For McCain, a life of courage, politics came down to 1 vote

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  • blarsen BOUNTIFUL, UT
    Aug. 30, 2018 12:16 p.m.

    Divorced his wife who had become invalid from an auto crash and had supported him all through his incarceration. I'm not impressed.

    Was one of the Keating 5, the savings and loan fraud.

    Featured in propaganda films and signed a 'confession' for the NVA while encarcerated in the Hanoi Hilton. McCane expressed deep remorse for these actions in his memoirs. Go read it.

    Played a key role in squelching US efforts to repatriat left-behind POW's/MIA's, for which there was ample evidence. NVA officials said they were surprised US never made a serious attempt to repatriate them, and have said they held some back to use as bargaining chips in exchange for US reparations.

    Supported all recent wars and going back to early 1990's and has urged us to attack Iran and Syria; not even mentioning his support of 'moderate rebels' in Syria, and several other countries.

    Sorry, but elevating McCane to hero and highly principle man status, just doesn't wash, for those who have really followed the man's career.

    RIP for McCane, but I don't think he'll have a good experience when confronted by left-behind POW'S/MIA's in the after life, etc., etc.

  • JBs Logan, UT
    Aug. 28, 2018 5:30 p.m.

    The comments about McCain's home and broken marriage are mind-boggling, particularly as they are obviously made by Trump supporters. Uhhh, how many homes does Trump have? How many marriages and mistresses? And the commenters don't even get why it is so ironic.

    Aug. 28, 2018 3:27 p.m.

    Senator McCain was a rebel politician who would ignore party lines and vote for what he thought was best.

    I didn't always agree with his votes, but it would be a better country if more politicians were brave enough to disregard party lines and vote for what they thought was right for America.

  • cityboy Farmington, UT
    Aug. 28, 2018 2:10 a.m.


    And also ... "one vote" did not make McCain a hero. He sealed that epitaph due to his courageous conduct in the "Hanoi Hilton" and only reinforced it throughout his subsequent public service and leadership.

  • cityboy Farmington, UT
    Aug. 27, 2018 3:43 p.m.


    Actually the USS Forrestal rumor and the rumor that McCain was a "songbird" were not the product of the Democrats but rather of Lew Rockwell and Ted Sampley, both Republicans. They were not pleased with the way McCain helped keep Vietnam POW issues to the forefront. These, and other fictitious stories, came out of the 2000 South Carolina primary, and were led by arch-conservative factions against McCain due to his handily beating favored Bush in New Hampshire.

    Other right-leaning blogs and commentors have recently perpetuated the fiction, including the former airforce general at Fox News who lost his job over it.

    Our president would call the statement that Democrats were responsible for these tales "Fake News".

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 27, 2018 2:41 p.m.

    I find it weird that Democrats are now painting Sen McCain as a hero (for 1 vote). When just a few years earlier (When he had the misfortune of facing off against Barack Obama in a heated Presidential campaign) the same Democrats painted him as a fool and a traitor.

    Democrat posters started a fake news campaign that blamed McCain for the Fire Aboard the USS Forrestal that Killed 134 People

    Google "Did John McCain Cause a Fire Aboard the USS Forrestal that Killed 134 People?" (Snopes)...

    Snopes fact-checks the story, and debunks it with actual accounts of the incident.

    Trump dredged up the same fake news story when McCain said some disparaging things about him (which was deplorable).

    During the Obama campaign several Democrat websites and the Obama campaign also defamed McCain as having been “rat" and a "Traitor" during his five-and-a-half years of captivity as a POW in North Vietnam.

    Now the same Democrats call him a "Hero". Because he's not campaigning against Barack Obama, and he attacked Trump, and for one vote they liked.

    It's weird Democrats now embrace McCain, after all the anti-McCain/Palin rhetoric they were pumping out not long ago.

    My how times change...

  • Utah Girl Chronicles Eagle Mountain, UT
    Aug. 27, 2018 1:34 p.m.

