John McCain

John McCain

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Updated Aug 27, 2018 at 09:05PM EDT by 3kole5.

Added Aug 27, 2018 at 03:01PM EDT by Matt.

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John McCain was an American Republican politician who served as as a United States Senator from the state of Arizona from 1987 until his death in 2018. Regarded as a "Maverick" in U.S. politics, McCain was considered a war hero by many, serving the United States Navy in the Vietnam War. He used his reputation and popularity to run two unsuccessful campaigns for United States President.


In 1958, McCain graduated from the United States Naval academy. Shortly after, he served in the Navy during the Vietnam War, where he was captured and held as a prisoner of war from 1967 to 1973.[1] His experiences as a P.O.W. informed many of his politics on war and torture, which would be key platforms in his political career.

Career In Government

In 1982, McCain began the first of two terms in the United States House of Representatives, serving Arizona's 1st district from January 1983 to January 1987.

As his time in the House of Representatives came to an end, McCain was elected to the United States Senate, succeeding Barry Goldwater.

Presidential Campaigns

In 2000, John McCain ran his first presidential campaign, failing to receive the Republican nomination for president, which eventually went to George W. Bush, who would win the presidency. Following the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001, McCain would become a supporter of Bush's military invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Eight years later, he did receive the Republican nomination for president, running against then-Senator Barack Obama in the 2008 United States Presidential Election. As his running mate, McCain selected former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for vice president. On October 11th, 2008, about one month before the election, the Associated Press published a video of McCain defending Obama against detractors who mischaracterized McCain's opponent as "Arab." The video (shown below) received more than one million views in ten years.

Relationship With President Trump

During the President Election, in 2015, then-candidate Donald Trump repeatedly criticized John McCain. He said of Trump, "He’s not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured."[2]

Following the 2016 United State Presidential Election, which resulted in the election of President Donald Trump, John McCain emerged as a supposed political opponent of President Trump. McCain became a hold out vote against Trump's repeal of the Affordable Care Act, before voting against it.[3]

However, despite this perception, McCain continued to vote for much of the president's policies, including the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which largely undid his vote against the Affordable Care repeal in July 2017. The New York Times[4] reported that McCain voted for the president's policies 83% of the time.

Shortly after his death, while many around the country kept their flags at half staff in commemoration of McCain, the White House raised its flag at full staff, which some believed to be an insult to McCain. However, after a brief backlash, the White House lowered the flag once again to half staff.[6]


On July 14th, 2017, it was reported that McCain had undergone surgery to treat a blood clot behind his left eye. Days later, the surgery revealed the presence of an aggressive brain tumor called glioblastoma.

Despite treatment, McCain's conditioned worsened. On August 24th, 2018, McCain's family announced that he would no longer receive treatment. He died the following day. He was 81.[5]

Zombie McCain

One of many political gaffes to emerge from the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election, Zombie McCain is a photoshop meme that spawned from a puzzling photo of four-time Arizona Senator John McCain (shown above) taken shortly after the third and final presidential debate with Barack Obama in October 2008. The photograph captured the Republican nominee for President in an awkward stance with his tongue hanging out and it quickly became fodder for photoshop exploitables.

#Unfollow McCain

#UnfollowMcCain refers to Twitter users unfollowing Arizona Senator John McCain after he tweeted that he was 74 followers away from 3 million, and was hoping to reach that number. This led to thousands of Twitter users unfollowing McCain, presumably in response to their displeasure that McCain voted for the controversial Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

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