibits inhumane treatment of prisoners, including prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, by confining military interrogations to the techniques in the U.S. Army Field Manual on Interrogation. Although Bush had threatened to veto the bill if McCain's amendment was included, the President announced on December 15, 2005 that he accepted McCain's terms and would "make it clear to the world that this government does not torture and that we adhere to the international convention of torture, whether it be here at home or abroad". Bush made clear his interpretation of this legislation in a signing statement, reserving what he interpreted to be his Presidential constitutional authority in order to avoid further terrorist attacks.
Meanwhile, McCain continued questioning the progress of the war in Iraq. In September 2005, he questioned Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers' optimistic outlook on the war's progress: "Things have not gone as well as we had planned or expected, nor as we were told by you, General Myers." In August 2006 he criticized the administration for continually understating the effectiveness of the insurgency: "We [have] not told the American people how tough and difficult this could be." From the beginning McCain strongly supported the Iraq troop surge of 2007; the strategy's opponents labeled it "McCain's plan" and University of Virginia political science professor Larry Sabato said, "McCain owns Iraq just as much as Bush does now." The surge and the war were unpopular during most of the year, even within the Republican Party, as McCain's presidential campaign was underway; faced with the consequences, McCain frequently responded, "I would much rather lose a campaign than a war." In 2008, McCain credited the surge strategy with reducing violence in Iraq, and he went to Baghdad March 16 2008 as part of a U.S. congressional delegation. In a townhall session in Denver on May 2nd, 2008, McCain stated, "My friends, I will have an energy policy that we will be talking about, which will eliminate our dependence on oil from the Middle East that will -- that will then prevent us -- that will prevent us from having ever to send our young men and women into conflict again in the Middle East.” 
2008 presidential campaign
John McCain formally announced he was seeking the presidency of the United States on April 252007 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He emphasized that "America should never undertake a war unless we are prepared to do everything necessary to succeed."
McCain's oft-cited strengths as a presidential candidate for 2008 included national name recognition, sponsorship of major lobbying and campaign finance reform initiatives, leadership in exposing the Abramoff scandal, his well-known military service and experience as a POW, his experience from the 2000 presidential campaign, and an expectation that he would capture Bush's top fundraisers. During the 2006 election cycle, McCain attended 346 events and helped raise more than $10.5 million on behalf of Republican candidates. McCain also became more willing to ask business and industry for campaign contributions, while maintaining that such contributions would not affect any official decisions he would make.
McCain had fundraising problems in the first half of 2007, due to his support for the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007, which was unpopular among the Republican base electorate. Large-scale campaign staff downsizing took place in early July, but McCain said he was not considering dropping out of the race. Later that month, his campaign manager and campaign chief strategist both departed.
McCain subsequently resumed his familiar position as a political underdog, riding the Straight Talk Express and taking advantage of free media such as debates and sponsored events. By December 2007, the Republican race was unsettled, with none of the top-tier candidates dominating the race and all of them possessing major vulnerabilities with different elements of the Republican base electorate. McCain was showing a resurgence, in particular with renewed strength in New Hampshire – the scene of his 2000 triumph – and was bolstered further by the endorsements of The Boston Globe, the Manchester Union-Leader, and almost two dozen other state newspapers, as well as from Independent Democrat Senator Joe Lieberman.
All of this paid off when McCain won the New Hampshire primary on January 8, 2008, defeating former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney in a close contest, to once again become one of the front-runners in the race. On January 19, McCain placed first in the South Carolina primary, narrowly defeating former Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee. He followed this up with another win a week later in the Florida primary, beating Romney again in a close contest, thereby making him the front-runner in the nomination race. Following this victory, rival Rudy Giuliani announced he was dropping out of the race and cast his support for McCain's candidacy. By February 2, McCain had an overall 97–92 lead over Romney in delegates to the 2008 Republican National Convention. On February 5, Super Tuesday, McCain won both the majority of states and delegates in the Republican primaries, giving him a commanding lead toward the Republican nomination; Romney departed from the race on February 7. McCain clinched a majority of the delegates and became the presumptive nominee with wins in the Ohio primary and Texas primary on March 4, with the nomination to be made official in September at the 2008 Republican National Convention in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
If he wins the presidency, John McCain’s birth (in Panama) would be the first presidential birth outside the current 50 states; bipartisan research indicates that he is nevertheless a natural-born citizen of the United States. Also, if inaugurated in 2009 at age 72 years and 144 days, he would be the oldest U.S. president upon ascension to the presidency, and the second-oldest president to be inaugurated (Ronald Reagan was 73 years and 350 days old at his second inauguration). McCain has addressed concerns about his age and past health concerns, stating in 2005 that his health was "excellent". He has been treated for a type of skin cancer called melanoma, and an operation in 2000 for that condition left a noticeable mark on the left side of his face. McCain’s prognosis appears favorable, according to independent experts, especially because he has already survived without a recurrence for more than seven years.