    @ Boyd in Provo

    Thank you for responding and for mentioning my name (twice!) in your comments. No one has ever done that before.

    I always enjoy your comments and look forward to future comments from you.

  • 65TossPowerTrap Salmon, ID
    Aug. 27, 2018 12:38 p.m.

    "Trump's health care bill was dead. McCain's lifelong reputation as free thinker, never to be intimidated, was very much alive."

    A great moment in American history - which explains why Trump is still so bitter.

  • 1aggie Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 27, 2018 12:32 p.m.

    water rocket: " In the beginning of this country, all political positions were "voluntary", meaning that they were not paid for their service. Today, they are not only paid, but paid very well. "

    What counts as a "real job?" Not service in the military? Or serving as a representative in Congress?

    Beginning in 1789 Senators earned a salary ($6/day). $6 in 1789 is equivalent in purchasing power to $171.82 in 2018,

    Since 2009 they make $174,000 and over $100,000 since 1991.

    In addition to his salary as a Senator he also receives pension money (around $73,000 annually) from his service in the Navy.

    OpenSecrets lists his investments. (note: His grandfather on his mother's side became a millionaire from the oil business).

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 27, 2018 12:30 p.m.

    I don't know how "principle-based" McCains last vote was. He campaigned strongly against Obama's healthcare plan the whole time he and Sarah Palin were running for the White House.

    Google "John McCain ran on repealing Obamacare" (USA Today)...

    Why he campaigned against the ACA for years, and then voted to save it when given the chance to end it... was a puzzle for many. Especially those in his own party, who supported his run for the Presidency (when he was totally against Obama's healthcare plan).

    I don't know, but I think his vote after campaigning against the ACA for years, and then voting to save it... came down to 2 things.
    #1. To spite Trump (and I get that, Trump deserved it)
    #2. The state of mind he was in at the time. He changed.

    When he was campaigning against it he was healthy. By the time he could vote on it he had learned the fact that healthcare access was a matter of life-or-death him. How could he deny it to other Americans...

    So I think I understand his vote.

    But he did campaign strongly against Obamacare just a few years before his cancer. So he was not always noble.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 27, 2018 12:06 p.m.

    I like McCain as a person. He always called himself an "Imperfect" and "flawed" servant.
    I think that showed more humility than I've seen from the past 4 President's combined.

    He made a lot of mistakes it's true, and he admitted it. But what was surprising to me was NBC's Meet the Press would use even McCain's death to attack Republicans, and the President.

    They can't help themselves I guess. You could see them trying Sunday morning on the show, but they couldn't help it turning into yet another Trump bashing session in the end. I blame that on the leader/moderator of the show, and the guests he invites (and doesn't invite), and the constant spin of everything to fit their bias, and his carefully guiding everything in the show into an attack on Trump (and by proxy Republicans in general).

    It was sad to watch Sunday Morning. I can see his attacks on Trump and Republicans most weeks, but not spinning/twisting a Republican's death into yet another opportunity to attack Trump.

    There's more going on in this world than destroying the President Chuck Todd.

    McCain was a good guy. Chuck Todd... I'm not so sure.

  • water rocket Magna, UT
    Aug. 27, 2018 11:34 a.m.

    1 aggie, how does a senator, who has never had a real job in his life outside of politics amass a net worth of 16 million? In the beginning of this country, all political positions were "voluntary", meaning that they were not paid for their service. Today, they are not only paid, but paid very well. This is why we will never see term limits.

  • 1aggie Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 27, 2018 11:05 a.m.

    "He had 11 houses, which was brought to light in the heat of the 2008 election. Term limits is beautiful idea"

    John's wife, Cindy Hensley McCain, is the source of the McCain family fortune and nearly all of it is in her name. She inherited the wealth from her father's beer business, Hensley and Company. The wealthiest member of Congress is Darrell Issa. John McCain doesn't rank in the top 25 wealthiest members of Congress. John McCain's net worth, apart from his wife, is reportedly $16 million.
    (Based on minimum net worth, at least forty-percent of the members of Congress are millionaires. source: rollcall)

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Aug. 27, 2018 10:33 a.m.


