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Maverick, straight-talker, patriot: Remembering the life, legacy and impact of John McCain on modern day politics

Sen. John McCain waves to protestors during a mass rally of the opposition at Independence Square in Kiev on Sunday.
Sen. John McCain waves to protestors during a mass rally of the opposition at Independence Square in Kiev on Sunday.
Genya Savilov /AFP/Getty Images

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John McCain, US senator and former presidential candidate, died Saturday at his ranch in Arizona after battling brain cancer for more than a year.

He was 81. He had discontinued medical treatment, his family said Friday.

McCain was an outspoken voice on policy and politics to the end. He was a Vietnam prisoner of war camp and was later elected to the Senate from Arizona six times but twice thwarted in seeking the presidency.

McCain’s service to his country began more than six decades ago at the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis and will end there in a cemetery overlooking Maryland’s Severn River. In Washington, McCain will lie in state Friday in the Capitol Rotunda with a formal ceremony and time for the public to pay respects. On Saturday, former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama are expected to speak at a service at Washington National Cathedral.

We discuss his life and political impact.

With files from the Associated Press


Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), United States Senator for California; she tweets @SenFeinstein

Luige del Puerto, editor and associate publisher of the Arizona Capitol Times; he tweets @ldelpuerto

Doug Cole, Arizona political strategist and former Arizona communications director to Sen. McCain’s 2000 presidential campaign

Elaine S. Povich, author of “John McCain: American Maverick” (Sterling, May 2018) and “John McCain: A Biography” (Greenwood, February 2009); she is a staff writer for “Stateline,” a Pew Charitable Trusts publication providing daily reporting and analysis on trends in state policy and an adjunct professor of journalism at the University of Maryland; she tweets @espovich

Bill Jones, former California Secretary of State and former Republican Assembly Minority Leader; he was John McCain’s campaign chair for California in 2008; he was also worked as one of the chairs on McCain’s 2000 campaign

Jon Talton, Arizona Republic columnist between 2000 and 2007, 4th generation Arizonan, longtime Arizona political observer, current columnist for The Seattle Times

Barbara Boxer, retired United States Senator for California from 1993 to 2017 and host of the podcast "Fight Back;" she tweets @BarbaraBoxer