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John Sidney McCain III, Arizona Senator

John-mccain

Assumed Office
January 3rd, 1987
Preceded by
Born
August 29, 1936 (1936-08-29) Coco Solo Naval Air Station, Panama Canal Zone, Panama
Nationality
Political Party
Spouce(s)
Carol Shepp (m. 1965, div. 1980) Cindy Lou Hensley (m. 1980)
Religion
Southern Baptist
Military Service Branch
Years of Service
1958 – 1981
Military Service Rank
Captain


John Sidney McCain III (born August 29, 1936) is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican nominee for president in the 2008 United States election. McCain followed his father and grandfather, both four-star admirals, into the United States Navy, graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1958. He became a naval aviator, flying ground-attack aircraft from aircraft carriers. During the Vietnam War, he nearly lost his life in the 1967 USS Forrestal fire. In October 1967, while on a bombing mission over Hanoi, he was shot down, badly injured, and captured by the North Vietnamese. He was a prisoner of war until 1973. McCain experienced episodes of torture, and refused an out-of-sequence early repatriation offer. His war wounds left him with lifelong physical limitations. He retired from the Navy as a captain in 1981, moved to Arizona, and entered politics. Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982, he served two terms, and was then elected to the U.S. Senate in 1986, winning re-election easily in 1992, 1998, and 2004. While generally adhering to conservative principles, McCain at times has had a media reputation as a "maverick" for having disagreed with his party. After being investigated and largely exonerated in a political influence scandal of the 1980s as a member of the Keating Five, he made campaign finance reform one of his signature concerns, which eventually led to the passage of the McCain-Feingold Act in 2002. He is also known for his work towards restoring diplomatic relations with Vietnam in the 1990s, and for his belief that the war in Iraq should be fought to a successful conclusion. McCain has chaired the Senate Commerce Committee, has opposed spending that he considered to be pork barrel, and played a key role in alleviating a crisis over judicial nominations. McCain ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000, but lost a heated primary contest to George W. Bush. He gained the nomination in 2008 after coming back from early reversals, but lost to Democratic candidate Barack Obama in the general election.


Early LifeEdit

McCain at Annapolis-1-

John McCain was born in 1936 at Coco Solo Naval Air Station in the Panama Canal Zone, Panama, to naval officer John S. McCain, Jr. (1911–1981) and Roberta (Wright) McCain (b. 1912). At that time, the Panama Canal was under U.S. control. McCain's family tree includes Scots-Irish and English ancestors. His father and his paternal grandfather both became four-star United States Navy admirals. His 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. 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 informal leader for many of his classmates, and sometimes stood up for targets of bullying. He also became a lightweight boxer. McCain came into conflict with higher-ranking personnel, he did not always obey the rules, and that contributed to a low class rank (894 of 899), despite a high IQ. He did well in academic subjects that interested him, such as literature and history, but studied only enough to pass subjects he struggled with, such as mathematics.McCain graduated in 1958. Naval training, first marriage, and Vietnam assignment John McCain's early military career began when he was commissioned an ensign and started two and a half years of training at Pensacola to become a naval aviator. While there, he earned a reputation as a partying man. He completed flight school in 1960, and became a naval pilot of ground-attack aircraft, assigned to A-1 Skyraider squadrons aboard the aircraft carriers USS Intrepid and USS Enterprise in the Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas. McCain began as a sub-par flier who was at times careless and reckless during the early-to-mid 1960s, the planes he was flying crashed twice and once collided with power lines, but he received no major injuries. His aviation skills improved over time and he was seen as a good pilot, albeit one who tended to "push the envelope" in his flying. John McCain's capture and subsequent 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 ejecting from the aircraft,[35] and nearly drowned when he parachuted into Truc Bach Lake. Some North Vietnamese pulled him ashore, then others crushed his shoulder with a rifle butt and bayoneted him. McCain was then transported to Hanoi's main Hoa Lo Prison, nicknamed the "Hanoi Hilton".


House and Senate elections and career, 1982–2000Edit

McCain set his sights on becoming a Congressman 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.[63] As Vice President of Public Relations at the distributorship, 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.[75] A newcomer to the state, McCain was hit with repeated charges of being a carpetbagger. McCain responded to a voter making that charge with what a Phoenix Gazette columnist would later describe 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,[64] McCain won a highly contested primary election. He then easily won the general election in the heavily Republican district.[In 1983, McCain was elected to lead the incoming group of Republican representatives, and was assigned to the House Committee on Interior Affairs. Also that year, he opposed creation of a federal Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, but admitted in 2008: "I was wrong and eventually realized that, in time to give full support [in 1990] for a state holiday in Arizona." McCain's politics at this point were mainly in line with President Ronald Reagan, including support for Reaganomics, and he was active on Indian Affairs bills He supported most aspects of the foreign policy of the Reagan administration, including its hardline stance against the Soviet Union and policy towards Central American conflicts, such as backing the Contras in Nicaragua. McCain opposed keeping U.S. Marines deployed in Lebanon citing unattainable objectives, and subsequently criticized President Reagan for pulling out the troops too late; in the interim, the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing killed hundreds. McCain won re-election to the House easily in 1984, and gained a spot on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. In 1985, he made his first return trip to Vietnam, and also traveled to Chile where he met with its military junta ruler, General Augusto Pinochet. Growing family In 1984 McCain and his wife Cindy had their first child together, daughter Meghan. She was followed two years later by son John Sidney McCain IV (known as Jack), and in 1988 by son James (Jimmy). 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 he defeated his Democratic opponent, former state legislator Richard Kimball, by 20 percentage points in the 1986 election. McCain succeeded longtime American conservative icon and Arizona fixture Barry Goldwater upon the latter's retirement as United States Senator from Arizona.




John McCain presidential campaign, 2008Edit

780px-McCain25April2007Portsmouth-1-

John McCain formally announced his intention to run for President of the United States on April 25, 2007 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He stated that: "I'm not running for President to be somebody, but to do something; to do the hard but necessary things not the easy and needless things." He also said that the United States should never fight a war without fully committing the necessary resources, unlike what initially occurred in Iraq. McCain's oft-cited strengths as a presidential candidate for 2008 included national name recognition, sponsorship of major lobbying and campaign finance reform initiatives, 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 had 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. Despite being considered the front-runner for the nomination by pundits as 2007 began McCain was in second place behind former Mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani in national Republican polls as the year progressed. McCain had fundraising problems in the first half of 2007, due in part 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 that he was not considering dropping out of the race. Later that month, the candidate's campaign manager and campaign chief strategist both departed. McCain slumped badly in national polls, often running third or fourth with 15 percent or less support.

Remainder of fourth Senate termEdit

Following his defeat, McCain returned to the Senate amid varying views about what role he might play there. In mid-November 2008 he met with President-elect Obama, and the two discussed issues they had commonality on Around the same time, McCain indicated that he intended to run for re-election to his Senate seat in 2010. As the inauguration neared, Obama consulted with McCain on a variety of matters, to an extent rarely seen between a president-elect and his defeated rival, and President Obama's inauguration speech contained an allusion to McCain's theme of finding a purpose greater than oneself. Nevertheless, McCain emerged as a leader of the Republican opposition to the Obama economic stimulus package of 2009, saying it had too much spending for too little stimulative effect.

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