    You said "The great irony here is that it was President Trump who took the "high road" in his battles with McCain, by simply never mentioning his name, but criticizing his policies.
    In contrast, can you imagine how petty and bitter a man has to be to ask that the President not come to his funeral?!"

    You can't be serious.

    The Draft Dodger in Chief who said "“He’s not a war hero, he was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.” You call that the high road?

    Trump couldn't find the high road if his limo drive drove him across it.

    To bad that you and so many of the Trumpies don't understand the difference between bitterness and a principled stand. Bitterness is a guy who refuses to lower the flag over the White House. Bitterness is a guy who can't call him a war hero a war hero. Bitterness is a President who cannot deal with even the most miniscule slight or negative statement without going on the attack.

    Bitterness is probably the most easily recognizable and obvious recognizable trait of this President.

  • Nosea Forest Grove, OR
    Aug. 27, 2018 10:31 a.m.

    How come no one is mentioning infidelity which broke up John McCain's first marriage, nor his involvement in the Keating Five? He is deemed a saint now, because ...?

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Aug. 27, 2018 10:04 a.m.

    Yes, and he blew that vote. That is what he'll be remember for.

    McCain always did what's best for McCain.

    This vote was a poke into the eye of Trump. Had Romney been president and wanted the same thing, McCain would have voted to repeal.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Aug. 27, 2018 9:51 a.m.

    He had 11 houses, which was brought to light in the heat of the 2008 election. Term limits is beautiful idea.

  • 1aggie Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 27, 2018 9:21 a.m.

    “When he voted against repeal it had more to do with his personal feud with Pres. Trump than his principles. If he had stuck to his principles he would not let his personal feud with Trump get in the way but would have kept his many promises and voted to repeal. ”

    McCain’s no vote had nothing to do with Trump.

    McCain’s no vote had everything to do with his principles. The bill he voted against (Graham-Cassidy) had been written in secret by a small group of Republican Senators without debate, without committee discussion and input and without it being scored by the CBO. McCain saw that it had violated the legislative process.

    Additionally, McCain had higher standards and believed it better to at least try to forge bipartisan solutions.

    It is sad what the Republican Party has become. And we are left worse off without John McCain’s influence and example.

  • reriding Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 27, 2018 9:17 a.m.

    McCain's vote against skinny repeal, despite his dislike of the ACA, was in large part due to the fears of Governor Ducey of AZ that they would be on the hook for over $7 billion in health care costs by 2026. He said all along that he would vote according to his Governor's wishes. He was also frustrated by the secret manner of the repeal process.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    Aug. 27, 2018 8:51 a.m.

    I did not much like the political positions of McCain. I did not vote for him for President. He had his skeletons in the closet, much like other prominent people.

    However, I could respect the life story of such a person. His occasional stances against his party's legislation stands out as an act of courage as much as his status as a POW survivor. In today's America, crossing this president is an act of self sacrifice for the greater good. Few politicians from the party of trump are willing to take that risk to their political life.

  • Thomas Jefferson Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 27, 2018 8:50 a.m.

    I would have voted for McCain until he made his one huge mistake.
    "McCain had chosen a little-known Alaska governor as his running mate for that race, and in the process helped turn Sarah Palin into a political celebrity."

    He bent to pressure and went with a populist professional panderer whos only real talent was telling simple people what they wanted to hear, even though she had to write it down on her hand to remember.

    IMO this one mistake cost him the presidency but I still always respected him.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Aug. 27, 2018 8:46 a.m.

    @mohokat - Aug. 27, 2018 7:07 a.m.
    McCain was his own special interest.
    And Senator McCain's "special interest" was the welfare of the United States and its people.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Aug. 27, 2018 8:36 a.m.

