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For John McCain's Mom: Another Day, Another Speeding Ticket

Even skyrocketing gas prices aren't slowing down Roberta McCain, the indefatigable 96-year-old mother of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

Roberta McCain
Roberta McCain.

The would-be first mother -- and yes, she fully expects her Johnny to win the presidency in November -- is still speeding around like a NASCAR driver on the last lap.

At a cocktail party held at the luxurious home of GOP super lobbyist Wayne Berman recently, Mrs. McCain gave the Sleuth some advice: "Don't speed up there (in Chevy Chase)."

Really? "Yes, I got a $40 speeding ticket there a few weeks ago," she said with a wry smile and a twinkle in her eye that suggested "I've still got it!"

Did the cop know who she was? "Well, it was written right there," she said, referring to her driver's license. "But they'll sure know who I am when he becomes president."

And if that happens, Mom can certainly take credit for having won the NASCAR vote for her son. Her $40 ticket in Washington recently was about her umpteenth speeding ticket. "I know she has gotten a bunch of speeding tickets," McCain campaign spokesman Brian Rogers acknowledges.

Sen. McCain often invokes his mother's spotty driving record on the campaign trail. One of his favorite stories is how Mom, about two years ago, got a ticket for going 112 mph in Arizona.

Another time, when Roberta was traveling in Europe with her twin sister, Rowena Willis, a worker behind the counter at a rental car place in France told Mrs. McCain she was "too old" to rent a car, Rogers says. So she simply bought a car and drove all over France, which can be terrifying, especially in the south of France, where death-defying turnabouts and curvy cliffs abound.

Asked whether the campaign is relying on the senator's mother to help the senator woo the coveted NASCAR constituency, Rogers said, "Absolutely! And Mrs. McCain really likes NASCAR. She's even taken classes for race-car driving."

Well, to put it in NASCAR lingo, Roberta McCain is really hitting her marks and running wide open on the campaign trail, even if her son is getting hung out to dry a bit, at least on this week's lap of the high-stakes race.

By Mary Ann Akers  |  June 24, 2008; 6:46 PM ET
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$40? Exactly how much faster than the speed limit was she going? 1 MPH?

This is a clever, if obviously orchestrated, bit from the McCain camp. Then again if you are making your mother's driving habits a pillar of your candidacy then something might be wrong. McCain better hope the old bat doesn't so much as have a fender-bender (much less injure or kill someone) from here on out.

Posted by: Billy | June 24, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

McCain camp trying to show he comes from ruff and ready stock. You have to appreciate anyone that lives to 96, but I just a well wish she was not driving on the road at any speed.

Posted by: Barry | June 25, 2008 7:30 AM | Report abuse

And when his 96-year old mom kills someone as a result of her reckless driving and diminished reflexes, will it still be a cute story?

Posted by: Tom Zirpoli | June 25, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

If she has all these tickets how does she still have a driver's license?

I love how they reinforced her "just plain folks" side by noting that she bought a car in France. How many average American families can simply buy a car when the rental company gives them a bit of trouble? What was she doing in France anyway? If Bill O'Reilly hears about this he'll be sore.

Posted by: Keith | June 25, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

So Mrs. McCain thinks braking the law by speeding is something worth smiling about.
A mother who lost a child to road rage sure wouldn't find it funnny. Sen McCain who seems to be having trouble coming up with a sensible energy policy should may look at telling this woman to remain within the speed limits and save on gas better yet; how about car pooling?

Posted by: Maurice | June 25, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Sometimes it crosses the line where it isn't so cute as scary. Maybe on the McCain web site they could have a daily posting of what road she is going to be driving on.

"They'll surely know who I am when he becomes president", guess that'll be her get out of jail free card.

Posted by: Jeannie V | June 25, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

well that explains were john mccain got his recklessness. he crashed 5 US planes during his time in the Navy after graduating in the bottom 1% of his class at the naval academy. The 5th plane was after his return from the POW camp and the Navy had urged him not to fly again but he insisted and crashed that one too. The guys an idiot.

Posted by: trish murphy | June 25, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

This is a publicity stunt intended to showcase McCain as offspring of good genes in order to negate the reservations voters harbor for electing 71 year old man to the White House. In other words, if his mother could drive without diminished mental abilities, how then could her son not be elected to the office of the president at his age

Posted by: Edmonsky | June 25, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

The logical followup to Sen. Obama's and Sen. Clinton's symbolic visit to the New Hampshire town of Unity is a visit to Minnesota because, as candidate Obama has repeatedly stated, the country is ripe for change. Therefore, a visit to Fertile, Minn., is a must. Then, perchance the Obama ticket wins the presidency, a celebation could be held in Climax, the nearby town of Fertile.

