Senate career of John McCain, 2001–present

Senate career of John McCain, 2001–present

John Sidney McCain III ran for President of the United States in the 2000 presidential campaign, but failed to gain the Republican Party nomination. He returned to the United States Senate in 2001 after his defeat by George W. Bush, most notable in a bitter battle in the South Carolina primary, with Bush now the President of the United States.

Activities during first Bush term, 2001-2004

Peak maverick

Following the 2000 presidential election, there was a large amount of lingering bitterness between George W. Bush and McCain and between their respective staffs. [cite book | last=Drew | first=Elizabeth | authorlink=Elizabeth Drew | title=Citizen McCain | publisher=Simon & Schuster | year=2002 | isbn=0-641-57240-9 p. 5.] [cite news | url= | title=Alliance and Rivalry Link Bush, McCain | author=Peter Baker | publisher="The Washington Post" | date=2008-04-29 | accessdate=2008-05-09] [cite book |title = Man of the People: The Life of John McCain |first = Paul |last = Alexander |authorlink=Paul Alexander |id = ISBN 0-471-22829-X |year = 2002 |publisher = John Wiley & Sons p. x.] McCain was also upset that the Bush administration hired few if any of his aides for White House positions; [cite news | url= | title=Two McCain Moments, Rarely Mentioned | author=Bumiller, Elisabeth | publisher="The New York Times" | date=2008-03-24 | accessdate=2008-03-24] an unofficial Bush policy blocked McCain staffers from thousands of administration jobs.cite news | url=,8599,1823695,00.html | title=Frenemies: The McCain-Bush Dance | author=Carney, James | publisher="Time" | date=2008-07-16 | accessdate=2008-07-22]

McCain began 2001 by taking positions opposite that of the new administration on a number of matters. In January 2001 the latest iteration of McCain-Feingold was introduced into the Senate; it was opposed by Bush and most of the Republican establishment,cite news |url= |title=John McCain Report: The 'maverick' and President Bush |author=Nowicki, Dan and Muller, Bill |publisher=The Arizona Republic |date=2007-03-01 |accessdate=2007-12-27] but helped by the 2000 election results, it passed the Senate in one form until procedural obstacles delayed it again.cite book |last=Maisel |first=Louis Sandy |coauthors=Kara Z. Buckley |title=Parties and Elections in America: The Electoral Process |publisher=Rowman & Littlefield |year=2004 |isbn=0-742-52670-4 pp. 165–166.] In these few months McCain also opposed Bush on an HMO reform bill, on climate change measures, and on gun legislation. Then in May 2001, McCain voted against the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, Bush's $350 billion in tax breaks over 11 years, which became known as "the Bush tax cuts". He was one of only two Republicans to do so, saying that "I cannot in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us, at the expense of middle class Americans who most need tax relief." [cite press release | url= | title=McCain Statement on Final Tax Reconciliation Bill | author=John McCain | publisher=United States Senate | date=2001-05-26 | accessdate=2008-02-02] cite web |url= |title=McCain switched on tax cuts |author=Holan, Angie Drobnic |work=PolitiFact |publisher=St. Petersburg Times |accessdate=2007-12-27] One McCain associate later described McCain's stance during this time: "John did what he thought was right. If it happened to be something that ticked off Bush, so much the better." McCain used political capital gained from his presidential run, along with improved legislative skills, to become what "The New York Times" later termed "perhaps the [Senate] ’s most influential member";cite news | url= | title=After 2000 Run, McCain Learned to Work Levers of Power | author=Kirkpatrick, David D. | publisher="The New York Times" | date=2008-07-21 | accessdate=2008-08-11] in doing so he built relationships with former Republican adversary Trent Lott and with high-profile Democrat Ted Kennedy.