    This morning we are learning that while flags are at half-mast over the Capitol and throughout the nation, the one over the White House has been raised to full-staff.

    We are learning that trump refused his advisors' advice to release a tribute to McCain.

    We saw yesterday that trump's "tribute" to McCain contained a photo of trump and not McCain.

    The childishness of trump stands in stark contrast to the McCain's maturity and good judgement.

  • Traveller Farmington, UT
    Aug. 27, 2018 8:30 a.m.

    It seems kind of narrow-minded of Nancy Benac to distill the man's lengthy lifetime of service to his country to one particular vote that she liked, and that most of McCain's peers didn't.
    For that matter, the barrage of "tributes" to McCain that boil down to essentially "he didn't like Trump" seem rather short-sighted as well.
    Surely you can say more about a devoted public servant than that? Does everything have to reflect badly on Trump?

  • cityboy Farmington, UT
    Aug. 27, 2018 8:09 a.m.

    McCain's feud with Trump had nothing to do with his no vote on overturning the ACA. Sen. McCain held his principles over politics. While he disagreed with many aspects of the ACA, his real beef with the Graham-Cassidy bill, was the terrible process that the Republicans had instituted. No independent budget analysis, no hearings to help refine the bill, and no input from the Democrats. No attempt was made to re-do objectionable parts of the ACA. The lack of any kind of bipartisan effort was anathema to McCain.

    McCain also had a conscience. Leaving 16 million people without healthcare and raising the costs for the rest was unconscionable. We need more, not fewer, politicians like John McCain.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 27, 2018 7:58 a.m.

    The Senator stood up against the radical right and actually had moderate objective and fair views. That is why the flag on the Whitehouse cannot be lowered.

  • RiDal Sandy, UT
    Aug. 27, 2018 7:43 a.m.

    The great irony here is that it was President Trump who took the "high road" in his battles with McCain, by simply never mentioning his name, but criticizing his policies.
    In contrast, can you imagine how petty and bitter a man has to be to ask that the President not come to his funeral?!

  • SorryNotSorry Draper, UT
    Aug. 27, 2018 7:44 a.m.

    Sympathies to the McCain family.

    Speaking of one vote, let me share a story.

    Back in 2008 I had supported Romney and then in the course of seeing his loss became a big fan of the anti-war libertarian movement led by Ron Paul.

    When voting day came for McCain vs Obama I initially checked the box for McCain. Immediately I felt a surge of guilt as if I had done the wrong thing. I wanted to ignore it but it wouldn’t go away until I told the voting agents to help me get a new ballot.

    I ended up voting third party.

    That 1 vote ended up being the most life changing vote in my life. Never again was I going to vote for someone who would not reign in the American Empire.

    Yes, let us be a bastion of liberty, but not one perpetually fights around the world.

    That’s not what capitan Moroni would have done.

  • SorryNotSorry Draper, UT
    Aug. 27, 2018 7:32 a.m.

    Desnews? Why are you highlighting this man as a hero?? Sympathies to the family for sure but a POW, multi term senator who voted consistently for perpetual war around the world is not a hero in my book.

  • robin138 springfield, VA
    Aug. 27, 2018 7:30 a.m.

    John McCain was a true American Patriot and a True American Hero.

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    Aug. 27, 2018 7:07 a.m.

    McCain was his own special interest.

  • Iron Rod Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 27, 2018 6:21 a.m.

    It is unfortunate that President Trump himself could not bring himself to release a tribute to Senator McCain.

    Every one else did.
    Both Republican and Democrat

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Aug. 26, 2018 11:36 p.m.

    Thanks Mitt Romney for your example, and kind positive nature: forgiving Mr. McCain for his treatment of you in 2008, January of that year and fall of 2007, some thought it would be a campaign on military wisdom, and we find out in September of 2008 that we had been in a recession for 9 months and didn't know it, and it takes 9-10 months to find out, and then suddenly it is a campaign on money and finance, yet by that time it is between Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama. It is ugly brutal war of words to run for high office, so everyone knew what they were getting into. Mr. Romney was belittled often in those days, by conservatives and the GOP. Now about to take control of our country by himself. Amazing what 10 years brings. Come full circle.

