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August 23rd, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Political ambition ruined McCain's legacy?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

John McCain became a household name by riding across country in a bus called The Straight Talk Express. But these days, "straight talk" seems just about the last way to describe what's coming out of his mouth.

McCain now holds a comfortable lead over his primary opponent, J.D. Hayworth, as he makes a run for his fifth term representing Arizona in the U.S. Senate, but as Politico describes it, it's a "costly road" that could likely leave a "lasting and unsightly stain on his legacy."

For starters - John McCain, once a champion of campaign finance reform, has spent more than $20 million ahead of tomorrow's primary. And there are the positions McCain's taking - which are completely different from positions he took during his "maverick" days.

McCain was a sponsor of comprehensive immigration reform with Ted Kennedy. No more... now he's flipped on the issue. Big time. He supports Arizona's tough immigration law, and spends more time talking about border security and finishing "the danged fence." McCain has gone from maverick to panderer.

He's also changed his tune on Don't Ask, Don't Tell. He once said he supported the repeal of the policy, but is now promising to filibuster any bill that would do just that.

Climate change? McCain used to be a leader on that issue, and now he's pretty much steering clear of it.

How sad. McCain used to stand up for what he thought was right. Now, at age 73, he's just another politician willing to sell out his principles for a vote. See it's the only way to save his political life - and get the support of the conservative Republicans who vote in Arizona's primary. The maverick has become a hypocrite.

Here’s my question to you: Has political ambition ruined John McCain's legacy?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Ender writes:
I completely agree. The only political donation I ever made, and the only political t-shirt I have ever worn, was for McCain and his Straight Talk in the 2000 election. The principled maverick I supported has sold those principles one by one, in 2004, 2008, and now, and what is left is just another say-what-I-need-to-say politician. What he was once above, he is now a poster child for.

James in Lebanon, Pennsylvania writes:
Are you seriously asking this question now? It's about a couple years too late. Your answer lies in his selection of a running mate in 2008.

Rob in Washington writes:
I worked for Senator McCain over a decade ago and I am greatly saddened to say I barely recognize this version of the man. I miss the guy who went after problems regardless of the polling and in close partnership with anyone who was willing to tackle the tough stuff regardless of which side of the aisle they were from.

Laura in Arizona writes:
As an Arizona voter, I've found it painful to watch John McCain change his position on issues of national importance. However, I have seen too many good candidates get trounced by crazy right-wing voters in my state and I am willing to forgive McCain almost anything so long he beats Hayworth in the Republican primary. Perhaps that makes me jaded, but the thought of Hayworth representing me in Congress is repulsive. Sometimes people sacrifice themselves for the good of the whole and I guarantee you that whatever McCain has sacrificed to win this election was well worth the trade off - the entire country should send him a "thank you" note when he wins the primary.

Kevin writes:
Jack, You say he's a hypocrite and a flip-flopper. Some think there's another possibility: John McCain has flat-out lost his mind. After all, he tried to convince Americans that a winking leather pant suit should be a heartbeat away from the presidency. I'm 51 and I lose my keys and my glasses. McCain, at 73, seems to have lost his principles.

Annie writes:
All I know is that I'm so old I remember when I respected John McCain.


Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (305 Responses)
  1. Bruce Eder

    In 2000, if he'd been the nominee, I'd have left my job to volunteer for his campaign. Since then, and especially since 2004, McCain has been a shadow of his former self. I don't know if it's ambition or just plain exhaustion - carving out a unique space for oneself in national politics these days can be difficult - but it has destroyed whatever appeal the man ever had. And one can only imagine what his one-time mentor, and the man who previously held that seat - Senator Barry Goldwater, who was a true maverick - would say about him as he is today.

    August 23, 2010 at 2:10 pm |
  2. Lawrence

    No...nothing can hurt his legacy. A war hero...wonderful
    A true politican who changes position for the sake of a vote. Take your pick...I choose to remember the hero not the politician who is "self-serving".

    August 23, 2010 at 2:10 pm |
  3. Bernie of Lowell, MA

    McCain had half a chance before he chose his running mate.

    August 23, 2010 at 2:15 pm |
  4. Charles, Lansing, Michigan

    You act as if John McCain's career started in the nineties. His past reveals he has always been a hypocrite. He cheated on and then dumpled the woman who waited for him over five years while he was a prisoner of war. Then he voted to impeach Clinton. He was one of the responsible parties of the savings an loan crises. He could have gotten prison time but was saved because the party wanted to save the president's oldest son. He is nothing but another sleazy politician.