When Republican Senator Jim Jeffords became an Independent, throwing control of the Senate to Democrats, McCain defended Jeffords against "self-appointed enforcers of party loyalty." Indeed, there was speculation at the time, [cite news | url= | title=McCain Is Considering Leaving GOP: Arizona Senator Might Launch a Third-Party Challenge to Bush in 2004 | author=Edsall, Thomas and Milbank, Dana | publisher=The Washington Post | date=2001-06-02] and in years since,cite news | url= | title=Democrats say McCain nearly abandoned GOP | author=Cusack, Bob | publisher=The Hill | date=2007-03-28 | accessdate=2008-01-17] about McCain himself possibly leaving the Republican Party and becoming an Independent during the first half of 2001. Republicans then held the Senate by only one person; McCain was one of three possible defection targets, along with Jeffords and Lincoln Chafee. Accounts have differed as to who initiated any discussions, and McCain has always adamantly denied, then and later, that he ever considered doing so. In any case, all of this was enough for conservative Arizonan critics of McCain to organize rallies and recalls against him in May and June 2001.

eptember 11 and afterwards

During the September 11, 2001 attacks, McCain was in transit to, and at, his office in the U.S. Capitol.Drew, "Citizen McCain", pp. 131–133.] After being evacuated, he stayed at an associate's Capitol Hill residence and made 17 national and Arizona media appearances to comment upon the attacks. In the days after, he became one of the most visible leadership voices in the nation, saying: "If there's anything Americans should know about this, it's that it's going to be a long struggle ... Americans have gotten used to quick fixes. We haven't been in a long struggle since the Vietnam War." [Drew, "Citizen McCain", pp. 138.] McCain became a supporter of Bush and an advocate for strong military measures against those responsible with respect to the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan; in a high-profile late October 2001 "Wall Street Journal" op-ed piece he wrote, "America is under attack by a depraved, malevolent force that opposes our every interest and hates every value we hold dear." After advocating an overwhelming, not incremental, approach against the Taliban in Afghanistan, including the use of ground forces, he concluded, "War is a miserable business. Let's get on with it." [cite news | url= | title=No Substitute for Victory: War is hell. Let's get on with it. | author=McCain, John | publisher=The Wall Street Journal | date=2001-10-26 | accessdate=2008-01-17] He and Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman wrote the legislation that created the 9/11 Commission, [cite news | url= | title=Senate bill would implement 9/11 panel proposals | publisher=CNN | date=2004-09-08 | accessdate=2008-01-17] while he and Democratic Senator Fritz Hollings co-sponsored the Aviation and Transportation Security Act that federalized airport security under what became the Transportation Security Administration. [cite news | url= | title=Senate Approves Aviation Security, Anti-Terrorism Bills | work=Online NewsHour | publisher=PBS | date=2001-10-12 | accessdate=2008-01-17] On October 18, 2001, McCain stated on the "Late Show with David Letterman" that "There is some indication, and I don't have the conclusions, but some of this anthrax may – and I emphasize may - have come from Iraq," [ [ One Month After 9/11, McCain Said Anthrax ‘May Have Come From Iraq,’ Warned Iraq Is ‘The Second Phase’] ",, August 1, 2008] more than a week before ABC's series of reports identifying the composition of the anthrax samples as uniquely Iraqi, a determination then and now generally considered to be erroneous. [citeweb|title=Wednesday's Homeland Security Briefing|url=||accessdate=2008-04-21]

McCain-Feingold had been yet further delayed by the effects of September 11.Maisel, Buckley (2004), pp. 165–166.] Finally in March 2002, aided by the aftereffects of the Enron scandal, it passed both House and Senate and, known formally as the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, was signed into law by President Bush. Bush declined to stage a White House Rose Garden signing ceremony for it, not wanting to give McCain the public satisfaction. Nevertheless, seven years in the making, it was McCain's greatest legislative achievement and had become, in the words of one biographer, "one of the most famous pieces of federal legislation in modern American political history." [Alexander (2002), p. 168.]