  • JBs Logan, UT
    Aug. 26, 2018 10:35 p.m.

    I will never forget that moment and the audible gasps. What the Republicans put forth wasn't right, and Senator McCain was not one to do something if he didn't feel it was right. He wanted something better. He cared about the country, not making America great again. He knew it already was and that he needed to stand up for principle in order to support it. Now, Trump’s party doesn't care about that. It is all about expediency and getting re-elected. May God continue to bless Senator McCain.

  • GrainOfSalt Draper, UT
    Aug. 26, 2018 8:49 p.m.

    Senator McCain campaigned on repealing the ACA and repeatedly promised the voters he would do so. When he voted against repeal it had more to do with his personal feud with Pres. Trump than his principles. If he had stuck to his principles he would not let his personal feud with Trump get in the way but would have kept his many promises and voted to repeal. Senator McCain did a lot of good, and in the end he was human like the rest of us. May he rest in peace.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 26, 2018 7:27 p.m.

    Naval officer/POW John McCain did much which is rightly admired and praised, and he did it for the right reasons. I salute him for that service.

    However, Senator McCain eventually became a creature of the swamp over his six terms, where campaign promises are easily ignored and personal animosity trumps policy.

    The story states "Unafraid of contradictions, McCain himself had campaigned against Obama's health care law, but voted against its repeal because Republicans had flouted what he called the "old way of legislating," with full-fledged debate, amendments and committee hearings on the final bill."

    However, flouting the "old way of legislating" was the standard practice under Democrat Harry Reid, and Maverick complacently went along. It is obvious to everyone the his no on Obamacare repeal was strictly a thumb in the eye of President Trump, and to the Republican Party which had nominated him for the Presidency, and to the people of Arizona who has believed his promise to repeal Obamacare.

    In the end, McCain proved to be just another self-adoring politician, tarnishing his prior role as hero. History will decide how his overall record is balanced.

  • Boyd in Provo , 00
    Aug. 26, 2018 6:21 p.m.

    @ Utah Girl Chronicles

    The title to this particular article on Senator McCain states: "For McCain, a life of courage, politics came down to 1 vote." You said, " Trump despised McCain and you despise him."

    The fact is I voted for Senator McCain when he ran for the presidency in 2008. I was impressed with his personal story of heroics in Vietnam prisons for over five and a half years and for the most part I agreed with his decisions of our military actions and his public life of service.

    This article states: "McCain voted against its repeal because Republicans had flouted what he called the "old way of legislating," with full fledged debate, amendments and committee hearings." Utah Girl Chronicles, can you imagine how different the original affordable care act would have been for our entire country if all of congress would have considered the "old way of legislating" instead of all the back room deals made with the Democrats to get their bill passed? This is what many of the citizens in this country are most disappointed with, the careless way they produced this huge bill to the public. Nothing more and nothing less.

  • MPS Kirtland, NM
    Aug. 26, 2018 4:59 p.m.

    Senator McCain sold out the Americans he said he was working for when he voted against the repeal of Obamacare solely for the purpose of poking Donald Trump in the eye. That, even by the headline of this article, is what McCain stood for. People I look up to are not in his vein.

  • Thimk Preston, ID
    Aug. 26, 2018 4:45 p.m.

    The Trump propaganda machine pretty much perpetuates itself in spite of facts to the contrary. History will be much kinder to McCain than it will be to the current administration.

  • WallE Walla Walla, WA
    Aug. 26, 2018 4:29 p.m.

    Impartial 7 - Not to quibble, but he was held roughly 5 more years after the North Vietnamese offer. Otherwise I hope we agree.

    He was far from perfection. But he stood for principles during some tough times. Where he stood for principles he is an inspiration to me and my more mundane challenges. Isn't that the definition of a "hero"?