With the Democratic Party still involved in a fierce primary race between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, McCain faced the challenge of staying in the news. However, the period after clinching the nomination allowed McCain to begin focusing on the general election while the Democrats focused on one another. McCain gave a major foreign policy speech in Los Angeles on March 26, then embarked on a weeklong "biographical tour" of the U.S. He also focused on fundraising, an area in which he struggled during the primaries and where he trailed both Senators Obama and Clinton.
The Almanac of American Politics, edited by Michael Barone and Richard E. Cohen, rates votes as liberal or conservative on the political spectrum, with 100 as the highest rating, in three policy areas: Economic, Social, and Foreign. For 2006, McCain's ratings are: Economic = 64 percent conservative, 35 percent liberal (2005: 52 percent conservative, 47 percent liberal); Social = 46 percent conservative, 53 percent liberal (2005: 64 percent conservative, 23 percent liberal); Foreign = 58 percent conservative, 40 percent liberal (2005: 54 percent conservative, 45 percent liberal).
Various interest groups have given Senator McCain scores or grades as to how well his votes align with the positions of the group: The American Conservative Union awarded McCain a lifetime rating of 82 percent through 2006. McCain also received a lifetime 13 percent "Liberal Quotient" from Americans for Democratic Action in 2007 (see chart for progression over time).
In the 2000 elections, many thought of Bush as the more conservative candidate and McCain as the more moderate candidate. His voting record during the 107th Congress, from January 2001 through November 2002, placed him as the sixth most liberal Republican senator, according to Voteview.com. McCain's voting record in the 109th Congress was the second most conservative among senators, according to the same analysis.
John McCain is said to have a conservative voting record on pro-life and free trade issues. He favors private Social Security accounts, and opposes an expanded government role in health care. McCain also supports school vouchers, capital punishment, mandatory sentencing, and welfare reform.
Arizona Republic columnist and RealClearPolitics contributor Robert Robb, using a formulation devised by William F. Buckley, Jr., describes McCain as "conservative" but not "a conservative", meaning that while McCain usually tends towards conservative positions, he is not "anchored by the philosophical tenets of modern American conservatism".
Cultural and political image
John McCain's personal character has been a dominant feature of his public image. This image includes the military service of both himself and his family, his maverick political persona, his temper, his admitted problem of occasional ill-considered remarks, and his devotion to his large blended family.
McCain’s political appeal has been more nonpartisan and less ideological compared to many other national politicians. His stature and reputation stem partly from his service in the Vietnam War. He also carries physical vestiges of his war wounds, as well as facial scarring from the successful treatment he has received for skin cancer.
While considering himself to be a straight-talking public servant, McCain acknowledges being impatient. Other traits include a sense of humor that has sometimes backfired spectacularly, as when he made a joke in 1998 about the Clintons that was not fit to print in newspapers. McCain has not shied away from addressing his shortcomings, and apologizing for them. He is known for sometimes being prickly and hot-tempered with Senate colleagues, but his relations with his own Senate staff have been more cordial, and have inspired loyalty towards him.
Regarding his temper, or what might be viewed as passionate conviction, McCain acknowledges it while also saying that the stories have been exaggerated. Having a temper is not unusual for U.S. leaders, and McCain has employed both profanity and shouting on occasion. Such incidents have become less frequent over the years, and Senator Joseph Lieberman (a 2008 McCain backer) has made this observation: "It is not the kind of anger that is a loss of control. He is a very controlled person." Senator Thad Cochran, who has known McCain and the McCain family for decades and has battled McCain over earmarks, has taken a different view: "The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me." Ultimately Cochran decided to support McCain for president, after it was clear he would win the nomination.
All of John McCain's family members are on good terms with him, and he has defended them against some of the negative consequences of his high-profile political lifestyle. McCain’s father battled alcoholism, and his wife battled addiction to painkillers; their efforts at self-improvement have become part of McCain’s family tradition as well. His family's military tradition extends to the latest generation: son John Sidney IV ("Jack") is enrolled in the U.S. Naval Academy, son James has served with the Marines in Iraq, and son Doug flew jets in the Navy.
Awards, honors, and decorations
- Silver Star
- Legion of Merit
- Bronze Star
- Purple Heart
- Distinguished Flying Cross
- National Order of Vietnam (Republic of Vietnam)
- On May 24, 1999, McCain shared the Profile in Courage Award with fellow Senator Russ Feingold for their work in trying to enact campaign finance reform.
- In December 2004, McCain became an Honorary Patron of the University Philosophical Society at Trinity College Dublin.
- On September 28, 2005, The Eisenhower Institute awarded McCain the Eisenhower Leadership Prize. The prize recognizes individuals whose lifetime accomplishments reflect Dwight D. Eisenhower’s legacy of integrity and leadership.
- On December 5, 2006, McCain was awarded the Henry M. Jackson Distinguished Service Award by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.
- On February 13, 2007, the World Leadership Forum presented McCain with the Policymaker of the Year Award. The award is given internationally to someone who has "created, inspired or strongly influenced important policy or legislation".