Meanwhile, in discussions over proposed U.S. action against Iraq, McCain was a strong supporter of the Bush position, labeling Saddam Hussein "a megalomaniacal tyrant whose cruelty and offense to the norms of civilization are infamous." Unequivocally stating that Iraq had substantial weapons of mass destruction, McCain stated that Iraq was "a clear and present danger to the United States of America." Accordingly he voted for the Iraq War Resolution in October 2002. Both before and immediately after the Iraq War started in March 2003, McCain agreed with the Bush administration's assertions that the U.S. forces would be treated as liberators by most of the Iraqi people. [cite news | url= | title=Ignoring McCain's "greeted as liberators" assurance, Wash. Post editorial credited him with prewar "foresight" | publisher=Media Matters | date=2007-04-30 | accessdate=2008-01-17] In 2003, McCain protested the USAF award of a tanker contract to Boeing to lease aircraft to replace its aging fleet of aerial tankers. [*cite web
last = Hedgpeth
first = Dana, and Robert O'Harrow, Jr.
year = June 19, 2008
url =
title = Air Force Faulted Over Handling Of Tanker Deal
work = Washington Post
accessdate = 2008-06-20
] In May 2003, McCain voted against the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003, the second round of Bush tax cuts which served to extend and accelerate the first (which he had also voted against), saying it was unwise at a time of war. By November 2003, after a trip to Iraq, McCain was publicly questioning Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's handling of the Iraq War, saying that "All of the trends are in the wrong direction" and that more U.S. troops were needed to handle the deteriorating situation in the Sunni Triangle. [cite news | url= | title=Newsmaker: Sen. McCain | publisher=PBS | work=NewsHour | date=2003-11-06 | accessdate=2008-01-17] By December 2004, McCain was bluntly announcing that he had lost confidence in Rumsfeld.

In October 2003 the McCain-Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act failed a vote in the Senate by 55 votes to 43, but would have introduced a cap and trade system of greenhouse gases at the 2000 emissions level.cite web|url=|title=Summary of the Lieberman-McCain Climate Stewardship Act|publisher=Pew Centre on Global Climate Change|accessdate=2008-04-24] In 2005 it was reintroduced under the altered moniker of the Climate Change Stewardship and Innovation Act, but again failed to gather enough support; Republicans opposed the Bill 49-6, while Democrats supported it 37-10. [ [ A breakdown of the Senate vote on the Climate Stewardship Act | Grist | Muckraker | 05 Nov 2003 ] ] . If passed, the acts would have capped 2010 CO2 emissions at the 2000 level. Residential and agricultural areas, as well as other areas deemed "not feasible", would be exempt. The bill would have also established a scholarship at the National Academy of Sciences for those studying climatology.

2004 elections

In the 2004 U.S. presidential election, McCain was once again frequently mentioned for the vice-presidential slot, only this time as part of the "Democratic" ticket underneath nominee John Kerry.cite news |url= |title=McCain Is Said To Tell Kerry He Won't Join |author=David M. Halbfinger |publisher=The New York Times |date=2004-06-12 |accessdate=2008-01-03] cite news | url= | title=McCain's Resistance Doesn't Stop Talk of Kerry Dream Ticket | author=Balz, Dan and VandeHei, Jim | publisher=The Washington Post | date=2004-06-12 | accessdate=2008-01-18] Kerry and McCain had been close since their work on the early 1990s Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, and the pairing was seen as having great allure to independent voters, with polls seeming to confirm the notion. McCain had seemed open such a possibility in a March 2004 interview, only to have his staff reject it hours later. [cite news | url= | title=McCain: I'd 'entertain' Democratic VP slot | publisher=Associated Press for "USA Today" | date=2004-03-10 | accessdate=2008-05-06] In June 2004, it was reported that Kerry had informally offered the slot to McCain several times, but McCain had declined, either on grounds that it would be infeasible and weaken the presidency or that the vice-presidency held no appeal for him or that he thought Bush was a better president than Kerry would be. McCain's office formally denied that any vice-presidential offer had taken place. At the 2004 Republican National Convention, McCain enthusiastically supported Bush for re-election,cite news |url= |title=McCain praises Bush as 'tested' |author=Loughlin, Sean | |date=2004-08-30 |accessdate=2007-11-14] praising Bush's management of the War on Terror since the September 11 attacks. At the same time, McCain defended Kerry by labeling the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign against Kerry's Vietnam war record as "dishonest and dishonorable" and urging the Bush campaign to condemn it. [cite news |url = |title = Vets group attacks Kerry; McCain defends Democrat |publisher = San Francisco Chronicle|date = 2004-08-06 |accessdate = 2006-08-15 |first = Zachary |last = Coile] By August 2004, McCain had the best favorable-to-unfavorable rating (55 percent to 19 percent) of any national politician. In the fall general election, McCain worked very hard for Bush; Bush campaign political director Terry Nelson later said, " [McCain] was our most important surrogate."