    May God bless John McCain and may he rest in peace.

  • kbee Syracuse, UT
    Aug. 26, 2018 4:11 p.m.

    John McCain was another flawed human being who did many good things yet failed morally (in his own words). I wish that everything including the previous comments on this subject didn't have to be comparisons and politically motivated. He voted out of spite against Trump to not repeal Obamacare. He divorced his first wife because of an affair with a 17 year younger woman and then married the younger woman within a month. He served our nation and was a hero. Our leaders are flawed, all of them. Our leaders do many good things, all of them. Honor the good in people. Honor John McCain. Let the negative go because guess what, we are all flawed...including John McCain.

  • BlueHusky Mission Viejo, CA
    Aug. 26, 2018 3:23 p.m.

    I was working in a Romney call center in the primary vs McCain. Obama was gaining momentum. Romney had a good healthcare plan similar to the one he approved in Massachusetts . Trump defeated Romney on Super Tuesday and claimed the nomination. But he picked a certifiable idiot in Sarah Palin for VP. I admired McCain, but this was too much. Obama adapted Romney's healthcare plan and I voted for Obama.

    Republican reaction against Obama was thinly concealed racism. But Americans, after growing sick of the GOP war in Iraq, with its complete chaos, and subsequent Wall Street disaster, rolled blue and Obama was unassailable. GOP Senate leader McConnell swore that his job was to make Obama a single term president. And McCain, the good soldier, supported the administration when he could and became friends with the Obamas.

    Now we replace Obama with the vile Trump, and McCain dies with his boots on. Trump most likely will not survive this term, and the GOP is greatly damaged, apparently without a single ethical leader.

    We'll miss you Senator McCain. History will remember you long after the Trump villainy has faded from memory.

  • military mom Herriman, UT
    Aug. 26, 2018 3:20 p.m.


    In addition to you comments, it's important to note that the American military code of conduct for POW's requires prisoners be freed in the order of their capture. McCain refused to violate the code by being released before others who had been held captive longer that he had. McCain never claimed that he was a hero, was famously self-deprecating, and continually pointed to the heroics of his fellow POW's rather than to his own. He deserves every laudatory comment published today by people from all political persuasions, adjectives that will never be associated with our current president.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Aug. 26, 2018 2:45 p.m.

    Let's see. John McCain, being the captive prisoner with a lineage of Naval officers, could've freed himself from his Vietnam captors. All he had to do was read a propaganda statement denouncing America. He did not, resulting in 2 more years of torture and inhumane conditions. The same time that GW Bush, Bill Clinton, and Donald Trump somehow found ways to continually avoid the war. Trump had bone spurs (which didn't keep him off tennis court and night clubs) and he still disrespects John McCain? And the GOP stands behind him? Unbelievable.

  • Utah Girl Chronicles Eagle Mountain, UT
    Aug. 26, 2018 2:27 p.m.

    @ Boyd in Provo

    "Senator McCain, in his defiant manner, voted against repealing this act and pretty much told the country by his vote and his actions what he really stood for."

    51 senators, including two other Republicans, voted against the health care bill. That's how the legislative process works. Trump despised McCain and you despise him. It's not complicated math, now is it?

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Aug. 26, 2018 1:20 p.m.

    McCain was an American patriot. Revered by his political enemies as someone who loved his country and a gentlemen. He was a Maverick with intelligence and grace, some things that are missing from the reality show star a few wish to idolize in this day and age.

  • Boyd in Provo , 00
    Aug. 26, 2018 12:59 p.m.

    "McCain himself had campaigned against Obama's health care law but voted against its repeal..."

    The Affordable Health Care Act was a disaster thrust upon the American public by the Democrats and for the first time Congress had a very good chance of getting rid of this albatross. Senator McCain, in his defiant manner, voted against repealing this act and pretty much told the country by his vote and his actions what he really stood for. Arizona and the country deserved better.