Posted by: Olof | June 25, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

This is a story which shouldn't be taken lightly. This is a 96 year old woman, who, from the article, has accummulated more than enough tickets for speeding. There is NO JOKING relative to this.

What will happen the next time she speeds...and unfortunately, someone becomes her victim, via serious injuries or death?

This needs to be addressed. Why are ther NO consequences for all the tickets? Seems to me, a license should be revoked!

When we get OLDER...our reflexes certainly are not what they used to be.

And we say...American Justice for sad we make allowances for those with status, power or $$$$.

Another Senior Citizen

Posted by: slick876 | June 25, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

McCain's mom breaks the speeding laws and drives recklessly--112 mph is very reckless driving. The media think that is sooo cute for a 96-year-old to be doing. Shudder.

McCain's wife breaks the law by stealing her employees' identities to get illicit drugs. The media ignore it and/or bury it. Irresponsible.

Oh, yes, and the media spend day after day dissecting out of context Michelle Obama's quote wherein she states she is more proud today than she was in the past of her country because voters are getting involved more than ever in the political process. The media consider her quote somehow unpatriotic. Utterly ridiculous!

The media truly are John McCain's base.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Yet more evidence of conservatives who feel entitled. People who drive like that are the ones who cause accidents that cripple the flow of traffic. Her license should be revoked.

Posted by: Ratgurl | June 25, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

While shopping the other day, I saw a very elderly gentleman, extremely stooped over, walking very slowly with a cane to his car. It was scary to think that this obviously debilitated old man is still driving a car.

Posted by: Nleath | June 25, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

It will be a laugh riot when this arrogant, ancient elitist kills a person or two while out for her 100 mph spin.
They should make her the poster star for the Republican Party.
They make me sick. Again. Still.

Posted by: Sherirux | June 25, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Is this the time when we collectively say "ahhh, 96 years old let her have some fun". NOT! Racing a golf-cart or a motorzied scooter at 96 is one thing however, when a 3000lb. vehicle and the life of other drivers or predestrians are at stake, ENOUGHT ALREADY! John, stop the bus and have a talk with deal 'ol mom. Try not to wait until she is in a nursing home, at your age a visit to a care-facility may be just a little to close for comfort.

Posted by: Tomcat | June 25, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm very surprised the way the media is reporting driving 112mph by a 96 year old woman. This is not funny at all especially to those whose lifes were affected by reckless driver.

Posted by: TEE | June 25, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

This isn't "cute" or "endearing" ... it's a story about someone who habitually breaks the law! It's dangerous, not a laughing matter. But I also don't know recently she got the ticket. $40?? Many places fine that much or more for a parking violation, and a moving violation is usually in the hundreds of dollars. My last ticket, last year, was for going through an intersection a fraction of a second after the light changed to red; the fine was $360 plus another $100 or so for safety school. When did Mrs McCain get her ticket? 1963?

Posted by: kinmin | June 25, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

It is irresponsible for Senator McCain not to have taken his mothers driver license away

Posted by: mike | June 25, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

This old bat should be serving time in prison before she kills someone like that governor in Wyoming who kill a motorcyclist when he ran a stop sign to over 100 mph. Listen up "Party of the Wide Stance, you do not rule America; and you are not above the law. I personally hope she dies while speeding and her car blows up. It will make for a good days worth of worthless news.

Posted by: Tom | June 25, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: MICHAEL EAKIN | June 25, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Women of Roberta McCain's generation often didn't have the opportunity to drive a car. I admire her. I can see the spark of life in her eyes that reminds me of my grandmother's.
Who among us can claim we have never been the recipient of a speeding ticket?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I find the comments heart warming. As I've often
suspected only the politicians and media have
gone completely insane while the American people
are as sane as they always have been. Returning
to the article, why don't they just set a few
babys up in the road and let her run over them
and have done with it.

Posted by: Sherrod | June 25, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

There is nothing partisan about why a person of any party affiliation would find a 96 yr old or a 16 year old driving recklessly at over 100 MPH very disturbing. This is a story about privilege and status exceptions. Admittedly, I do ponder why the traffic court judges she encounter do not suspend or revoke her license as a 90+ year old with a substantial speeding record. It is good to be the AZ Senator's mom.