Note: This list of military and civilian awards, honors, and decorations is not exhaustive.
Some of the few environmental standings that John McCain has are he is a supporter of a “cap-and-trade system for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions and also opposes a carbon tax”, McCain also thinks that the United States should use more “nuclear power as a way to generate energy without directly producing greenhouse-gas emissions”, and is “against the oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.”  McCain’s voting his can show his stance on environmental problems. For instance in 2005 McCain “voted against HR 6.”  The HR 6 was a bill that “heavily focused on the production of fossil fuels.”  Another example of his stance on the environment is his constant support of increasing the fuel economy of vehicles.  But recently McCain has absent when there are key votes on controversial environmental topics.  Some of the recent voting has been over “subsidizing the conversion of oil to "clean" coal and relaxing rules for oil refineries.” 
In 1982, McCain won the Republican nomination for U.S. Congress from the first district of Arizona, with 32 percent of the vote; three other candidates split the remaining 68 percent. In the general election, McCain defeated Democrat William Hegerty, 53 percent to 47 percent. McCain was subsequently reelected to the House in 1984, defeating Democrat Harry Braun 78 percent to 22 percent.
McCain ran for the U.S. Senate from Arizona to succeed Barry Goldwater in 1986, and won with 60 percent of the vote compared with 40 percent for his Democratic opponent Richard Kimball. He was reelected to the Senate six years later with 56 percent of the vote, versus 32 percent for his challenger, Democrat Claire Sargent, and 11 percent for the former Republican governor Evan Mecham (running as an Independent). McCain was again reelected in 1998 with 69 percent, versus 27 percent for Democrat Ed Ranger. He was reelected to his present Senate term in 2004, with 77 percent of the vote to 21 percent for Democrat Stuart Starky.
Writings by McCain
- Hard Call: Great Decisions and the Extraordinary People Who Made Them by John McCain, Mark Salter (Hachette, August 2007) ISBN 978-0-446-58040-3
- Character Is Destiny: Inspiring Stories Every Young Person Should Know and Every Adult Should Remember by John McCain, Mark Salter (Random House, October 2005) ISBN 1-4000-6412-0
- Why Courage Matters: The Way to a Braver Life by John McCain, Mark Salter (Random House, April 2004) ISBN 1-4000-6030-3
- Odysseus in America by Jonathan Shay, Max Cleland, John S. McCain (Scribner, November 2002) ISBN 0-7432-1156-1
- Worth the Fighting For by John McCain, Mark Salter (Random House, September 2002) ISBN 0-375-50542-3
- Unfinished Business: Afghanistan, the Middle East and Beyond — Defusing the Dangers That Threaten America's Security by Harlan Ullman, John S. McCain (Citadel Press, June 2002) ISBN 0-8065-2431-6
- Faith of My Fathers by John McCain, Mark Salter (Random House, August 1999) ISBN 0-375-50191-6 (later made into the 2005 television film Faith of My Fathers)
- The Reminiscences of Admiral John S. McCain, Jr., United States Navy (retired) by John S. McCain (U.S. Naval Institute, 1999) ISBN B0006RY8ZK
- "An Enduring Peace Built on Freedom: Securing America's Future" by John McCain Foreign Affairs, November/December 2007
- "How the POW's Fought Back", by John S. McCain III, Lieut. Commander, U.S. Navy, U.S. News and World Report, May 14, 1973 (reprinted for web under different title in 2008). Reprinted in Reporting Vietnam, Part Two: American Journalism 1969–1975 (The Library of America, 1998) ISBN 1883011590
Bibliography and further reading
- Alexander, Paul (2002). Man of the People: The Life of John McCain. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-471-22829-X. Available online in limited preview at Google Books.
- Brock, David; Waldman, Paul (2008). Free Ride: John McCain and the Media. Anchor Books. ISBN 0307279405.
- Drew, Elizabeth (2002). Citizen McCain. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0743230025.
- Feinberg, Barbara Silberdick (2000). John McCain: Serving His Country. Millbrook Press. ISBN 0761319743.
- Karaagac, John (2000). John McCain: An Essay in Military and Political History. Lexington Books. ISBN 0739101714.
- McCain, John; Salter, Mark (1999). Faith of My Fathers. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-375-50191-6.
- McCain, John; Salter, Mark (2002). Worth the Fighting For. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-375-50542-3.
- Schecter, Cliff (2008). The Real McCain: Why Conservatives Don't Trust Him and Why Independents Shouldn't. PoliPoint Press. ISBN 0-979-48229-1.
- Timberg, Robert (1999). John McCain: An American Odyssey. New York: Touchstone Books. ISBN 0-684-86794-X. Online access to Chapter 1 is available.
- Timberg, Robert (1996). The Nightingale's Song. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-684-80301-1. Online access to a portion of Chapter 1 is available.
- Welch, Matt (2007). McCain: The Myth of a Maverick. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0230603967.
