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McCain Talks About His Father

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), center, accompanied by his wife Cindy, right, greets the crowd at the "Wings over Meridian" Air Show at the McCain field on the Meridian Naval Base Sunday, March 30, 2008 in Meridian, Miss. (AP.)

By Michael D. Shear
MERIDIAN, Miss. -- Sen. John McCain returned to his ancestral home state to kick of a week-long biographical tour aimed at reintroducing himself to the American people and to highlight his military background.

Speaking not far from McCain Field, the naval air station named for his grandfather, the Arizona senator called himself the "son and grandson of admirals" and recounted in detail his family's decades of service in the military.

"My grandfather was an aviator; my father a submariner," McCain said. "They were my first heroes, and their respect for me has been one of the most lasting ambitions of my life. They gave their lives to their country, and taught me lessons about honor, courage, duty, perseverance and leadership."

The speech was largely a condensed version of his book, "Faith of my Fathers," a personal biography that traces his upbringing and the Naval careers of his grandfather, his father and himself.

Before walking onto a stage in front of a banner that said "Service to America," the campaign played two highly stylized videos -- one directly comparing McCain to Winston Churchill and Teddy Roosevelt, and the other emphasizing his commitment to service.

His daughter, Meghan, wife, Cindy, and 96-year-old mother, Roberta, sat on the stage beside him as he gave the speech. He recounted how he grew up "under the influence of strong, capable, accomplished women."

As he does frequently, McCain used the opportunity to warn against government intrusion in family life, saying that "No government is capable of caring for children as attentively and wisely as the mother and father who love them."

But his speech said government must be "attentive" to not enacting policies which make the job of parenting harder. He said government spending "must not be squandered" but repeated his call for new government training programs to help workers displaced in the current economic downturn.

The speech was the kickoff to a week of stops in significant places in McCain's life. Tuesday, he returns to the high school he attended outside of Washington D.C. On Wednesday, he will give a speech at the Naval Academy in Annapolis. On Thursday, he heads to Florida, where he was posted and got flight training.

McCain aides hope the week-long "bio-tour" will cement in the public's mind McCain's personal history and his connection to military service. It will end with a rally in Arizona on the same courthouse steps that former Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater announced his presidential bid in 1964.

By Web Politics Editor  |  March 31, 2008; 11:10 AM ET
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McCain: "as an adult I've been known to forget occasionally the discretion expected of a person of my years and station when I believe I've been accorded a lack of respect I did not deserve". Let's hope that after you take a 72 year old man who unquestionably would have to suffer under some degree of post traumatic stress disorder and put him under a 90 hour a week schedule in one of the most stressful and demanding executive positions ever contemplated by man... and let's hope that he doesn't have a slip of discretion when he's leading the US military. Would you trust your grandfather with full control over nuclear weapons? What about after he'd been sleep deprived for three years and was 76 years old? What flexibility of judgement are you prepared to accept when it comes to our response in reaction to an event that may or may not require a nuclear response? 76. My guess is that you roll your eyes when you find out someone still drives at that age, and you think it's crazy when you hear about someone that old piloting an aircraft.

Posted by: jmh787 | April 1, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Anyone actually interested in how the Electoral College (the only vote that counts) is lining up so far:

McCain (324) vs. Obama (205)

McCain (278) vs. Clinton (229)

Posted by: JakeD | March 31, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Just because someone was in the military, it doesn't mean they are intelligent or competent. It's not like McCain was a general or anything.

I am also a veteran, but I recognize that I wouldn't make a very good president. I wish McCain was at least that smart.

Posted by: randygrenier | March 31, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Did he happen to mention his first wife, who waited for him when he was a POW and on whom he cheated in order to get rich with his current trophy wife?


How 'bout when his mother told reporters that she could only vote for her son if she was "holding [her] nose"?

Didn't mention that either?

Boy, not much of a biographical tour...

Posted by: converse | March 31, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

When I consider what it takes to lead, I place courage at the Top!

How do I define Courage? Well, let's just say that being able to fly into 20 some-odd Assaults while being shot at by Enemy Fire, is something I do NOT think I could ever picture Barack Hussein, or Billary doing!

Not even ONCE! :-(

With his own bravery having been established, and by actually having a Son in action, I am willing to believe Senator McCain alone of the three, has ANY ROOM FOR AN OPINION, or any right to be in Command!

Posted by: rat-the | March 31, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

With all that experience and family background in the military, with all those years of experience in the Vietnam War, McCain should have seen what the Bushies were doing as they maneuvered the country into war. More than half the country new Bush was a charlatan being propped up by the neo-cons, the evangelicals and the Bush Crime Family. The Bushies even slimed him personally during the 2000 election. And yet, with all that experience, all that wisdom of age, he took the bait, hook line and sinker and didn't stand up against Bush. Another elder of the Senate, Sen. Byrd of W. Virginia, knew what was happening and spoke out eloquently against the Bush power grab.

The demonstrated lack of judgment and political guts disqualifies my friend John McCain from being the POTUS.

Posted by: thebobbob | March 31, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

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