On Sunday, Sen. John McCain was finally laid to rest during a private ceremony at the U.S. Naval Academy. His five day cross country funeral was carefully planned by the Senator and his family long before his passing was announced on Friday, August 25.
Ever since June 2017, Capitol Hill insiders and Arizona politicos watched McCain closely after it became apparent that the 81-year-old politician was struggling physically.
On June 7, 2017, during questioning of former FBI director James Comey, Sen. John McCain was noticeably confused. His alarming performance caused concern on Capitol Hill and Arizona.
McCain later claimed that he was simply exhausted after watching a late night baseball game. Few who had watched him on the Hill believed that explanation. Yet, despite his obvious ill health, the excuse was promoted by the Arizona Republic and other mainstream media outlets and the public bought it.
In his book, “The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations,” McCain claimed that he was scheduled for a regular physical on Friday, July 14, 2017 at the Mayo Clinic.
After the physical, while on his way to the family’s Cornville compound, he was instructed by his physician to return to the Clinic because a brain scan had discovered a blood clot above his left eye. Two days later, doctors confirmed that the Senator was diagnosed with a deadly form of brain cancer.
Arizona Senator John McCain underwent a procedure to remove a blood clot from above his left eye on Friday, July 14 at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix, according to the hospital officials. Surgeons removed a 5-cm blood clot during a craniotomy.
The Mayo Clinic advises that “tissue pathology reports are pending within the next several days. The hospital reports that the senator is “resting comfortably at home and is in good condition. His Mayo Clinic doctors report that the surgery went ‘very well’ and he is in good spirits. Once the pathology information is available, further care will be discussed between doctors and the family.”
Arizona Senator John McCain has been diagnosed with brain cancer according to his office. McCain had surgery to remove a to remove a blood clot from above his left eye on Friday, July 14 at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix, according to the hospital officials.
When one of McCain’s political enemies, Dr. Kelli Ward, who challenged him in his 2016 re-election bid, pointed out that recovery from glioblastoma was highly unlikely, she was attacked by the media. Ward had merely expressed concerns about McCain’s ability to continue his serve as a senator based on her professional experience. The Arizona Republic seemed to double down on forwarding McCain’s baseless narrative that he would return to work.
Despite the grim prognosis, McCain did return to the Senate for a short time against his doctor’s advice. His daughter said later that she was terrified that the return trip could kill him. In light of the fact that the 81-year-old, whose body was ravaged by years of torture in a prisoner of war camp, had just undergone brain surgery, Meghan’s fear was completely justified.
On July 28, 2017 McCain showed up on the Hill specifically to kill the Obamacare Repeal effort by the Trump administration. In dramatic fashion, the Senator gave thumbs down to the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, and protected the interests’ of some of his largest donors.
Just days before the fateful vote, Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar predicted McCain’s action in an interview on the James T. Harris radio show on KFYI. Gosar said, “The Democrats are the opposition, but the Senate is the enemy.”
McCain’s vote doomed countless Arizonans, who have been unable to afford health insurance due to the restriction of the Obamacare Healthcare Marketplace. Congress is exempt from Obamacare, but McCain’s constituents were not so privileged. Because of Obamacare, many Arizonans have seen some of the most dramatic insurance premium cost increases in the Nation.
A Morning Consult poll conducted in July 2017, revealed that McCain and Flake were among the least three popular members of Congress in the entire country. Only Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was more unpopular.
After the widely unpopular Obamacare vote, McCain quickly pivoted his focus on Afghanistan. Wars were his specialty and fear of losing one had been the driving force behind Arizonans who supported the angry senator for years. In fact, he played up his reputation as a warmonger during the 2016 Republican Primary Election. His team, known in Arizona as the “McCain Machine” portrayed Ward as a friend to ISIS despite the fact that it was his push in Syria that created the void ISIS would fill.
Senator John McCain has returned to Arizona to battle brain cancer, but has not given up his battle with the Trump administration. The latest front in his war on Trump is Afghanistan.
Specifically, the senator is demanding a “strategy for success.”
“More than six months after President Trump’s inauguration, there still is no strategy for success in Afghanistan. Eight years of a ‘don’t lose’ strategy has cost us lives and treasure in Afghanistan,” said McCain in a statement released Monday. “Our troops deserve better. When the Senate takes up the National Defense Authorization Act in September, I will offer an amendment based on the advice of some our best military leaders that will provide a strategy for success in achieving America’s national interests in Afghanistan.”
Earlier this week, Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson took heat for speculating that Senator John McCain’s battle with brain cancer might have been a factor in his bizarre vote against the “skinny” Obamacare repeal bill last month. Members of the public now think Johnson might have been on target after McCain announced his “strategy” for continuing the unpopular war in Afghanistan.
McCain filed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that offers a “new strategy for success for the ongoing war in Afghanistan.”