- Timberg, American Odyssey, 17–34.
- Barone, Michael; Ujifusa, Grant (1999). The Almanac of American Politics. Washington, D.C.: National Journal. p. 111. ISBN 0-8129-3194-7.
- "The Spirit of Endurance". Irish America. August–September 2006. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Ancestry of Sen. John McCain, William Addams Reitwiesner
- "McCain's WMD Is A Mouth That Won't Quit". Associated Press via USA Today. 2007-11-04. Unknown parameter
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- Bailey, Holly (2007-05-14). "John McCain: 'I Learned How to Take Hard Blows'". Newsweek. Retrieved 2007-12-19. Check date values in:
- "John McCain". Iowa Caucuses '08. Des Moines Register. Retrieved 2007-11-08.
- Timberg, Nightingale's Song, 31–35.
- Timberg, Nightingale's Song, 41–42.
- McCain, Faith of My Fathers, 130–131, 141–142.
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- "McCain: Experience to Lead". johnmccain.com. 2007-11-02. Retrieved 2007-11-10. Check date values in:
- McCain, Faith of My Fathers, 156.
- Feinberg, Barbara Silberdick (2000). John McCain: Serving His Country. Millbrook Press. ISBN 0761319743.18
- Timberg, American Odyssey, 66–68.
- Alexander, Man of the People, 92.
- Alexander, Man of the People, 33.
- Jennifer Steinhauer (2007-12-27). "Bridging 4 Decades, a Large, Close-Knit Brood". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-12-27.
- McCain, Faith of My Fathers, 167–168.
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- "VA-46 Photograph Album". The Skyhawk Association. Retrieved 2008-02-09.
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- Karaagac, John (2000). John McCain: An Essay in Military and Political History. Lexington Books. ISBN 0739101714.81–82.
- Weinraub, Bernard (1967-07-31). "Start of Tragedy: Pilot Hears a Blast As He Checks Plane" (PDF). The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-28. Check date values in:
- Timberg, American Odyssey, 72–74.
- McCain, Faith of My Fathers, 177–179.
- US Navy. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships - Forrestal. (States either Aircraft No. 405 piloted by LCDR Fred D. White or No. 416 piloted by LCDR John McCain was struck by the Zuni.)
- Timberg, An American Odyssey, 75.
- "Image 1 of 8". Republican Presidential Candidate Senator John McCain. Chicago Tribune. 2000-02-23. Retrieved 2007-11-21. Check date values in:
- Nowicki, Dan & Muller, Bill (2007-03-01). "John McCain Report: Prisoner of War". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved 2007-11-10. Check date values in:
- Cronin, Michael; Day, Bud; Gaither, Ralph; Galanti, Paul; Schierman, Wesley and Swindle, Orson (2007-10-26). "A Trip Downtown - Forty Years of Leadership". johnmccain.com. Retrieved 2007-11-10. Check date values in:
- McCain, Faith of My Fathers, 183, 186.
- John McCain: Courageous Service. John McCain 2008. Event occurs at 03:22. Retrieved 2008-01-09.
- "In search of the old magic". The Economist. 2007-05-31. Retrieved 2007-07-30.
- Lieut. Commander John S. McCain III, United States Navy (1973-05-14 (reposted under title "John McCain, Prisoner of War: A First-Person Account", 2008-01-28)). "How the POW's Fought Back". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 2008-01-29. Check date values in:
|date=(help) Reprinted in Library of America staff (1998). Reporting Vietnam, Part Two: American Journalism 1969–1975. The Library of America. ISBN 1883011590. 434–463.
- Timberg, American Odyssey, 79.
- Apple Jr., R. W. (1967-10-28). "Adm. McCain's son, Forrestal Survivor, Is Missing in Raid" (PDF). The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-11-11. Check date values in:
- "Admiral's Son Captured in Hanoi Raid" (FEE REQUIRED). Associated Press via The Washington Post. 1967-10-28. Retrieved 2008-02-09.
- Timberg, American Odyssey, 83.
- Kaplan, Robert. "Rereading Vietnam", The Atlantic Monthly, August 24, 2007.
- Vietnam War—Senator John McCain of Arizona Biography
- Timberg, American Odyssey, 95, 118.
- Todd S. Purdum (February 2007). "Prisoner of Conscience". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2008-01-19.
- Alexander, Man of the People, 60.
- McCain, Faith of My Fathers, 194, 224–225, 321.
- Timberg, American Odyssey, 106–107.
- Sterba, James P (1973-03-15). "P.O.W. Commander Among 108 Freed" (PDF). The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-28. Check date values in:
- Nowicki, Dan and Muller, Bill (2007-03-01). "John McCain Report: Back in the USA". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved 2007-11-10. Check date values in:
- Timberg, American Odyssey, 111.
- Kristof, Nicholas (February 27, 2000). "P.O.W. to Power Broker, A Chapter Most Telling". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-04-22. Check date values in:
- "Dictionary of American naval Aviation Squadrons — Volume 1" (PDF). Naval Historical Center.
