U.S. Senator, State of Arizona
 John McCain biography:
John Sidney McCain was born in a Naval hospital on August 29, 1936 in the Panama Canal Zone. The son and grandson of Navy admirals, John McCain learned early the time-honored values of duty, honor and country. In his family, those aren't just words; they're articles of faith.

At the age of 17, young John followed in his father's and grandfather's footsteps to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. There he began a remarkable lifetime of service - and devotion - to America.

Graduating in 1958, John was commissioned an ensign in the Navy and trained to become an aircraft carrier pilot. Nearly all the men in the McCain family had made their reputations during wartime. And John wanted to keep faith with them. A veteran aircraft carrier pilot, he asked to go to Vietnam.

The Forrestal Disaster

Lt. Commander McCain was assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal off the coast of Vietnam. On July 29, 1967, McCain, an A-4 Skyhawk pilot, was preparing to take off on a bombing mission over North Vietnam, when a horrifying disaster struck. A missile accidentally fired from a nearby plane, striking the fuel tanks on McCain's plane.

In the ensuing explosions and fire, McCain escaped from his plane by crawling onto its nose and diving into the fire on the ship's deck. He turned to help a fellow pilot whose flight suit had burst into flames. But before McCain could reach him, more bombs exploded, blowing him back 10 feet.

It took 24 hours to contain the inferno on the Forrestal. By the time it was all over, 134 men lost their lives, hundreds more were injured, and more than 20 planes were destroyed. It was the worst non-combat-related accident in American Naval history.

After the Forrestal disaster, McCain could have returned home. But he would have none of that. Instead he volunteered for more combat duty aboard the carrier USS Oriskany. It was a fateful decision that would stop the clock on John McCain's life and separate him from his family, and from America, for five and a half years.

The Hanoi Hilton

In the early morning of October 26, 1967, just 3 months after the Forrestal disaster, Lt. Commander McCain departed for his 23rd bombing mission over North Vietnam. This one was particularly dangerous. McCain and his fellow pilots were targeting a power plant in the center of Hanoi.

As McCain was completing his bombing mission, a Soviet-made surface-to-air missile struck his plane, shearing off the right wing. McCain ejected as his plane spiraled violently to earth. The force of the ejection knocked him unconscious and both of his arms and one leg were broken.

He regained consciousness as he plunged into a lake near his bombing target. Quickly, an angry mob gathered, seeking retribution for the rain of bombs. Dragging him from the lake, they broke his shoulder with a rifle butt and bayoneted him repeatedly. They loaded McCain into a truck and delivered him to the infamous - and hated - "Hanoi Hilton."

Denied medical treatment for days, McCain's condition deteriorated badly. His fellow POW's, shocked at his appearance, thought McCain was near death. But they were determined that he survive. And thanks to their care, his health gradually improved.

Within a few months of McCain's becoming a prisoner of war, his father, Admiral Jack McCain, was appointed commander of all U.S. forces in the Pacific. The North Vietnamese, sensing a propaganda prize, offered McCain early release.

But McCain refused early release, citing the code of conduct that prisoners of war should be released in the order in which they were captured. His captors demanded he accept their offer. McCain refused, over and over again. For his repeated defiance, his communist captors savagely beat him.

Before it was over, John McCain spent 5 years as a prisoner of war, two of them in solitary confinement.

Returning Home

By 1973 the Vietnam War was over. McCain and nearly 600 fellow POW's were released and came home, ending the longest incarceration in U.S. history.

After extensive physical rehabilitation, John McCain regained flight status and continued his service to his country. But sadly, like a lot of prisoners of war, John's marriage ended several years later.

Nearing the end of his Navy career, now-Captain John McCain's last duty assignment was as the Navy's liaison to the U.S. Senate. It was during this time that he met Cindy Hensley, from Phoenix. John and Cindy were married in 1980 and made their home in Arizona.

The House and the Senate

By 1982, an Arizona House seat opened up. John, sensing a new way to serve, announced his candidacy. Campaigning door-to-door, he outworked his 5 opponents and won the Republican primary. And he went on to win the election. Maintaining a ritual of returning home to Arizona every weekend, McCain was re-elected overwhelmingly two years later.

By 1986, Barry Goldwater announced his retirement from the U. S. Senate. John was elected to succeed him and continue Goldwater's tradition of independence and plain-talk conservatism. Now in his fourth term in the Senate, McCain was re-elected in November 2004 with 77% of the vote.

The Cause of Freedom

From day one in Washington, John McCain has been guided by one cause above all others: the fight for freedom. His mission is to make government smaller and taxes lower, so American families have the freedom to chart their own course and small business can create new opportunities.

For John McCain, smaller government and lower taxes aren't just talk. He means it. For years he's been on a one-man crusade against wasteful spending in Washington. Because of his crackdown on waste in government, he's been nicknamed "The Sheriff."

John McCain knows that cutting waste means we can lower the tax burden on American families, and eliminate both the inheritance tax and the unfair marriage penalty that punishes people who marry.

John McCain is determined to save Social Security once and for all by stopping the politicians from raiding Social Security funds to pay for new government programs and wasteful spending.

But most of all, John McCain worries about what kind of country we're leaving our children. He's protecting them from the evils of Internet smut by promoting the use of filtering technology. And his education plan will send federal dollars directly to local school districts, bypassing the Washington bureaucrats and their rules and regulations. He believes that parents and teachers know best how to strengthen America's schools.

John McCain is the nation's foremost leader in national defense and foreign policy matters. When events in Kosovo unfolded, McCain was hailed by many for being the de facto commander-in-chief, offering leadership and clarity of purpose. He knows that America has defeated some of the greatest evils ever known to mankind - Nazism, communism, fascism and today's madmen and terrorists - only by staying strong, because weakness only encourages the enemies of freedom.

But John McCain knows that no matter what the issue, we can't have real government reform without first reforming our campaign and lobbying laws. Time and again he's dared Washington to follow his lead to break the stranglehold that special interests and their money have on the political process.

A lifetime of experiences. Proven leadership that's not afraid to tackle the big issues. A devotion to America that's never wavered. John McCain is prepared to lead America in the 21st century.
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John McCain 2008California Leadership Team:
Senior California advisor: John Peschong
Senior economic advisor: Gerald Parsky

California legislators:
State Senator Jeff Denham
Assemblymember George Plescia
Assemblymember Bonnie Garcia
Assemblymember Van Tran
Former state Senator Jim Neilsen

Last edited by Scott Flodin on Oct. 3, 2007

Other pages referencing John McCain: Gino DiCaro, Howard Dickstein, Todd Harris, Andrea Jones Rivera, Kenneth L. Khachigian, Tom Kise, Matt McDonald, Gerald Parsky, Richard Rios, Mitt Romney, Tom Ross, Christine Rubin, Steve Schmidt, Cassandra Vandenberg,

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