McCain was himself up for re-election as Senator in 2004. There was some talk of Representative Jeff Flake mounting a Republican primary challenge against McCain;cite news |url= |title=John McCain Report: The 'maverick' goes establishment |author=Nowicki, Dan and Muller, Bill |publisher=The Arizona Republic |date=2007-03-01 |accessdate=2007-12-23] Stephen Moore, president of the ideologically-oriented Club for Growth (which attempts to defeat those it considers Republican in Name Only), led talk for the prospect, saying "Our members loathe John McCain." [cite news |url= |title=Republican 'Club' on War Path Against Moderates |author=Whitesides, John |publisher=Reuters |date=2002-09-04 |accessdate=2007-12-23] Flake decided not to do it, later saying "I would have been whipped."cite news |url= |title=Sacred Cows and Revered Rodents |author=Baumann, David |publisher=National Journal |date=2006-03-25 |accessdate=2007-12-23] In the general election McCain had his biggest margin of victory yet, garnering 77 percent of the vote against little-known Democrat Stuart Starky, an eighth grade math teacher [cite news |url= |title= McCain, Starky keep it friendly |author=Wells, Holly |publisher=Arizona Daily Wildcat |date=2004-10-18 |accessdate=2007-12-23] whom "The Arizona Republic" termed a "sacrificial lamb". Exit polls showed that McCain even won a majority of the votes cast by Democrats. [cite news |url= |title=Election 2004: U.S. Senate - Arizona - Exit Poll |accessdate=2007-12-23]

Following his 2000 presidential campaign, McCain made frequent appearances on entertainment programs on television and also in film, and even more so after 2004. He hosted the October 12, 2002, episode of "Saturday Night Live", making him the third U.S. Senator after Paul Simon and George McGovern, to host the show.

Activities during second Bush term, 2005-2008


McCain has been a regular guest on "The Daily Show"; as of 2006 he had been on that show eleven times, more than anyone else. McCain appeared in slightly edgy bits on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien", [cite web |title = Celebrity secrets: McCain secrets |work = Late Night with Conan O'Brien |accessdate = 2006-08-16 |url ='Brien/celebritysecrets/mccain.shtml] and also appeared several times on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and the "Late Show with David Letterman".McCain made a brief cameo on the television show "24" in 2006cite web |title = John McCain |publisher = Internet Movie Database |accessdate = 2007-05-11 |url =] and also made a cameo in the 2005 summer movie "Wedding Crashers". In more serious fare, a television film entitled "Faith Of My Fathers", based on McCain's memoir of his experiences as a POW, aired on Memorial Day, 2005, on A&E. [ [ "Recently Reviewed: Faith of My Fathers"] . "Variety". 2005-05-30. Retrieved on 2006-11-17.] McCain was also interviewed in the 2005 documentary "Why We Fight" by Eugene Jarecki. [cite news |url= |title="Why We Fight": A sobering look at the military-industrial complex |author=Keogh, Tom |publisher=The Seattle Times |date=2006-02-10 |accessdate=2008-01-09] McCain continued to show up on the network Sunday political talk shows "Meet the Press", "Face the Nation", and "This Week"; from 2001 to April 2008 he appeared on them a total of 152 times, much more than any other political figure. [cite news | url= | title=How Democrats Can Beat McCain | author=Paul Waldman | publisher="The American Prospect" | date=2008-04-29 | accessdate=2008-05-09]