Posted by: Corwin | June 25, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Both McCains should be sent home to rest and enjoy the rest of their life. Being a POW, destroying many planes, failure to follow commands, exhibiting horrible behavior on capitol hill, just angry all the time(watch that fake smile on McBush face) staying in the senate over 20 years does not stand for experience. Intelligence and the capability to make good sound judgment is a great leader. The leader prepares himself for all parts of the job. He surrounds himself with top people in all areas with different points of view, he engages, studies, and ask more questions, to prepare for huge decisions and that is what Barack will do. We really don't have terrorist experts. These people are extremist and you can't even began to think like them. We need trained poeple with the right dialect to become a spy to assist us with our task of fighting the extremist. Viet Nam, and 20 years of senate committees does not prepare you for the presidency. If McBush is so great, where was he on 9/11, in a senate committee meeting? People wake up, we can not afford not one day of a McBush presidency. Don't be scared into making the wrong choice. Barack is smart enough and brave enough to confront our enemies. It's pass time for a change and that change is Barack Obama, a good Christian man, family man, Harvard graduate, years of committee service helping those in needs. He is an American that lives as an American. One wife, no cheating, faith in God, religious right.

Posted by: Honey Rogers | June 25, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

McBush can't protect us from his mother. How could anyone trust a man like this with poor judgment and disrespect of the law, and take a risk each days she's behind the wheel of a car, be even considered to lead a nation like America.
We can't expect him to make strong judgments on security while his mother could very well hurt someone and he and we knew all alone. Horrible. Vote for Barack, give him a change. McBush would simply be another four years of pain which my children, grandchildren and I can't take. We need new leadership in Washington, Throw them out even McBush and Hillary.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

She should have her license pulled, she is reckless, worse then a drunk driver 112 mph? what if she killed someone, would McCain have it hushed up, or what?
Not funny! She needs to stay out of the drivers seat.

Posted by: Jules | June 25, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I don't find this at all funny.

Maybe it's because I'm sitting in an office in Santa Monica, less than a mile where that terrible old man destroyed lives and bodies at the farmers' market 5 years ago.

This woman is a tragedy in the making.

Posted by: CCLady | June 25, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse


To you McCain is a hero.

To me McCain is just another American that served in the Armed Forces and was shot down and captured by the enemy....he then proceeded to give the enemy all the information that wanted.

Some hero! Ask his cell mates in Vietnam.

Posted by: twinkletoes | June 25, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Both mother and son are sociopaths---the rules that apply to the rest of us don't apply to them.

Posted by: thopaine | June 25, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Mamma McCain was being truthful. Nobody gets a speeding ticket for $40. I guess she thought it was a cute story that might help her son.

Posted by: Keith | June 25, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Cute story but scary reality. Any responsible child would not let their 96 year old parent drive! I don't care how good your eyesight is, 96 year old reaction times are too slow to drive. In addition to the tickets she seems to accumulate they should haul her into court and revoke her drivers license. Don't care who her son is.
Nobody is above the law. This is a perfect example why there are so many needless traffic accidents. Disgusting.....

Posted by: Jacko | June 25, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

OK, realize the woman is 96, and was 94 when she said she drove at 112 mph. She probably couldn't see the speedometer very well, and it was really 72 mph.

Posted by: Don | June 25, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Roberta McCain sounds like a case, but I sure hope no one ever holds any of my parents' shenanigans against me. I have absolutely no control over them.

Posted by: Betty Louann | June 25, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

If you want to see the truth about McCain's 5 crashes, read:

Posted by: Don | June 25, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

The McCain campaign is just trying to remind everyone that he is the only candidate with a living parent.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

It is NOT laughable when a person has a history of speeding tickets! I am a senior citizen (71) and believe that anyone who collects tickets like bouquets of flowers should be off the roads. I also think it is a great idea for seniors to have to pass tests every two years for drivers' license renewals. And if they have a habit of collecting tickets, especially for speeding, that should be taken into consideration, too, before they get a license renewed.

Posted by: Utahreb | June 25, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

In response to Michael Eakin: if you really want someone to read your comments, rather than just venting, simply stop shouting. Notice that yours are the only comments on this entire site in all caps. On line, that is shouting, and if you want to be persuasive, it is definitely counterproductive.

Posted by: IndyBob | June 25, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

I see McCain's aim: His mother will kill herself in a wreck and then he can get the sympathy vote. Of course, if she takes a bunch of innocent folks with her it might not work.

Posted by: Jon | June 25, 2008 7:51 PM | Report abuse

There was nothing funny or cute about this story of a 96 year old woman driving 112 mph with numerous traffic tickets. Hopefully she will not kill or hurt innocent people. Is this the "judgement" we want from this candidate?

