U.S. Senator John McCain dies at 81

Florence Lopez
August 26, 2018

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.

As he exited the market into a summer storm, McCain paused to notice a throng of people waiting in the rain to see him. McCain was a prisoner of war for more than five years.

"I knew that they wouldn't have offered it to me if I hadn't been the son of an admiral". This Oct. 26, 1967, photograph shows Hanoi residents recovering him from the city's Truc Bach lake.

Senator McCain was unabashedly a conservative - succeeding Barry Goldwater as a senator from Arizona - but would reach across the partisan divide for great causes.

But the War in Vietnam did not change his hawkish foreign policy positions.

McCain, who had served in the Senate since 1987, died Saturday at 81.

Early in his Senate career, McCain became embroiled in the "Keating Five" scandal.

With no more elections to run, since 2016, he was a rare and outspoken Republican critic of President Donald Trump. When I say corruption, I don't say that lightly.

"His support for Israel never wavered", he said.

Sections of the USA media labelled him a "maverick" for his seemingly independent streak but he was also noted for his ferocious temper, which spared few, even those close to him.

Domestic politics is often said to stop at the water's edge: that is, while overseas, politicians don't criticise the governments or leaders of their home countries.

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He lost the 2008 presidential election to Barack Obama, and was pilloried for selecting controversial Alaska politician Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running-mate.

But it would be another two years before McCain first emerged onto the national stage. "Laura and I send our heartfelt sympathies to Cindy and the entire McCain family, and our thanks to God for the life of John McCain".

Senator McCain quickly pivoted, noting the US-Australia alliance rests on more than nostalgia for our shared sacrifice, but animated by our hopes for the future, by the common belief that "our destinies are inseparable from the character of the broader world order".

When the war ended in 1973, McCain finally returned to a hero's welcome. He was a war hero because he was captured.

"John McCain will be remembered, I think he should be remembered, as an American hero when you consider his military service".

In July past year, just after his diagnosis, he took part in a late-night Senate session and gave the deciding vote - with a thumbs-down gesture - against partially repealing the contentious Obamacare healthcare law.

ABC News and other media outlets have reported that Sen.

"When you look at history, the first thing dictators do is shut down the press", he said.

Flake also said that he "admired" McCain's dramatic "no" vote on repealing the Affordable Care Act in July of a year ago despite voting the other way, as well as McCain's emphasis on senators working together across party lines. On Aug. 24, his family announced their patriarch was going to discontinue treatment for his cancer. The victor of that election will serve the remainder of McCain's term through 2022.

As speculation grows over what his passing means for the Republican party, tributes continued to flow in, including from his 2008 rival.

"Few of us have been tested the way John once was, or required to show the kind of courage that he did", Mr Obama said. With his good-natured sales pitches for things like "McCain's Fine Gold" (featuring a cameo from Cindy McCain) and self-deprecating humor ("I'm a true maverick - a Republican without money"), the Senator held his own with comedy veteran Fey and generated plenty of laughs himself.

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