- Nowicki, Dan and Muller, Bill (2007-03-01). "John McCain Report: Arizona, the early years". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved 2007-11-21. Check date values in:
- Frantz, Douglas, "The 2000 Campaign: The Arizona Ties; A Beer Baron and a Powerful Publisher Put McCain on a Political Path", The New York Times, A14, February 21, 2000, URL retrieved November 29, 2006.
- Timberg, American Odyssey, 132–134.
- Timberg, American Odyssey, 135.
- Steinman, Ron. The Soldier's Story: Vietnam in Their Own Words (Barnes & Noble 2000), page 357.
- Gilbertson, Dawn (2007-01-23). "McCain, his wealth tied to wife's family beer business". The Arizona Republic.
- Timberg, American Odyssey, 139.
- Symington would become Governor of Arizona in 1991.
- Thornton, Mary (1982-12-16). "Arizona 1st District John McCain". The Washington Post.
- Timberg, American Odyssey, 143–144.
- "McCain, Clinton Head to Memphis for MLK Anniversary". Washington Wire (Wall Street Journal Blog. April 3, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-17.
- “McCain Remarks on Dr. King and Civil Rights”, Washington Post (2008-04-04): "We can be slow as well to give greatness its due, a mistake I made myself long ago when I voted against a federal holiday in memory of Dr. King. I was wrong and eventually realized that, in time to give full support for a state holiday in Arizona."
- Alexander, Man of the People, 98–99, 104.
- "John McCain". NNDB. Retrieved 2007-11-23.
- Kantor, Jodi (2008-04-06). "Vocal on War, McCain Is Silent on Son’s Service". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-27.
- Tiron, Roxana (2008-04-02). "For McCain, son’s duty in Iraq is not a talking point". The Hill. Retrieved 2008-04-27.
- Alexander, Man of the People, 147.
- Strong, Morgan (2000-06-04). "Senator John McCain talks about the challenges of fatherhood". Dadmag.com. Retrieved 2007-12-19.
- Nowicki, Dan and Muller, Bill (2007-03-01). "John McCain Report: The Senate calls". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved 2007-11-23.
- Barone, Michael; Grant Ujifusa (1999). The Almanac of American Politics. Washington, D.C.: National Journal. p. 112. ISBN 0-8129-3194-7.
- Alexander, Man of the People, 112.
- Alexander, Man of the People, 115–119.
- Alexander, Man of the People, 120.
- Abramson, Jill; Mitchell, Alison. "Senate Inquiry In Keating Case Tested McCain", New York Times (1999-11-21).
- "Excerpts of Statement By Senate Ethics Panel". The New York Times. 1991-02-28. Retrieved 2008-04-19.
- Rasky, Susan (1989-12-22). "To Senator McCain, the Savings and Loan Affair Is Now a Personal Demon". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-19.
- Nowicki, Dan and Muller, Bill (2007-03-01). "John McCain Report: The Keating Five". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved 2007-11-23.
- Nowicki, Dan and Muller, Bill (2007-03-01). "John McCain Report: Overcoming scandal, moving on". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved 2007-11-23.
- Alexander, Man of the People, 150–151.
- Dan Balz, “McCain Weighs Options Amid Setbacks”, Washington Post (1998-07-05).
- Alexander, Man of the People, 152–154.
- "Report of the Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs". U.S. Senate. 1993-01-13. Retrieved 2008-01-03.
- Walsh, James (1995-07-24). "Good Morning, Vietnam". Time. Retrieved 2008-01-05.
- Alexander, Man of the People, 170–171.
- Farrell, John Aloysius (2003-06-21). "At the center of power, seeking the summit". John Kerry: A Candidate in the Making (The Boston Globe). Retrieved 2008-01-05.
- Nowicki, Dan and Muller, Bill (2007-03-01). "John McCain Report: McCain becomes the 'maverick'". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved 2007-12-19.
- Maisel, Louis Sandy; Buckley, Kara (2004). Parties and Elections in America: The Electoral Process. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 0742526704. 163–166.
- Barone, Michael, et al. The Almanac of American Politics, 2006 (2005), 93–98.
- McCain, Worth the Fighting, 327
- "Clinton v. City of New York". Supreme Court Collection. Retrieved July 04, 2005. Check date values in:
- Alexander, Man of the People, 176–180.
- Seele, Katharine Q (1996-08-11). "Dole Hails Kemp as Partner in Run for White House". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-12.
- "Biography of John McCain". Institute of Government and Public Affairs. Retrieved 2007-02-19.
- Alexander, Man of the People, 184–187.
- "U.S. Senators John McCain and Russell Feingold Share 10th John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award" (Press release). John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. 1999-05-24. Retrieved 2007-12-27. Check date values in:
- "McCain formally kicks off campaign". CNN.com. 1999-09-27. Retrieved 2007-12-27.