In April 2006, McCain was named one of America's 10 Best Senators by "Time" magazine, [cite news | url=,9171,1184028,00.html | title=America's 10 Best Senators | author=Massimo Calabresi and Perry Bacon Jr. | publisher="Time" | date=2006-04-16 | accessdate=2008-08-14] which said: "McCain has earned ... moral authority over the years by being patient and making the big play. Many of the problems McCain tackles are entrenched and unexciting: they challenge the rules in Washington and the cynicism of voters at home." [cite news | url=,8599,1183947,00.html | title=John McCain: The Mainstreamer | author=Massimo Calabresi and Perry Bacon Jr. | publisher="Time" | date=2006-04-16 | accessdate=2008-08-14]

Due in large part to his presidential candidacy, McCain missed over half of his Senate votes in 110th Congress through early August 2007. This was more than any other senator except Tim Johnson, who was absent due to health reasons. [cite web | url= | title=Senate members who missed votes: 110th Congress | publisher="The Washington Post" | date=early August 2007 | accessdate=2008-03-10]

Domestic issues

frame|McCain_speaking_in_Senate_against_earmarking, February 2007] On judicial appointments, McCain was long a believer in judges who “would strictly interpret the Constitution.” McCain drew the ire of the originalist and similar legal movements in the U.S. in May 2005, however, when he led the so-called "Gang of 14" in the Senate, which established a compromise that preserved the ability of senators to filibuster judicial nominees, but only in "extraordinary circumstances." [ [ "Senators compromise on filibusters; Bipartisan group agrees to vote to end debate on 3 nominees"] , CNN (2005-05-24). Retrieved 2008-03-16.] The compromise took the steam out of the filibuster movement, but some Republicans remained disappointed that the compromise did not eliminate filibusters of judicial nominees in all circumstances. [Hulse, Carl. [ "Distrust of McCain Lingers Over '05 Deal on Judges"] , "The New York Times" (2008-02-25). Retrieved 2008-03-16.] In September 2005, McCain voted to confirm John Roberts as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and in January 2006, voted to confirm Sam Alito to the bench as well, later calling them "two of the finest justices ever appointed to the United States Supreme Court."cite news |url= |title=McCain takes grim message to South Carolina |author=Curry, Tom | |date=2007-04-26 |accessdate=2007-12-27]

In January 2005, McCain, began his second stint as chair of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.cite book | title =The Almanac of American Politics | edition=2008 | last=Barone | first=Michael | authorlink=Michael Barone (pundit) | coauthors=Cohen, Richard E. | publisher = National Journal |location= Washington, D.C. | year=2007 |isbn=0-8923-4117-3 p. 98.] Working with the rest of the Arizona delegation, in late 2004 he had helped pass the Arizona Water Settlements Act, the most extensive Indian water settlement ever. He played a leading role in exposing the Jack Abramoff Indian lobbying scandal, finding money laundering, fraud, and tax violations [Schmidt, Susan; Grimaldi, James. [ “Panel Says Abramoff Laundered Tribal Funds; McCain Cites Possible Fraud by Lobbyist”] , "Washington Post" (2005-06-23).] as rival tribes lobbied for congressional favor. The investigations continued into 2006, with the committee tracing Abramoff's activities across six tribes and states. [Anderson, John. " [ Follow the Money] " (Simon and Schuster 2007), page 254.] McCain spoke harshly of Abrahoff: "What sets this tale apart, what makes it truly extraordinary, is the extent and degree of the apparent exploitation and deceit." In response to this and other developments regarding Indian gaming, by 2005 and 2006 McCain was pushing for amendments to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act that would limit creation of off-reservation casinos by Indian tribescite web|url=|title=New rules on Indian gaming face longer odds|author=James B. Sweeney] as well as limiting the movement of tribes across state borders. [cite news | url= | title=Indians' Wish List: Big-City Sites for Casinos | author=Fox Butterfield | publisher="The New York Times" | date=2005-04-08] After McCain lost his chair position following Democrats regaining the Senate in 2007, he continued to introduce a number of Indian affairs-related legislation. [cite web|url=|title=McCain Pledge Puts Candidate on Indian Radar]