7 mos into new admin, still no plan for Afghanistan- that’s why I filed amdt to NDAA providing strategy for success https://t.co/5LfpCVLmKu
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) August 10, 2017
His announcement went over like the proverbial fart in church. Both McCain and Flake were condemned by Arizona Republicans.
On Friday, one of the largest Republican organizations in Arizona sent letters of censure to senators John McCain and Jeff Flake. The Saddle Brooke Republican Club (SBRC) acted on the unanimous vote of its membership to censure the most unpopular members of congress.
“Senator John McCain, after running for re-election on a “repeal Obamacare” platform and after seven plus years of Republican attempts to repeal Obamacare, turned his back on the people of Arizona and voted to keep Obamacare. Senator McCain abandoned support of Candidate Trump as the Republican Presidential Candidate and has continued to attack our President after the election. Senator McCain has shown himself to be not a Republican expressing American values but a closet progressive espousing globalist values,” according to the group’s press release.
In a late September interview on 60 Minutes, McCain was finally nearly frank about his illness. He stated that his prognosis was “very poor,” but insisted that he was not going anywhere any time soon.
McCain stated that he was undergoing both chemotherapy and radiation, but claimed to be “more energetic and more engaged as a result of this because I know that I’ve got to do everything I can to serve this country while I can.”
In early November, McCain sparked increased speculation about his health when he showed up at the Capitol wearing a therapeutic boot and using a cane. His office claimed that he “was treated for a minor tear in his right Achilles tendon, as well as other side effects of cancer therapy.” McCain would wear the boot “until his injured tendon is fully healed.”
Over the Thanksgiving holiday, the McCain family’s Cornville compound was the site for Meghan’s wedding. On November 22, the Senator tweeted out a picture of him and his wife Cindy in which the therapeutic boot was on the other foot. The next day he tweeted an explanation that he switched it to his left leg in order to “give it a break.”
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) November 22, 2017
In December, McCain was hospitalized to receive “treatment at Walter Reed Medical Center for “normal side effects” of his ongoing cancer therapy.”
There are no words I have to convey my immense gratitude to @JoeBiden and his family – your strength, hope and fortitude are an inspiration to me and so many others daily. Thank you for your kindness today and sharing your story with us @TheView
10:52 AM – Dec 13, 2017
In an emotional moment, Joe Biden consoles Meghan McCain, whose father was diagnosed with the same cancer as Biden’s late son Beau: “There is hope. And if anybody can make it, your dad [can].” pic.twitter.com/5IyS0qAgws
— The View (@TheView) December 13, 2017
McCain headed home to the Cornville compound before the Senate’s Christmas break. However, he told the public at the time that he would return in January. He and his family were likely the only people who believed that.
On Sunday, the office of Sen. John McCain released a statement advising that he would be unable to fulfill his duties and would be returning to Arizona for health reasons. His office stated that he “looks forward to returning to Washington in January.”
“Senator McCain has responded well to treatment he received at Walter Reed Medical Center for a viral infection and continues to improve. An evaluation of his underlying cancer shows he is responding positively to ongoing treatment,” said Dr. Mark Gilbert, Chief of Neuro-Oncology at the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Cancer Institute, in a statement released at the request of the McCain family.
From then on, the public’s only view of the senator was from sporadic tweets sent by family and visitors to the Cornville compound.
By February, McCain’s condition had deteriorated considerably. It was obvious to anyone, not in deep denial, that McCain was dying and his body had weakened to a point of no return.
Had a nice visit with @SenJohnMcCain today. He’s working hard and gaining strength.
4:40 PM – Feb 10, 2018
Had a nice visit with @SenJohnMcCain today. He’s working hard and gaining strength.
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) February 10, 2018
On the same day Flake claimed McCain “working hard,” CNN aired an interview with McCain’s daughter, Meghan, in which she also provided an update on her father’s health.
· Feb 10, 2018
Meghan McCain tells @VanJones68 that her dad John McCain, who has brain cancer, is “doing really good, all things considered” #VanJonesShow http://cnn.it/2CcxZMD http://cnn.it/2EgVSIV
“He’s doing really good, all things considered,” she said. “I’ve been very open. He had sort of a bad bout at Christmas time. He was hospitalized at Walter Reed. He had ramifications from his chemotherapy. He had pneumonia. But he’s made this, like, really incredible comeback. And I was with him at Christmas time. And he’s doing a lot of physical therapy … He’s doing good.”
— CNN (@CNN) February 11, 2018
Also in February, Cindy accepted the Munich Security Conference’s Ewald von Kleist Award on behalf of her husband, who was unable to make the trip. Biden presented Cindy with the award.