- Nowicki, Dan and Muller, Bill (2007-03-01). "John McCain Report: The 'maverick' runs". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved 2007-12-27.
- Bruni, Frank (2000-09-27). "Quayle, Outspent by Bush, Will Quit Race, Aide Says". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-12-27.
- Alexander, Man of the People, 188–189.
- Harpaz, Beth (2001). The Girls in the Van: Covering Hillary. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0312302711. 86.
- Greenfield, Jeff (2000-02-08). "Random thoughts of a McCain operative". CNN.com. Retrieved 2008-01-01.
- Goldberg, Jonah (2000-02-11). "Love Is a Two-Way Street". National Review Online. Retrieved 2008-01-01.
- Corn, David (2000-02-10). "The McCain Insurgency". The Nation. Retrieved 2008-01-01.
- Jennifer Steinhauer (2007-10-19). "Confronting Ghosts of 2000 in South Carolina". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-01-07.
- "Dirty Politics 2008". NOW (PBS). 2008-01-04. Retrieved 2008-01-06.
- Mitchell, Alison (2000-02-10). "Bush and McCain Exchange Sharp Words Over Fund-Raising". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-01-07.
- Alexander, Man of the People, 250–251.
- Data for table is from "Favorability: People in the News: John McCain". The Gallup Organization. 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-02.
- Knowlton, Brian (2000-02-21). "McCain Licks Wounds After South Carolina Rejects His Candidacy". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 2008-01-01.
- Mitchell, Alison (2000-02-16). "McCain Catches Mud, Then Parades It". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-01-01.
- McCaleb, Ian Christopher (2000-02-22). "McCain recovers from South Carolina disappointment, wins in Arizona, Michigan". CNN.com. Retrieved 2007-12-30.
- "Excerpt From McCain's Speech on Religious Conservatives". The New York Times. 2000-02-29. Retrieved 2007-12-30.
- Rothernberg, Stuart (2000-03-01). "Stuart Rothernberg: Bush Roars Back; McCain's Hopes Dim". CNN.com. Retrieved 2007-12-30.
- McCaleb, Ian Christopher (2000-03-08). "Gore, Bush post impressive Super Tuesday victories". CNN.com. Retrieved 2007-12-30. Check date values in:
- McCaleb, Ian Christopher (2000-03-09). "Bradley, McCain bow out of party races". CNN.com. Retrieved 2007-12-30. Check date values in:
- Marks, Peter (2000-05-14). "A Ringing Endorsement for Bush". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-01.
- Nowicki, Dan and Muller, Bill (2007-03-01). "John McCain Report: The 'maverick' and President Bush". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved 2007-12-27. Check date values in:
- Holan, Angie Drobnic. "McCain switched on tax cuts". PolitiFact. St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2007-12-27.
- Edsall, Thomas and Milbank, Dana (2001-06-02). "McCain Is Considering Leaving GOP: Arizona Senator Might Launch a Third-Party Challenge to Bush in 2004". The Washington Post. Check date values in:
- Cusack, Bob (2007-03-28). "Democrats say McCain nearly abandoned GOP". The Hill. Retrieved 2008-01-17. Check date values in:
- McCain, John (2001-10-26). "No Substitute for Victory: War is hell. Let's get on with it.". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2008-01-17. Check date values in:
- "Senate bill would implement 9/11 panel proposals". CNN. 2004-09-08. Retrieved 2008-01-17. Check date values in:
- "Senate Approves Aviation Security, Anti-Terrorism Bills". Online NewsHour (PBS). 2001-10-12. Retrieved 2008-01-17. Check date values in:
- Alexander, Man of the People, 168.
- "Sen. McCain's Interview With Chris Matthews", MSNBC - Hardball (2003-03-12). Via McCain's Senate web site and archive.org. Retrieved 2008-04-07.
- "Newsmaker: Sen. McCain". NewsHour (PBS). 2003-11-06. Retrieved 2008-01-17. Check date values in:
- Nowicki, Dan and Muller, Bill (2007-03-01). "John McCain Report: The 'maverick' goes establishment". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved 2007-12-23. Check date values in:
- "Summary of the Lieberman-McCain Climate Stewardship Act". Pew Centre on Global Climate Change. Retrieved 2008-04-24.
- "Lieberman, McCain Reintroduce Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act". Joe Lieberman, United States Senator. 2007-01-12. Retrieved 2008-04-24.
- "McCain: I'd 'entertain' Democratic VP slot". Associated Press for USA Today. 2004-03-10. Retrieved 2008-05-06.
- Halbfinger, David (2004-06-12). "McCain Is Said To Tell Kerry He Won't Join". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-01-03. Check date values in:
- Balz, Dan and VandeHei, Jim (2004-06-12). "McCain's Resistance Doesn't Stop Talk of Kerry Dream Ticket". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-01-18. Check date values in:
- "Kerry wants to boost child-care credit". MSNBC. June 16, 2004. Retrieved 2008-03-08. Check date values in:
- Loughlin, Sean (2004-08-30). "McCain praises Bush as 'tested'". CNN.com. Retrieved 2007-11-14. Check date values in:
- Coile, Zachary (2004-08-06). "Vets group attacks Kerry; McCain defends Democrat". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2006-08-15. Check date values in:
- "Election 2004: U.S. Senate - Arizona - Exit Poll". Retrieved 2007-12-23.