Posted by: Sandie | June 25, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

I just want to get this clear. John McCain had a totally taxpayer subsidized 4 years at a great educational institution.
John McCain received taxpayer subsidized flight training. The said John McCain crashed 5 planes...

Said John McCain divorced his first wife for trophy/rich wife number 2. (not the first and not the last to do such a thing)

John McCain has been collecting Service Pension and pays no taxes on that because of his disability, broke 2 arms and his leg. (I broke my leg twice and what does that get me. I am a nurse and they would laugh at me if I requested a pension.)

Fiscally conservative - yes with his own money. Fiscally profligate with taxpayers money...

Posted by: travel bug | June 25, 2008 11:46 PM | Report abuse

She's very attractive for 96. Plenty of women 20+ years younger don't look as good as she does.

Posted by: BigGuy | June 25, 2008 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Oh pleeeeeeeez...what else, of substance, can McPlain's campaign talk about?

S**Q**U**A**T !

Posted by: Curt | June 26, 2008 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Oh pleeeeeeeez...what else, of substance, can McPlain's campaign talk about?

S**Q**U**A**T !

Posted by: Curt | June 26, 2008 12:11 AM | Report abuse

"She's very attractive for 96."

Posted by: BigGuy | June 25, 2008 11:53 PM

Ok BigGuy... You've lost it for sure!

Posted by: Curt Again | June 26, 2008 12:13 AM | Report abuse

Just as some people are terrible drivers at ages 16 or 36 or 56, some are good drivers at any age. And while lots of older drivers have terrible vision and reflexes, not all of them do. It is shameful to generalize about older drivers and then to assume that Mrs McCain is incapable of handling a car. From the story it seems clear that she handles one very well.

Posted by: J Baustian | June 26, 2008 12:53 AM | Report abuse

John McCain retired from the Navy with the rank of Captain.His last command was as C.O of NAS Miramar in San Diego.
His mother is the widow of a 4 star Admiral and I assume is still receiving survivors benefits too.
Also she herself is independently wealthy.Her father was a oil wildcat driller in Oklahoma and Texas and I believe she still owns producing oil wells which as you know are doing very well now considering the price of a barrel of oil.
McCains wife is also in her own right independently wealthy and owns her own private jet.

Posted by: T.Ritchie | June 26, 2008 1:43 AM | Report abuse

Her attitude regarding her disregarding laws reminds me of Leona Hensley and her comment about tax laws being for the "little people". Probably explains son John's slow maturing rate.

Posted by: Honest George | June 26, 2008 1:46 AM | Report abuse

To correct the record: John McCain never commanded a squadron at Miramar Naval Air Station (now Marine Corps Air Station Miramar). In 1974, after recovering sufficiently from his injuries for the flight surgeons to return him to flying status, he was assigned as Executive Officer of Replacement Air Group 174 in Jacksonville FL. This was the training squadron for all navy fighter pilots. Later he was promoted to Commanding Officer.

Posted by: J Baustian | June 26, 2008 2:08 AM | Report abuse

To correct more of the record: It is incorrect to say that John McCain "crashed" five planes, or to blame him for any or all of these events. One time the plane simply lost power at low altitude, leaving him no choice except to bail out. One time he struck a power line which was not on his charts. One time his plane was destroyed on the deck of the USS Oriskany -- he just happened to be in the cockpit when the next plane over exploded while bombs were being loaded. And one time was when he was shot down over North Vietnam. Remember, also, that these aircraft were F-1 and F-4 fighters, much less reliable than modern aircraft.

Posted by: J Baustian | June 26, 2008 2:17 AM | Report abuse

For those of you with Mothers over 90, congratulations. For you who don't pleas go pi$$ on your pants. Sorry. They have earned some rights. Sorry if this is not PC enough but what the heck. I have one and, while she does not drive anymore (thankfully) she almost always wins the quarters at bridge and the horse racing at her retirement home in Vero Beach. Sleep well, to all.

Posted by: jws3sticks | June 26, 2008 3:08 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Travel Bug, your recounting of the various taxpayer-supported activities of Senator McCain is accurate, but omits a few pertinent details:

McCain has a military pension because, in addition to serving 23 years in the Navy from 1958-1981, he was wounded in combat when he was shot down over North Vietnam in October 1967 and subsequently tortured and denied proper medical care as a POW until his release in March 1973.

You make it sound as if his broken limbs were sustained in a bad fall. The benefits he receives from his military pension are no more or less than anyone serving his number of years in the US Navy AND being disabled as a result of his service would receive.