By March, Arizonans had lost patience with lack of representation in the Senate. Pressure was mounting for the Senator to step down in order to give Arizonans a choice through a Special Election. On March 8, like her husband, who frequently attacked the citizenry with epithets, Cindy called those speculating that the Senator would do the honorable thing and step down “crackpots.”
Contrary to popular belief @SenJohnMcCain is doing fine and has no intention of resigning! #crackpots
1:20 PM – Mar 8, 2018
— Cindy McCain (@cindymccain) March 8, 2018
A week later, in an interview on KTAR-FM’s Mac & Gaydos program, Meghan implied that her father would be back to work. “I wish I had an exact date, but I just don’t,” said Meghan. “I am very cautiously optimistic about the summer.”
On March 18, Meghan published on Twitter a photo of her with her father. His deteriorated state was painfully obvious.
The ravages of cancer are evident in the latest photograph of Sen. John McCain. The photo was tweeted out on Sunday by his daughter Meghan.
The senator was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer in July. After his diagnosis, he briefly returned to the Capitol. However, since returning to his Cornville, Arizona compound for the Christmas break, the senator has been unable to return to the Senate.
Last week, Meghan McCain said in a Phoenix radio show interview that she hoped her father might return to the Senate by the summer. “I wish I had an exact date,” said McCain, who described herself as “very cautiously optimistic.”
The senator’s office continues to send out statements on his behalf, but other than tweets from his account, press releases, and his daughter’s tweets, the public has not seen or heard from him directly since December 2017.
On March 30, the Senator was also unable to attend a “McCain Hosted” Rio Salado event. Yet, politicos continued the pretense that he was fully engaged:
Thank you @SenJohnMcCain for bringing together federal, state, regional & tribal leaders to launch the next chapter of the Rio Salado: https://t.co/qQ1RCyqkvy. Phx is excited to work with more partners to build on our efforts & bring more economic opportunities to the Salt River. pic.twitter.com/NWb8ZYjH0r
— Greg Stanton (@gregstantonaz) March 30, 2018
On April 16, McCain’s office announced that he was “admitted to Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona, and underwent surgery to treat an intestinal infection related to diverticulitis. He is in stable condition.”
My husband @SenJohnMcCain is doing well after his surgery. Looking forward to getting back to Hidden Valley!
— Cindy McCain (@cindymccain) April 16, 2018
Complete statement from the office of Sen. John McCain:
“On Sunday, Senator McCain was admitted to Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona, and underwent surgery to treat an intestinal infection related to diverticulitis. He is in stable condition.
“Over the last few months, Senator McCain has been participating in physical therapy at his home in Cornville, Arizona, as he recovers from the side effects of cancer treatment. He has remained engaged on his work as Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and has enjoyed frequent visits from his family, friends, staff and Senate colleagues.
“Senator McCain and his family are grateful to the senator’s excellent care team, and appreciate the support and prayers they continue to receive from people all over the country.”
The Arizona Legislature sprang into action upon word of surgery. On April 18, the Arizona Senate put an emergency clause on a bill that would have changed how members of Congress, who die or resign, are replaced. The clause was crafted to ensure that if McCain’s seat was vacated, his replacement would not have to run for re-election until 2020. The effort failed.
Under current law, the people of Arizona could have only chosen a replacement for McCain if he had left office in time for candidates to get on the August Primary Election ballot and the November General Election ballot.
By staying in office past a time when candidates could get on the ballots, McCain ensured that Governor Ducey would be able to appoint the replacement. The McCain Machine was no longer at risk from the pesky public.
On April 30, McCain’s son-in-law Ben Domenech sent out and then deleted a tweet that appeared to indicate the end was near:
“John hugged me tonight. He asked me to take care of Meghan. I said I would,” Domenech wrote. “F–k you soulless crazies. F–k you all the way to hell.”
That tweet was a rare moment of honesty for the McCain family. The fact that it was deleted reminded Arizonans how the “McCain Machine” had operated for years. The McCain Machine was masterful at manipulating information.
When his memoir was released in May, no one was pretending a miracle would occur any more. The family and his team began selling his rewrite of history. The public relations push was enormous, and McCain the angry warmonger became McCain the war hero statesman. As evidence of his statesmanship, NBC reported that former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama were expected to deliver eulogies when the time came for his well-planned funeral.
On Saturday, NBC reported that former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama are expected to deliver eulogies when the time comes for Sen. John McCain’s funeral. The plans for the eventual McCain funeral include services at the Washington National Cathedral.
While the plan is being portrayed as a bipartisan gesture of good will, the news generated the same hateful rhetoric coming from both sides of the political aisle for which the senator is best known.
The fact that McCain’s camp has made it clear that President Trump is not welcome to the cantankerous senator’s funeral has made online conversations about the matter cringe worthy.