- Curry, Tom (2007-04-26). "McCain takes grim message to South Carolina". MSNBC. Retrieved 2007-12-27. Check date values in:
- "Senators compromise on filibusters; Bipartisan group agrees to vote to end debate on 3 nominees", CNN (2005-05-24). Retrieved 2008-03-16.
- Hulse, Carl. "Distrust of McCain Lingers Over '05 Deal on Judges", New York Times (2008-02-25). Retrieved 2008-03-16.
- Steinhauer, Jennifer. "After Bill’s Fall, G.O.P. May Pay in Latino Votes", New York Times (2007-07-01).
- "Why the Senate Immigration Bill Failed", Rasmussen Reports (2007-06-08).
- "Roll Call Votes 109th Congress - 1st Session on the Amendment (McCain Amdt. No. 1977)". United States Senate. 2005-10-05. Retrieved 2006-08-15. Check date values in:
- "Senate ignores veto threat in limiting detainee treatment". CNN.com. October 6, 2005. Retrieved 2008-01-02. Check date values in:
- "McCain, Bush agree on torture ban". CNN. 2005-12-15. Retrieved 2006-08-16. Check date values in:
- "President's Statement on Signing of H.R. 2863, the 'Department of Defense, Emergency Supplemental Appropriations to Address Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, and Pandemic Influenza Act, 2006'" (Press release). White House. 2005-12-30. Retrieved 2006-08-16. Check date values in:
- Ricks, Thomas E. (2006). Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq. New York: Penguin Press. ISBN 1-59420-103-X. 412.
- Baldor, Lolita (January 12, 2007). "McCain Defends Bush's Iraq Strategy". Associated Press via CBS News. Retrieved 2007-01-13. Check date values in:
- Giroux, Greg (2007-01-17). "'Move On' Takes Aim at McCain’s Iraq Stance". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-01-18. Check date values in:
- Carney, James (2008-01-23). "The Resurrection of John McCain". Time. Retrieved 2008-02-01.
- Crawford, Jamie (2007-07-28). "Iraq won't change McCain". CNN. Retrieved 2008-01-18. Check date values in:
- "McCain arrives in Baghdad". CNN. 2008-03-16. Retrieved 2008-03-16.
- Aigner-Treworgy, Adam (2008-04-02). "McCain: Iraq war was for oil?". MSNBC. Retrieved 2008-04-03. Check date values in:
- "McCain launches White House bid" (STM). BBC NEWS. 2007-04-25. Retrieved 2007-05-06..
- "Remarks as Prepared for Delivery: Senator McCain's Announcement Speech" (2007-04-25). Via 4president.org. Retrieved 2008-03-30.
- Balz, Dan (2006-02-12). "For Possible '08 Run, McCain Is Courting Bush Loyalists". Washington Post. p. A01. Retrieved 2006-08-15. Check date values in:
- Cohen, Richard (January 5, 2006). "McCain's Day to Crow". Washington Post. p. A15. Check date values in:
- Birnbaum, Jeffrey and Solomon, John (2007-12-31). "McCain's Unlikely Ties to K Street". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-01-03. Check date values in:
- "McCain lags in fundraising, cuts staff". CNN. July 2, 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-06. Check date values in:
- "Lagging in Fundraising, McCain Reorganizes Staff". NPR. July 2, 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-06. Check date values in:
- Sidoti, Liz (2007-07-10). "McCain Campaign Suffers Key Shakeups". Associated Press. Retrieved 2007-07-15. Check date values in:
- Martin, Jonathan (2007-07-19). "McCain's comeback plan". The Politico. Retrieved 2007-12-12. Check date values in:
- Witosky, Tom (2007-12-17). "McCain sees resurgence in his run for president". Des Moines Register. Retrieved 2007-12-29. Check date values in:
- Sinderbrand, Rebecca (2007-12-29). "McCain, Clinton win Concord Monitor endorsements". CNN. Retrieved 2007-12-29. Check date values in:
- "Coverage of Lieberman endorsement of John McCain". ABC Nightline. 18 December 2007. Check date values in:
- "CNN: McCain wins New Hampshire GOP primary". CNN. 2008-01-08. Retrieved 2008-01-08. Check date values in:
- Jones, Tim (19 January 2008). "McCain Wins South Carolina GOP Primary". The Chicago Tribune. Check date values in:
- "McCain wins Florida, CNN projects". CNN.com. 2008-01-29. Retrieved 2008-01-29. Check date values in:
- Holland, Steve (2008-01-30). ""Giuliani, Edwards quit White House Race"". Reuters. Retrieved 2008-01-30.
