U.S. Senator John McCain dead at 81 from brain cancer
In more than three decades in Congress, McCain became known as a political maverick willing to stick to his convictions rather than go along with party leaders
August 25, 2018, 9:02 PM EDT, The Associated Press, , National Post, https://nationalpost.com/news/...senator-brain-cancer
John McCain, the war hero who became the GOP’s standard-bearer in the 2008 election, has died. He was 81.
His office says the Arizona senator died Saturday afternoon. He had battled brain cancer.
In 1967, his plane was shot down on a bombing mission over North Vietnam. He was severely injured and spent more than five years as a prisoner of war.
He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1982 and the Senate in 1986. A conservative on most issues, he pushed for campaign finance reform and the effort to account for those missing in Vietnam.
He ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000, then won it in 2008. But he and running mate Sarah Palin lost to Barack Obama.
In more than three decades in Congress, McCain became known as a political maverick willing to stick to his convictions rather than go along with party leaders — an independent streak that has drawn a mix of respect and ire.
Most recently, he has been a thorn in the side of President Donald Trump, keeping up his criticism of the White House even while undergoing severe medical treatment in Arizona.
In July, he issued a searing rebuke of Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling it a “tragic mistake” and “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.”
The son and grandson of Navy admirals, McCain is a former Navy pilot. He was elected to Congress in 1982 and to the Senate four years later, replacing the retired Barry Goldwater.
McCain underwent surgery in July 2017 to remove a blood clot in his brain after being diagnosed with an aggressive tumor called a glioblastoma. It’s the same type of tumor that killed Sen. Edward M. Kennedy at age 77 in 2009.
McCain rebounded quickly, however, returning to Washington and entering the Senate in late July to a standing ovation from his colleagues. In a dramatic turn, he later cast the deciding vote against the Republican health care bill, earning Trump’s enduring wrath.
McCain’s condition worsened last fall, and he has been in Arizona since December. A source close to McCain who asked not to be identified said Friday the senator was at his Arizona ranch with his family.
He is a long-term survivor of melanoma, a deadly skin cancer. But doctors classified his brain cancer as a “primary tumour,” meaning it’s not related to his former malignancies.
McCain ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000, then won it in 2008 before losing the general election to Obama.
When Republicans took control of the Senate in 2015, McCain embraced his new influence as chairman of the Armed Services Committee, pushing for aggressive U.S. military intervention overseas and eager to contribute to “defeating the forces of radical Islam that want to destroy America.”
Asked how he wanted to be remembered, McCain said: “That I made a major contribution to the defence of the nation.”
Former Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman, a close friend, said Friday that “becoming John McCain’s friend has been one of the great blessings of my life. Today I am praying for him and his family.”
Mitt Romney, the GOP’s 2012 presidential nominee, said on Twitter, “No man this century better exemplifies honor, patriotism, service, sacrifice and country first than Senator John McCain. His heroism inspires, his life shapes our character. I am blessed and humbled by our friendship.”