As I write this on August 26, 2018, senator John McCain died of brain cancer yesterday at age 81. There is no doubt to anyone except maybe Donald Trump and his idiotic comments before the 2016 election about McCain being captured that John McCain will always be one of the greatest American war heroes of all time.
I was greatly privileged to meet and speak with John McCain in mid-April of 2000; in the very beginning of the worst bear market this country had seen since 1929. None of us knew in April 2000 that this bear market would last 30 months and cause great damage to the financial health of the world.
McCain was at a book signing for this book “Faith of my Fathers” at a Barnes and Noble in Princeton New Jersey and after I waited my turn in line I remember feeling embarrassed when I said to him simply, “thank you for your service”. I remember it didn’t feel right to just say “Thank You”, because considering the incredible ordeal that McCain had gone through as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, just saying “Thank You” would never be enough respect that I could give to this great man. After signing my book, much to my surprise McCain started asking about me and what I do for a living and then the subject of the stock market that had just started to crash came up. I was so impressed with how much he cared about a total stranger like me who was just standing there in front of him for a book signing. His questions and caring about what I was going through was sincere and real. It was impossible to not like this man who had gone through so much in the service of his country and showed such great compassion to a total stranger.
It’s a shame that John McCain never became President of the United States because just based on his integrity as a human being he would have been a great President. McCain was not elected the president because of timing. His time to be President was in 2000 when he ran against President Bush and for reasons that make no sense to me, failed to win the Republican nomination. When he ran again against Barack Obama in 2008 he was too old to endure the huge stresses to be the President. His decision to select Sarah Palin to be his vice president was a mistake in judgement based on desperation because he knew he was losing the 2008 election in the polls. Hindsight is 20-20 and they should have vetted Palin for much longer than just 90 minutes, but that is life. McCain defending Obama in a town hall when a woman said he was a Muslim and she didn’t trust Obama was typical of the man John McCain was.
McCain took his loss in 2008 with dignity and respect, just like he did everything else in his life of great service to this country. Rest in Peace my friend, you will be greatly missed.