- Election Center 2008, CNN. Retrieved 2008-02-02.
- Sidoti, Liz (2008-02-07). "Romney Suspends Presidential Campaign". Retrieved 2008-02-08.
- "McCain clinches GOP nomination, CNN projects". CNN. 2008-03-04. Retrieved 2008-03-04.
- Sidoti, Liz. “Bipartisan team says McCain natural born”, Associated Press (2008-03-27). Retrieved 2008-04-18): "Senator McCain's birth to parents who were U.S. citizens, serving on a U.S. military base in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936, makes him a 'natural born citizen' within the meaning of the Constitution."
- Bash, Dana. “With McCain, 72 is the new... 69?”, CNN (2006-09-04).
- “Presidential Inaugural Facts”, Miami Herald (1985-01-20). Excerpt via Google News. Retrieved on 2008-03-30.
- McCain, John. Interview transcript. Meet the Press via MSNBC. 2005-06-19. Retrieved 2006-11-14.
- McCain, John. Interview transcript. Larry King Live. CNN. 2005-11-03. Retrieved 2006-11-14.
- Altman, Lawrence. "On the Campaign Trail, Few Mentions of McCain’s Bout With Melanoma", New York Times (2008-03-09).
- McCain runs strong as Democrats battle on USA Today, April 28, 2008
- Laura Meckler, Now, McCain Looks to the Fall Wall Street Journal, March 5, 2008
- Indiana Primary Likely a Crucial Test in Democratic Presidential Battle Voice of America, April 24, 2008
- McCain stresses cooperation in L.A. Chicago Tribune, March 27, 2008
- McCain tells his story to voters CNN.com, March 31, 2008
- Luo, Michael and Palmer, Griff McCain Faces Test in Wooing Elite Donors NY Times, March 31, 2008
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- Mitchell, Josh. “Veterans step up for John McCain”, Baltimore Sun (2008-02-05)
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- Keller, Julia. “Me? A bad temper? Why, I oughta ...”, Chicago Tribune (2008-05-01): “we … want people in public life to be passionate and engaged. We want them to be fiery and feisty. We like them to care enough to blow their stacks every once in a while. Otherwise, we question the sincerity of their convictions.”
- Nowicki, Dan and Muller, Bill (2007-03-01). "John McCain Report: The Senate calls". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved 2007-11-23.
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- Jacobson, Gary (August 2006). "Partisan Differences in Job Approval Ratings of George W. Bush and U.S. Senators in the States: An Exploration" (PROCEEDINGS). Annual meeting of the American Political Science Association.
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- McCain, Worth the Fighting, xvii.
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- “A Conversation About What’s Worth the Fight“, Newsweek (2008-03-29): “I have—although certainly not in recent years—lost my temper and said intemperate things….I feel passionately about issues, and the day that passion goes away is the day I will go down to the old soldiers' home and find my rocking chair.”
- “On The HUSTINGS - April 21, 2008“, New York Sun (2008-04-21): “I am very happy to be a passionate man….many times I deal passionately when I find things that are not in the best interests of the American people. And so, look, 20, 25 years ago, 15 years ago, that's fine, and those stories here are either totally untrue or grossly exaggerated."
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- Tilghman, Andrew (2008-03-10). "McCain win might stop sons from deploying". Navy Times. Retrieved 2008-03-28.
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- Alexander, Man of the People, 74.
- ""Honourary Patrons"". University Philosophical Society. Trinity College Dublin. 2006-10-21. Retrieved 2006-11-14. Check date values in:
- "Senator John S. McCain to Receive 2005 Eisenhower Leadership Prize" (Press release). The Eisenhower Institute. 2005-08-24. Retrieved 2006-11-14. Check date values in:
- "JINSA Bestows Distinguished Service Award Upon Senator John McCain" (Press release). Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. 2006-12-05. Retrieved 2007-12-27. Check date values in:
- Turner, Malcolm (2007-02-20). "Senator John McCain receives Policy Maker of the Year Award". Leader magazine. Retrieved 2007-12-27. Check date values in:
- "AZ District 1 - R Primary - [[September 07]] []". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2008-03-23. Wikilink embedded in URL title (help)
- "AZ District 1 - [[November 2]] []". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2008-03-23. Wikilink embedded in URL title (help)
- "AZ District 1 - [[November 7]] []". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2008-03-23. Wikilink embedded in URL title (help)
- "Our Campaigns - AZ Senate Race". Our Campaigns. November 03, 1986. Retrieved 2008-03-23. Check date values in:
- "Our Campaigns - AZ Senate Race". Our Campaigns. November 03, 1992. Retrieved 2008-03-23. Check date values in:
- "Our Campaigns - AZ Senate Race". Our Campaigns. November 03, 1998. Retrieved 2008-03-23. Check date values in:
- "Our Campaigns - AZ Senate Race". Our Campaigns. November 02, 2004. Retrieved 2008-03-23. Check date values in:
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