Breaking from his 2001 and 2003 votes, McCain supported the Bush tax cut extension in May 2006, known as the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005, saying not to do so would amount to a tax increase. The McCain-Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act was reintroduced for a third time January 2007, this time with the co-sponsorship of Barack Obama, among others. It featured a gradually reducing cap on emissions, and again failed the Senate vote, despite bipartisan support. [cite web|url=|title=Lieberman, McCain Reintroduce Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act |publisher=Joe Lieberman, United States Senator|date=2007-12-01|accessdate=2008-04-24]

Working with Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy, McCain was a strong proponent of comprehensive immigration reform, which would involve legalization, guest worker programs, and border enforcement components: the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act was never voted on in 2005, while the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006 passed the Senate in May 2006 but then failed in the House. In June 2007, President Bush, McCain and others made the strongest push yet for such a bill, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007, but it aroused furious grassroots opposition among talk radio listeners and others as an "amnesty" program, [Preston, Julia. [ "Grass Roots Roared and Immigration Plan Collapsed"] , "New York Times" (2007-07-10). Retrieved 2008-07-27.] [Steinhauer, Jennifer. [ "After Bill's Fall, G.O.P. May Pay in Latino Votes"] , "New York Times" (2007-07-01). Retrieved 2008-05-10.] and twice failed to gain cloture in the Senate and thus failed. [ [ "Why the Senate Immigration Bill Failed"] , "Rasmussen Reports" (2007-06-08). Retrieved 2008-05-10.]

Iraq and national security

Owing to his time as a POW, McCain has been recognized for his sensitivity to the detention and interrogation of detainees in the War on Terror. McCain has been an opponent of the Bush administration's use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" in the War on Terror, and has specifically referred to waterboarding as torture. [ [ Senate ignores veto threat in limiting detainee treatment], Oct. 6, 2005] [ [ Highlights from the GOP debate], May 16, 2007] On October 3, 2005, McCain introduced the McCain Detainee Amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill for 2005. On October 5, 2005, the United States Senate voted 90-9 to support the amendment.cite web |title = Roll Call Votes 109th Congress - 1st Session on the Amendment (McCain Amdt. No. 1977) |work = United States Senate|date = 2005-10-05 |url = |accessdate = 2006-08-15] The amendment prohibits inhumane treatment of prisoners, including prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, by confining interrogations to the techniques in FM 34-52 Intelligence Interrogation.Although Bush had threatened to veto the bill if McCain's language was included, [cite news |url= |title=Senate ignores veto threat in limiting detainee treatment | |date=October 6, 2005 |accessdate=2008-01-02] the President announced on December 15, 2005 that he accepted McCain's terms and would "make it clear to the world that this government does not torture and that we adhere to the international convention of torture, whether it be here at home or abroad." [cite news |url = |title = McCain, Bush agree on torture ban |publisher = CNN |date = 2005-12-15 |accessdate = 2006-08-16] Bush made clear his interpretation of this legislation in a signing statement, reserving what he interpreted to be his Presidential constitutional authority in order to avoid further terrorist attacks. [cite press release |title = President's Statement on Signing of H.R. 2863, the 'Department of Defense, Emergency Supplemental Appropriations to Address Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, and Pandemic Influenza Act, 2006' |publisher = White House |url =|date = 2005-12-30 |accessdate = 2006-08-16] He has also said that he intends to "immediately close" the Guantanamo Bay detainment camp. [cite news |first=Philip |last=Sherwell |title=Straight-talking McCain vows to fix world's view of the 'ugly American' |url= |publisher=Sunday Telegraph |date=2007-03-19 |accessdate=2008-02-07]