    August 23, 2010 at 2:17 pm |
  5. Kevin of SD CA

    McCain is no different than any other of the modern Politicians! Even the Kennedys are shrouded in corruption! McCain doesn’t stand for tough immigration; he is pro amnesty like the rest of Corporate America.
    McCain is just one more politician double talking out of one side of his mouth or the other side depending on which way the wind is blowing! This is all pretty normal for the last 50 years since the education and political systems have been taken over by liberals, and corporate welfare!
    If it wasn’t for what is left of the puritan ethic and the ingenuity of the average American we would all be living in a third world country by now.

    August 23, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
  6. John from Alabama

    Jack: John McCain's legacy has a statesman is dead. McCain is nothing but your garden variety politican, whose wife has money. John McCain, the war hero, will be a better legacy for him. John McCain makes the Republicans look worse, if that is even possible. McCain has joined the point and blame gang, and just say "no" to everything party. It is ashame!!!

    August 23, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
  7. Paul Round Rock Texas

    I have great respect for John McCain but I really believe his fellow Republican Party leaders used him twice. Once when he ran against W. Bush they made him seem like he was a lose canyon and would push the button as soon as he was in office. So look at what we got a War in Iraq more costly than any War we have ever had. Again when he ran against Obama he was used to get Palin's name in the public as his running mate. A candidate any real Republican should back. You see the last time I think the Republican's could feel the no win this no matter if it was Clinton or Obama. The leaders what to mold the 2012 race and they started in 2008.

    August 23, 2010 at 2:22 pm |
  8. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    It is sad because he used to be someone people could admire. But he has proved that Washington and power corrupt. I wish we could find people to represent us that actually had principles, but the system doesn't lend itself to those types of people. The only people that can win elections are well-financed ones, and to become well-financed you have to shift with the wind and tell people what they want to hear. Unless you can figure out a way to take the money out of politics, you aren't going to change anything. Everyone has principles when they feel they are untouchable, but let an ounce of doubt creep in and all of a sudden they are for anything and everything people want to hear. Welcome to America

    August 23, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
  9. David Gerstenfeld

    John McCain should be the poster boy for Term Limits. As a lifelong Democrat I've always liked and could support him UNTIL he chose you know who as his running mate. It's very sad that McCain, Rangel etc. stay in congress long enough to erase a history of service to their country & become another reason to distrust politicians. There are no 'good guys' left to fight for what they believe is good for America.
    David, Las Vegas

    August 23, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
  10. Greg in PA

    Jack you are wasting my time.

    August 23, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
  11. Frank

    The Forrestal fire ruined McCain's legacy.

    August 23, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
  12. Russ in PA

    So you think it's a bad thing that McCain has caught on that protecting our laws and borders, and enforcing our laws makes sense? Or that he has perhaps finally realized that climate change is just another money/control scam by politicians and corporations? And that is supposed to be pandering? Seems like the pot/kettle thing, as what do you call politicians willing to sell their souls for Hispanic votes, while turning their backs on the law? Oh, never mind...

    August 23, 2010 at 2:35 pm |
  13. David Alexandria VA

    Jack, just because you raise money doesn't make you against campaign reform. And, just because you want a secure border doesn't mean you are anti-immigration reform. I mean, I'm pro-health care reform but think the health care bill is a monstrosity. McCain's state is in the cross-hairs of the illegal immigration crisis. So, McCain is representing his state's interests and fighting hard to stay in office to do so. No flip-flop here

    August 23, 2010 at 2:36 pm |
  14. Mike - Huntsville, AL

    His bowing to the stupidity of what's left of the GOP during the 2008 campaign ruined his legacy. This campaign's just icing on the cake. Sad since I'd have gladly voted for the man who ran for his party's nomination back in 2000.

    August 23, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
  15. southerncousin

    Another sad case for term limits. There are so many when you look at Congress.

    August 23, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
  16. Bob Fleming

    John McCains' willingness to do what he perceives is necessary in order to gain the support of the extreme right wing of the Repblican Party has caused him to be viewed as just another politician rather than an independent statesman like legislator , a reputation he once enjoed.

    August 23, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
  17. Bob C

    John McCain is a bitter old man who cannot overcome his resentment for not being elected President if the US. Karl Rove's devious campaign tactics took care of this aspiration in 2000 and the combination of an extremely unpopular outgoing Bush administration and the woeful consideration of Sarah Palin to be his running mate in 2008 helped seal his latest rejection. In order that he may continue to voice this resentment publicly on the national stage, he has found it necessary to sell himself out on those issues that he initially supported in order to get re-elected. Unfortunately, for him, he may carry this sad legacy to his grave.

