FCM – John McCain, Ltjg, USN

John Sidney McCain III (born August 29, 1936) a former crew member A-1 Sky Raider Squadron (VA-65) who served a tour aboard the USS Intrepid (’61-’62) is an American politician and the senior U.S. Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican presidential nominee in the 2008 United States election.

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Autographed photo in this Blog author’s cruise book

McCain followed his father and granfather, both four-star admirals, into the U.S. Navy, graduating from the Naval Academy in 1958. He became a naval aviator, flying ground-attack a/c from the aircraft carriers Intrepid, Enterpirise, Oriskany and Forrestal. During the Vietnam War, he was almost killed in the ’67 USS Forrestal fire.. In October 1967, while on a bombing mission over Hanoi, he was shot down, seriously injured, and captured by the N. Vietnamese. He was a POW 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 as a Navy Captain in 1981 and moved to Arizona, where he 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 four times, most recently in 2010. While generally adhering to conservative principles, McCain at times has had a media reputation as a “maverick” for his willingness to disagree with his party on certain issues. After being investigated and largely exonerated in a political influence scandal of the ’80s 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 ’90s, and for his belief that the war in Iraq should be fought to a successful conclusion. McCain has chaired the Senate Commerce Committee, opposed spending that he considered to be pork barrel, and played a key role in alleviating a crisis over judicial nomiations..

McCain ran for the Republican presidential nomination in ’00 but lost a heated primary season contest to George W. Bush. He secured the nomination in 2008 after coming back from early reversals, but lost to Democratic candidate Barack Obama in the general election. He subsequently adopted more orthodox conservative stances and attitudes and largely opposed actions of the Obama adminstraion.

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