Posted by: Eric Rohrs | June 26, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

What a lot of hate you lefties have in you... It always amazes me to read your comments. You are just so lacking in humor, it's unbelievable.

Lighten up and you may see the world in a whole new way. Really.

Posted by: Valerie | June 26, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

"And when his 96-year old mom kills someone as a result of her reckless driving and diminished reflexes, will it still be a cute story?

Posted by: Tom Zirpoli | June 25, 2008 10:00 AM"

No kidding Tom! How old was Teddy Kennedy when his reckless driving killed someone? Time to get these oldsters off the road!

Posted by: beefeater | June 26, 2008 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, what is wrong with you people. You are not just political partisans; you are not expressing political opinions, you are not giving voice to political points of view: you are expressing visceral hatred. Can't you see how mean-spirited, nasty and low-class the words commonly used by you leftys are? It has been said that the unexamined life is not worth living. Do you really never step back and wonder at the obvious anger that permeates your dialectic? One must ask - was it mom or dad that didn't love you?

Posted by: Hugh Brennan | June 26, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Wow, what a gal! Gives me hope that as we age, we can keep on keeping on. Some of you people need to lighten up a bit, you could only wish to be this uninhibited at any age.

Posted by: EJ | June 26, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Have any of you dimwits ever been to Arizona? There are lots of places where the roads are so flat and straight Stevie Wonder could drive on them safely over 100 MPH. Remember, most of our Interstate Highway system was designed for sustained speeds over 75 MPH with 1955 car suspension and tire technology. The Autobahn system in Germany was designed and built in the 1930's. I've driven 150 MPH on them where and when appropriate.

Get a life, you Prius-Driving Luddites.

Bravo! Mrs.Mc Cain

Posted by: Raoul Bloodworth | June 26, 2008 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Lots of killjoys here! That's why I prefer Republicans to liberals.

Posted by: Anna Reda | June 26, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

You all need to LIGHTEN UP! I just hope I'm alive at that age, let alone racking up speeding tickets

Posted by: Anonymous | June 27, 2008 1:37 AM | Report abuse

Get the townfolks. Get the pitchforks and torches,we'll deal with this problem forthwith.

The hate for Bush transfers quite readily to the McCains.

Posted by: JE MOORE | June 28, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

112 mph in Arizona? That's rather slow by desert standards. I'm surprised she was even pulled over, much less ticketed.

Out there, the speed limit should be 112 mph.

Just so she doesn't try something like that in Rhode Island. Then we all will be shaking our fists at the semi-Commie McCain for letting his mom drive anywhere east of the Divide.

Posted by: Frank | June 29, 2008 12:49 AM | Report abuse

I don't believe this. The least expensive speeding ticket should cost much more than $40

Posted by: Edward | June 29, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

As I was reading this story, my reaction went from finding it amusing to losing my humor. I love that a woman of this age is still able to drive around and be so full of life, but I find it very unsettling that a candidate running for President of the United States finds it funny that a 96 year-old person was driving 112mph. Would it be amusing if I were driving that fast or would I be hauled off to jail for driving to endanger? How many elderly drivers have caused accidents and killed people with their loss of skills. I get that it is his mother, but I still find it scary...

And to Tom...Ted Kennedy? Come on, that was 40-years ago wasn't it, let's move on and talk about relevant subjects.

Posted by: Sherri | June 29, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Regarding last post...I mean beefeater, not Tom! ooops

Posted by: sherri | June 29, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Most juvenile delinquents grow out of that boastful lawless stage, where they have no regard for the lives and safety of others, by the time they reach 30.

And by 30, most former delinquents have stopped defending any friends who continue to scorn and laugh at the law.

There is nothing cute about a president with a family tradition of flauting the law and endangering the lives of others for "a bit of good old fashioned fun".

Posted by: Keith S | June 29, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

To the unpatriotic anonymous person who thinks we should lighten up ... Anne, The UK's Princess Royal, had to pay GBP 400 (roughly $800) for doing 90 mph on a freeway, and had 5 points added to her license.

What does it say about us if we elect a president (or a senator) knowing he regards himself and his family as more above the law than royalty?

It means we are taking our freedom so lightly we have gone over to the Russian system where VIPs have general immunity to the law.

It means we have unpatriotically broken and abandoned the Constitution of the United States of America.

Posted by: Keith S | June 29, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Why is Ted Kennedy still in the Senate?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 1, 2008 8:58 PM | Report abuse

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