    August 23, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
  18. phil, georgia

    Yes it Has!! Sadly Mccains hypocritical turned career represents just how radical Right the republicans have become, that their most reasonable person is no longer. So what does that make the rest of the republicans, who are standing for even more radical ideologies now–Un-bearable!

    August 23, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
  19. Marlene

    Yes, Jack Arizona citizens may vote, but Americans across the nation will remember. Sen. Mccain has become a bitter, grudge holding, old flip flopper and I won't forget. Marlene in Mich

    August 23, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
  20. Jane (Minnesota)

    Id say it has; it's sad to watch a once principled man leave his principles at the door just to pander to extreme right – just because they are squeaking the loudest.

    Remember Jack, Sen. McCain started down this path in 2008 with his choice of VP candidate.

    August 23, 2010 at 2:48 pm |
  21. barbara in NC

    He's an old idiot that married money and is trying to buy his place in the Senate. He needs to go. He wrecked planes, almost flunked the Naval Academy, deserted a crippled wife and their children and is just wealthy scum.

    Any more questions?

    August 23, 2010 at 2:48 pm |
  22. Sunshine

    John McCain is so wishy-washy. He drafted a bill which would include amnesty to illegals. Now he says he never supported amnesty. I am from Arizona and John McCain has done nothing for this State. He campaigned that he and Sarah were mavericks. Now he says he is not a maverick, I hope and pray that no one votes for him although I have friends and because they were in the service they will vote for them. How dumb have people become.

    August 23, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
  23. Annie D.

    All I know is that I'm so old I remember when I respected John McCain.

    August 23, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
  24. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Ah yes Jack, the "HONESTY" of people is appalling. The old ego wins again and again as sad as it is in the political world he has now joined the ranks of the people who sell their soul to win instead of being willing to lose to do the right thing. Welcome to American politics at it's best.

    August 23, 2010 at 2:51 pm |
  25. Conor in Chicago

    Why do you single out McCain? What you described in this article here can be summed up in two expressions: "American Democracy" and "Capitalism".

    You act like McCain is unique in that he is nothing more than an extension of corporate policy at any given moment. Now wonder I barely visit this site anymore.

    August 23, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
  26. Joe G. (Illinois)

    The name of the game is “Equality” not “What is right or wrong!” In other words the immorality of majority takes office over others.

    Why else would Obama get elected only now “In these very last few days?” Obama knows it.. McCain know it..

    August 23, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
  27. bud rupert

    John McCain is a not only a hypocrit of the first order but more then likely will have no remorse for being one after he weasles his way into another term as "Your Senator ARIZONA".

    The people that vote for him should be horse wipped. Allowing the mook to get away with such nonsense.

    Hamilton and Madison were correct then and correct now Jack. That by and large the voting public is ignorant and bigoted and votes with their emotions and not their minds.

    August 23, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
  28. Rudy

    I heard that Congress approved a raised for US Customs and Border Protection Officers from GS-11 to GS -12 for either Sept or October this year , that is absord ,are they sick or what , they way the economy is today they shouldn't give any raise until this economy of the US is fixed.

    August 23, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
  29. Loren

    If the media ever bothered to dig into McCain's life, they would have understood "Maverick" was a hollow self-description and what he said was never particularly consistent or anything other than expedient, pandering to his audience. So the truth about John McCain is blatantly obvious and you're surprised, Jack? Are you that bad a reporter?

    August 23, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
  30. Donald Ferguson

    In 2000, I attended a Memorial Day service where John McCain spoke. His dear friend, and fellow Hanoi Hilton prisoner, spoke also. They were an impressive duo. I read his book and voted for him in the South Carolina Primary, against George W. Bush. The country would have been well served had that John McCain been nominated by the Republican Party.

    Since then, McCain has bowed down to the Republican right wing in an attempt ot gain their support. When he ran against O'Bama, I found him a different man. He had sold his sole to the devil and lost all credibility with me.

    Perhaps the Republican Party will move back to the center, some day, so that a man like the original McCain can speak his mind and make a contribution to the country.

    But his time is past. He wasted it.

