How John McCain Worked

By: Josh Clark & Kathryn Whitbourne  | 

Life After McCain's Presidential Bid

Following his failed presidential bid, in 2010, McCain was elected to a fifth term in the senate and he won a sixth term in 2016 [source: CNN]. He also became chair of the Armed Forces Services Committee, a lifelong dream of his. As chair of that position, he shepherded a bill that called for the Pentagon to spend $700 billion, which included more troops to fight ISIS and in Afghanistan as well as a modest boost to troop pay. McCain had been critical of President Obama's decision to withdraw troops in Iraq and Afghanistan [source: Brook].

Still, during Obama's presidency, McCain was involved in international affairs at Obama's request. During the Arab Spring of 2013, he and Sen. Lindsey Graham met with Egyptian leaders as well as Muslim Brotherhood leadership [source: CNN].


But McCain would have a less cordial relationship with President Donald Trump who was elected in 2016. He questioned Trump's apparently cosy relationship with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, calling it "one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory." He also lamented the harsh rhetoric Trump employed on Twitter and in person against his enemies and called for a return to a more civilized era [source: Collionson]. Back in 2015, Trump said that McCain was "not a war hero" even though McCain was captured and spent five years in a POW camp. "I like people who weren't captured," Trump said [source: Gearan and Dawsey].

In July 2017, McCain was diagnosed with primary glioblastoma, a type of brain tumor. Although he underwent treatment, he returned to the senate in September to dramatically deliver a "thumbs down" vote on repealing Obamacare, which killed the measure and prevented one of Trump's signature campaign promises from being enacted [source: Collionson].

In August 2018, McCain died of brain cancer. His body will lie in state in the Captiol's rotunda, an honor accorded to only 30 Americans so far. Both Presidents George Bush and Barack Obama have been asked to speak at his funeral, a true mark of his bipartisan support [source: Kennedy].

Originally Published: Feb 11, 2008

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