In February 2008, despite his earlier statements against waterboarding, McCain voted against a ban on the technique's use by the CIA. [cite web |url=|title= Senate Passes Interrogation Ban|accessdate=2008-03-10 |publisher= "The New York Times"|date= 2008-02-13|author= Herszenhorn, David M] The bill in question contained other provisions to which McCain objected, and his spokesman stated: "This wasn't a vote on waterboarding. This was a vote on applying the standards of the [Army] field manual to CIA personnel." [cite web |url=|title= Vote Against Waterboarding Bill Called Consistent|accessdate=2008-06-09 |publisher= "Washington Post"|date= 2008-02-16|author= Eggen, Dan " [T] he aide said, there are noncoercive interrogation techniques not used by the Army that could be useful to the CIA."]

McCain continued questioning the progress of the war in Iraq. In September 2005, he questioned Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers' habit of optimistic outlooks on the war's progress: "Things have not gone as well as we had planned or expected, nor as we were told by you, General Myers." [cite book | last=Ricks | first=Thomas E. | authorlink=Thomas E. Ricks (journalist) | title= | publisher=Penguin Press | year=2006 | location=New York | isbn=1-59420-103-X p. 412.] In August 2006 he criticized the administration for continually understating the effectiveness of the insurgency: "We [have] not told the American people how tough and difficult this could be." From the beginning McCain strongly supported the Iraq troop surge of 2007; [cite news | url= | title=McCain Defends Bush's Iraq Strategy | author=Baldor, Lolita | publisher=Associated Press for CBS News | date=January 12, 2007 | accessdate=2007-01-13] the strategy's opponents labeled it "McCain's plan" [cite news | url= | title='Move On' Takes Aim at McCain’s Iraq Stance | author=Giroux, Greg | publisher=The New York Times | date=2007-01-17 | accessdate=2008-01-18] and University of Virginia political science professor Larry Sabato said, "McCain owns Iraq just as much as Bush does now." The surge and the war were quite unpopular during most of the year, even within the Republican Party,cite news | url=,8599,1706450-3,00.html | title=The Resurrection of John McCain | author= Carney, James| work=Time | date=2008-01-23 | accessdate=2008-02-01] as McCain's presidential campaign was underway; faced with the consequences, McCain frequently responded, "I would much rather lose a campaign than a war." [cite news | url= | title=Iraq won't change McCain | publisher=CNN | author=Crawford, Jamie | date=2007-07-28 | accessdate=2008-01-18] In January 2008, when a questioner said, "President Bush has talked about our staying in Iraq for 50 years," McCain responded, "Make it a hundred. We've been in Japan for 60 years, we've been in South Korea for 50 years or so. That'd be fine with me as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed. That's fine with me. I hope it will be fine with you if we maintain a presence in a very volatile part of the world where Al Qaeda is training, recruiting, equipping, and motivating people every single day."cite news
title = McCain's Hundred Years War
url =
publisher = "Dallas Morning News"
date = 3 January 2008

In spring 2008, McCain engaged in legislative conflict with fellow Naval Academy graduate and Vietnam veteran Jim Webb, regarding the latter's Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act.cite news | url=,0,3534674.story | title=McCain won't back Webb's GI Bill plan | author=David Lerman | publisher="Daily Press" | date=2008-04-16 | accessdate=2008-05-09] McCain thought it too bureaucratic and that it would weaken retention of service members, and proposed alternate legislation instead.cite news | url= | title=GI bill sparks Senate war | author=David Rogers | publisher="The Politico" | date=2008-04-30 | accessdate=2008-05-09]

