Former US Presidential candidate, Senator John McCain, dies at 81


Senator John McCain, who twice ran for the US President’s job unsuccessfully, has died at the age of 81.

A statement by his office said, “Senator John Sidney McCain III died at 4:28pm on August 25, 2018. With the Senator when he passed were his wife Cindy and their family. At his death, he had served the United States of America faithfully for sixty years.”

A former naval bomber pilot, McCain was also a prisoner of war in Vietnam conflict, where he remained in the enemy’s captivity for more than five years.

He was diagnosed with cancer last year. McCain had begun to live a reclusive life for last few months to reflect on his life. In his memoir published in May, McCain had written how he hated to leave the world but had no qualms. He wrote, “It’s been quite a ride. I’ve known great passions, seen amazing wonders, fought in a war, and helped make peace.. I’ve lived very well and I’ve been deprived of all comforts. I’ve been as lonely as a person can be and I’ve enjoyed the company of heroes. I’ve suffered the deepest despair and experienced the highest exultation.”

US President Donald Trump tweeted, “My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!”

Back home Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote, “Deeply saddened by the demise of Senator John McCain. People of India join me in sincerely condoling the loss of a steadfast friend. His statesmanship, courage, conviction and understanding of global affairs will be missed. Condolences to his family and well-wishers.”

Reacting to his death, former US President Barack Obama wrote, “Few of us have been tested the way John once was, or required to show the kind of courage he did. But all of us can aspire to the courage to put the greater good above our own. At John’s best, he showed us what that means. And for that, we are all in his debt. Michelle and I send our most heartfelt condolences to Cindy and their family.”

Former US President Bill Clinton tweeted, “John McCain believed that every citizen has a responsibility to make something of the freedoms given by our Constitution, and from his heroic service in the Navy to his 35 years in Congress, he lived by his creed every day.”

Despite being a life-long Republican, his decisive vote last year had killed the  Senate GOP’s “skinny” bill to repeal Obamacare. Defending his decision he had later said, “From the beginning, I have believed that Obamacare should be repealed and replaced with a solution that increases competition, lowers costs, and improves care for the American people. The so-called ‘skinny repeal’ amendment the Senate voted on today would not accomplish those goals.”

A report by CNBC said that Trump never forgave him for that vote. Trump never forgave him. In signing what Congress called the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019, the president omitted the senator’s name while reading the title of the bill at the August 2018 ceremony.

Twitter has been flooded with condolences for the leader, who was widely to be a maverick.