It has been said that McCain never saw a war – or opportunity to get involved in one – that he didn’t like. His most recent attack on the Trump administration is seen as a product of his bitterness-fueled regime change mentality. As Mother Jones noted in 2013, “Over the last two decades, McCain has rarely missed an opportunity to call for the escalation of an international conflict. Since the mid-1990s, he’s pushed for regime change in more than a half-dozen countries—occasionally with disastrous consequences.”
From then on, the people of Arizona grew restless. So when the story was floated that Ducey would replace McCain with his unpopular wife Cindy, Ducey’s Republican Primary challenger, for Secretary of State Ken Bennett pounced, proclaiming he would never appoint her if he became governor.
On Monday, a report in Newsmax that Governor Doug Ducey is expected to appoint Cindy McCain to replace her husband Sen. John McCain set social media ablaze. Newsmax reported that “Cindy McCain following John in the Senate through appointment by Gov. Doug Ducey, R-Ariz., is a near certainty.”
None of the sources for the report would go on the record.
An appointment of Cindy would surely hurt Governor Ducey’s chances for re-election. McCain is one of the least popular senators in the country, and his wife is not a popular figure in Arizona.
On Wednesday, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey issued a statement condemning those who would speculate on just who will replace Sen. John McCain. Ducey’s spokesman, Daniel Scarpinato tweeted:
— Daniel Scarpinato (@Scarpinato) May 30, 2018
It was assumed that Ducey was given his marching orders by the McCain Machine during that visit. But that didn’t stop Rep. Paul Gosar from voicing his and his constituents’ objections to Cindy.
On Saturday, Rep. Paul Gosar tweeted a message in opposition to the possible appointment of Sen. John McCain’s wife Cindy, to replace the terminally ill senator when his seat is vacated. In response, Mark Salter, a former McCain staff member and co-author of the senator’s memoir, launched into a bizarre twitter storm.
Gosar’s tweet referred to gubernatorial candidate Ken Bennett, who had issued a statement earlier in the week that if he were governor, he would promise not to appoint Cindy. Both McCains are not widely popular in Arizona. In fact, McCain is one of the least popular senators in the country, only surpassed by Sen. Jeff Flake.
Bennett announced his opposition to Cindy after Newsmax reported last week, that Governor Doug Ducey was considering appointing her to her husband’s seat when he finally vacates it. McCain has been unable to return to the Senate since before Christmas. His inability to fulfill his duties has taken a toll on his already poor polling numbers.
Gosar’s statement allowed others to say out loud what they had only been whispering for months; McCain was clinging to his clung to his office even though he was essentially no longer in control.
In June, it had become apparent to Capitol Hill watchers after the release of the National Authorization Act (NDAA), that McCain could no longer be in control. Had he been, the Act would have looked much different than it did. One of the key giveaways was the fact that McCain had been the biggest supporter of the A-10, but the NDAA did not reflect that support.
On July 4; the day which McCain would have in the past visited troops abroad, his office only issued a statement.
If he was ever going to make a public appearance again, political pundits felt certain the Fourth of July Sen. John McCain would come into view. Yet on Wednesday, only images of senator’s daughter Meghan and her husband were available to the public.
Expectations for a Sen. McCain sighting were high given his tradition celebrating Independence Day with service members and diplomats stationed abroad.
This year however, only a statement issued through his office and posted on Twitter was forthcoming.
As I mark this #IndependenceDay at home in #Arizona, my thoughts are w/ the brave & selfless patriots serving around the world, who shoulder our burdens every day to secure the freedom we celebrate on this holiday. https://t.co/X3zyssTKg4 pic.twitter.com/8pvptFndQF
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) July 4, 2018
Four days after Ducey secured the Republican nomination in the August Primary Election, McCain’s family announced his death.
For five days, the cross-country services filled the airwaves with high praise of the Senator from pundits and politicians. The warmonger was suddenly transformed into a peacemaker by his sycophants in the media.
On the fourth day, while delivering a eulogy at the National Cathedral, Meghan reminded the world what a cantankerous embittered man he was. Seeming to channel her father, she spat an attack on his most recent nemesis; President Donald Trump.
Meghan’s attack garnered praise and criticism; much like her father did over his Senatorial career.
Today Meghan McCain secured for her father a legacy of bitterness. #McCainFuneral
— James T Harris (@JamesTHarris) September 1, 2018
McCain was mercifully finally laid to rest on Sunday in a private ceremony at the U.S. Naval Academy.
Governor Ducey is expected to move quickly to replace McCain. The names currently being floated are those of his wife Cindy, her good friend Barbara Barrett, Ducey’s Chief of Staff Kirk Adams, Adam’s arch-enemy former-congressman-turned-lobbyist Matt Salmon, Maj. Gen. Michael McGuire, Director of the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs, President of the Arizona Cardinals Michael Bidwill, and former senator Jon Kyl.
Whoever the governor chooses, once again, the Arizona voters will be denied representation by the McCain Machine.