Awards and honors

*In December 2004, McCain became an Honorary Patron of the University Philosophical Society at Trinity College Dublin. [cite web |title = "Honourary Patrons" |work = University Philosophical Society |publisher= Trinity College Dublin |date = 2008-04-12 |url = |accessdate = 2008-05-10]
*On September 28, 2005, The Eisenhower Institute awarded McCain the Eisenhower Leadership Prize. [cite press release |title = Senator John S. McCain to Receive 2005 Eisenhower Leadership Prize |publisher = The Eisenhower Institute |date = 2005-08-24 |url =|accessdate = 2006-11-14] The prize recognizes individuals whose lifetime accomplishments reflect Dwight D. Eisenhower's legacy of integrity and leadership.
*On December 5, 2006, McCain was awarded the Henry M. Jackson Distinguished Service Award by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. [cite press release |url=,2359,2166,1366,3692 |title=JINSA Bestows Distinguished Service Award Upon Senator John McCain |publisher=Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs |date=2006-12-05 |accessdate=2007-12-27]
*On February 13, 2007, the World Leadership Forum presented McCain with the Policymaker of the Year Award. The award is given internationally to someone who has "created, inspired or strongly influenced important policy or legislation". [cite news |url= |title=Senator John McCain receives Policy Maker of the Year Award |publisher="Leader" magazine |author=Turner, Malcolm |date=2007-02-20 |accessdate=2007-12-27]

Election results

{|class="wikitable" style="margin:0.5em ; font-size:95%"
+ U.S. Senate elections in Arizona (Class III): Results 2004–presentcite web |url= |title=Election Statistics |publisher=Clerk of the House of Representatives] !|Year!!|Democrat!|Votes!|Pct!!|Republican!|Votes!|Pct!!|3rd Party!|Party!|Votes!|Pct!!|3rd Party!|Party!|Votes!|Pct!!|3rd Party!|Party!|Votes!|Pct
Party shading/Democratic |Stuart Starky
Party shading/Democratic align="right" |404,507
Party shading/Democratic |21%|
Party shading/Republican |John McCain
Party shading/Republican align="right" |1,505,372
Party shading/Republican |77%|
Party shading/Libertarian |Ernest Hancock
Party shading/Libertarian |Libertarian
Party shading/Libertarian align="right" |51,798
Party shading/Libertarian align="right" |3%||||||||||


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  • Cultural and political image of John McCain — John McCain s personal character has dominated the image and perception of him.[1] His family s military heritage, his rebellious nature as a youth, his endurance over his treatment as a prisoner of war, his resulting physical limitations, his… …   Wikipedia

  • List of John McCain presidential campaign endorsements, 2008 — Main article: John McCain presidential campaign, 2008 John McCain, the nominee of the Republican party in the 2008 United States presidential election, has gained the endorsements of many high profile figures. Both McCain and his Democratic… …   Wikipedia

  • John Warner — Infobox Officeholder name = John William Warner imagesize = small jr/sr = Senior Senator state = Virginia term start = January 2, 1979 term end = alongside = Jim Webb viceprimeminister = deputy = president = primeminister = predecessor = William… …   Wikipedia

  • John Kerry — Infobox Senator name = John F. Kerry nationality = American imagesize = 220px jr/sr = Junior Senator state = Massachusetts party = Democratic term start = January 3, 1985 alongside = Ted Kennedy preceded = Paul Tsongas succeeded = date of birth …   Wikipedia

  • John Glenn — Infobox Senator name=John Herschel Glenn, Jr. nationality=American jr/sr=United States Senator state=Ohio party=Democratic term=December 24, 1974 – January 6, 1999 preceded=Howard Metzenbaum succeeded=George Voinovich date of birth=birth date and …   Wikipedia

  • John Kerry presidential campaign, 2004 — Infobox U.S. federal election campaign, 2008 committee = John Kerry for President campaign = U.S. presidential election, 2004 candidate = John Kerry U.S. Senator 1985–present status = Lost election November 2, 2004 affiliation = Democratic Party… …   Wikipedia

  • Cindy McCain — Cindy Hensley McCain Cindy McCain in 2008 Born …   Wikipedia