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John McCain, independent voice of the GOP establishment, at 81



Bush said in a statement Saturday: "Some lives are so vivid, it is difficult to imagine them ended." John McCain was a man of deep conviction and a patriot of the highest order. "He was a public servant in the finest tradition of our country." And to me, he was a friend whom I deeply miss, "and he and Laura Bush expressed their condolences to the McCain family. [19659002] The pinnacle of McCain's political career came in 2008, when he clinched the Republican nomination for president, only to loose Obama's amid the global financial meltdown and dragged down by Bush's low approval ratings. His contentious choice for a running mate, Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska at the time, which is believed to have contributed to the loss.

But long before then, McCain was a navy brat who had little interest in being studious.

John Sidney McCain III was born on Aug. 29, 1

936, to become a prominent naval family steeped in patriotism. Both his father and grandfather were four-star admirals, with his father, John McCain Jr., advancing to commander in chief of Pacific forces during the Vietnam War.

While McCain followed in his family's military footsteps, he did so with his own flair: When he graduated from the Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1958, he was ranked 894th of 899 graduates.

In a speech to midshipmen at his alma mater in October 2017, McCain joked about his abysmal academic performance.

"My superiors did not hold me in very high esteem in those days," he said. "To be honest, I was not too thrilled to be back then, and I was as relieved to graduate – fifth from the bottom of my class – as the naval academy to see me go."


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