Republican McCain seasoned veteran, roots in Navy
After 22 years in the Navy, four years in the House of Representatives, and 12 in the Senate, John McCain, 72, is looking for a spot in the White House.
Dale Jarman, current adviser to the College Republicans and manager of the Pearce Hall Computer Center, spoke to McCain’s strength and military prowess.
“He is a very seasoned person,” Jarman said. “He handles stressful situations well.”
McCain was born in Panama at the Coco Solo Naval Air Station in 1936 to John S. and Roberta McCain. His family moved around with his father, a naval officer, and John McCain attended some 20 schools before graduating.
After high school, McCain went to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis. He served in the Vietnam War, and was shot down on October 26, 1967, over Hanoi. He was offered early release after his father was named commander of U.S. forces in Vietnam, but turned it down.
He was finally released in 1973 after five and a half years.
While imprisoned, he was beaten and was subject to solitary confinement.
After McCain’s release, he met and married Cindy Lou Hensley after a no-contest divorce from his previous wife. He retired from the Navy in 1981, and began his career in politics.
McCain was elected to the House of Representatives in 1982, representing the 1st Congressional District of Arizona. In 1986, McCain was elected to the U.S. Senate.
In the 1990s, McCain became known for standing independent of party ties by speaking out in both Republican and Democratic affairs. He supported Clinton’s Supreme Court nominees, and started to be known as an advocate for eliminating wasteful spending.
In 1994, McCain and U.S. Senator Russ Feingold, D-Wisconsin, chaired a bill on campaign finance reform, and in 2002 he issued the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act with another sponsor. McCain also took on the tobacco industry in 1998 by proposing legislation that would help discourage young smokers and add taxes to tobacco products.
McCain published a memoir in 1999 that later became both a bestseller and a self-titled movie. The book covers his childhood, experiences in Vietnam and his career as a naval aviator.
After his unsuccessful run at the presidency in 2000, McCain disagreed with several issues in the Bush administration, such as HMO reform and climate change. He was one of only two Senate Republicans who voted against the Bush tax cuts. He soon became known as one of the most influential members of the Senate.
McCain co-authored many legislation issues during this time, including the 9/11 Commission and the Aviation and Transportation Security Act. McCain’s 1994 finance reform bill was finally passed into law in 2002. McCain still upheld his reputation as a “maverick” by publicly disagreeing with both members and issues in the Bush administration.
In 2005, McCain introduced the McCain Detainee Amendment into law. The bill protects war prisoners against inhumane treatment. Bush was quoted as speaking against the bill, but eventually accepted its terms.
Today, McCain advocates more time in Iraq in order to properly establish safety before pulling out. When questioned in 2007 by CNN about McCain’s unpopular stances about the war, he said the war is more important than his campaign.
“I would much rather lose a campaign than a war,” McCain said.
Ross Priehs, a business major at CMU and a self-defined libertarian, has long agreed with McCain’s stances on government and economy.
“I grew up Republican, and it’s what makes sense to me,” the Novi senior said. “I like the way (the G.O.P.) runs business.”
Today, John McCain still serves in the Senate, representing Arizona.
McCain has seven children and four grandchildren, and resides in Phoenix. His vice presidential candidate is Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
More information about John McCain can be found at johnmccain.com.
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