John McCain: a fighter in war and politics

US Senator John McCain

On Aug. 24, his family announced their patriarch was going to discontinue treatment for his cancer.

McCain's response starkly illustrated the two men's different characters: The senator sought no apology on his own behalf but said that Trump did owe an apology "to the families of those who have sacrificed in conflict" and of those taken prisoner while "serving their country".

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., applauds during the break in the seventh inning of a baseball game between the Washington Nationals and Arizona Diamondbacks in Washington, Wednesday, May 3, 2017.

McCain had not been in Washington since December, leaving a vacuum in the corridors of the Senate and the television news studios he roamed for decades.

Following an unsuccessful attempt in the 2000 Republican primaries, McCain secured the party's nomination for the 2008 presidential election. In perhaps his last signature political moment, McCain cast a dramatic vote against his party to stop the repeal of Obamacare, coming to the floor in the middle of the vote before pausing and pointing his right thumb down.

During his concession speech in Sedona, McCain would say, "We're Americans".

As described by Booker, John Sidney McCain III was a major player in the political landscape of the state of Arizona. One of his rescuers said many years later that McCain was well treated after being pulled from the lake by villagers.

His death comes a day after his family announced he had stopped treatment for the aggressive illness.

Presidents and lawmakers from both parties honored Sen.

McCain long cultivated the image of a Republican maverick, defying his party on issues ranging from campaign finance reform to immigration.

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The former Alaska governor also downplayed the revelation in McCain's 2018 memoir, The Restless Wave, that he wished he had chosen Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman as his VP running mate instead of her. Palin, who previously attributed the "gut punch" line in the book to ghostwriters, revealed that McCain had never said such a thing to her and that the two had kept in touch over the years despite their differences and failed campaign.

Some speculate that Cindy McCain could join their ranks.

Joe Lieberman, left, and John McCain visit the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City March 19, 2008. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the news "very sad", while House Speaker Paul Ryan tweeted, "The whole House is keeping John and his family in our prayers during this time". He narrowly escaped death in July of that year, when, while preparing for a routine bombing mission, an explosion on the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal engulfed his plane in flames, killing 134 men on board.

Mr McCain was the son and grandson of admirals and followed them to the US Naval Academy.

Because his father was named commander of USA forces in Vietnam that same year, the North Vietnamese offered to release McCain early. First lady Melania Trump thanked McCain for his service to the nation, which included more than five years as a prisoner of war and six terms in the Senate. "He loved me, and I loved him", she wrote.

Four years later, McCain would run and win a seat in the Senate, replacing iconic Arizona Sen.

The future Republican presidential candidate spent more than five years there, enduring torture but refusing an expedited release on account of his background.

Barack Obama, who beat Mr McCain to the White House in 2008, said they shared a "fidelity to something higher".

Editor's note: The views and opinions expressed below are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Sherdog.com, its affiliates and sponsors or its parent company, Evolve Media. But, to me, more than anything, John was a friend. "So I spend my time in gratitude and work as hard as I can to get done what I can get done while I can".

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