    Donald in Bluffton, SC

    August 23, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
  31. Stephen Paul

    Sadly there was time when McCain caught my eye and that was years ago. Several years before the Palin mis-adventure I began to doubt his sincerity ad a candidate. I believe him to be an American but his need to continue being a power monger politician is ruining him as well as most of his cronies.
    I've watched him bounce back and forth for years like a tennis ball pandering to the majority voter. I just can't imagine why anyone would spend so much money on a job that pays relatively little compared to political spending. Could it be the limelight, the ego or just the power trip? You decide but he should be toast.

    Steve
    Nashville, In

    August 23, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
  32. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    to me, what is really sad is that because of the Tea Party crazies so many formerly moderate Republicans are forced to go far right to win a primary. hopefully people like McCain will tack back to the center IF they can defeat the wingnut, like J D Hayward, they are running against.

    IF they DON'T, I fear this country is headed the way of Germany in the 1930's.

    August 23, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
  33. Cal in Denver

    Jack,

    You nailed it right on the head. He has become a panderer to get votes and keep his job. And he is a hypocrite in multiple ways. The word 'integrity' is no longer part of his vocabulary.
    Prime example why we need term limits and real campain reform. Sigh!

    Cal

    August 23, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
  34. Michael, Alexandria, VA

    No, I don't think he is damaging his legacy as much as representing his state. Goldwater's Arizona isn't there anymore. Today's Arizona conservatives are very different, which is sad.

    August 23, 2010 at 3:09 pm |
  35. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Jack:

    If it walks like a politician, talks like a politicial, looks like a politician, its that guy. Who is he ?

    August 23, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
  36. Audrey Fryer

    Just the fact that he is 73 years old should disqualify him – I don't think it's "political ambition" – I think senility is the overiding factor here.

    August 23, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
  37. Kathie

    Any politician will say anything to win an election and that includes Mccain. you can always tell when a politician is lying–their lips are moving!

    August 23, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
  38. Dave, Orlando, FL

    It is a shame when such a brave, heroic, statesman and patriot such as McCain once was, is turned into a pandering, disconnected fool that isn’t even a shell of what he used to be. All because of the corrosive effects of recent politics personified by the likes of an aggressive, ambitious Mother Moose. Is there any wonder why people distrust, dislike and despise our current version of politics? Now please excuse me while I visit the porcelain facility – I can’t keep my lunch down.

    August 23, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
  39. Rudy

    Peoples from all over the world come to America for the American dream and to assimiliate to the American Culture. I do not understand why the Muslims want to have a Muslims University in the U.S. Mostly all University in the U.S. has in religion, bilingual education in their curriculum. Are they trying to take over the U.S. by teaching the radicalism in the Muslims fate.

    August 23, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
  40. Dave

    As a native resident of Arizona I can say that John McCain has indeed changed since he first started. The time of the change was obvious and it was indeed politcal ambition that will ruin his legacy. That moment was when the right wing picked George Bush over him as the nominee for president.

    Since that day he has fallen in line like a good political sheep and has started following the rest of the herd. Unfortunately he will be re-elected by the super smart people of Arizona once more, as we only produce garbage candidates who are rich with no substance.

    August 23, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
  41. Bizz Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    Jack, there were a lot of issues that I disagreed with John McCain on. But what I liked about him was he was his own man. He stood up for what he believed in and was willing to cross party lines be cause of it. Today I lost a lot of respect for John McCain. I started losing respect for him during his run for president. When he chose Sarah Palin as is running mate in order to please the extreme right in his party. Now it seems just about every issue he had strong feelings on, he now changed his mind in order to please the tea party members in his party. It is hard for me to watch a man who done so much for his country and stood up against his party when he felt it was the right thing to do, only to bow to those same people in order to win an election.

    August 23, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
  42. andyz

    Jack, interesting question. I suggest that you allow only Arizona residents to respond. Senator John McCain is only answerable to the voters of Arizona. Ever heard of a man named Machiavelli? Another question Jack, haven't you ever changed your mind on a subject? The press makes such a federal case out of any politician changing their position on an issue, it's absurd. And finally, I doubt if John McCain is prepping for another run for the presidency. After two terms he'd actually be two years older than dirt!

    August 23, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
  43. Larry,Springfield,Ohio

    Jack,McCain is no different than President Obama or any other politician,tell 'em what they want to hear,and once you are elected, do whatever the hell you want.Awful, but true this is every day American politics,and it works the same for both sides of the aisle!

    August 23, 2010 at 3:22 pm |
  44. Dennis north Carolina

    Yes, because he has become a professional political person which means look out for your self not the people. term limits is the correct answer to the problem.

    August 23, 2010 at 3:22 pm |
  45. dave, from pawnee, Ill.

    I believe the radical right got him by his kahoonas.

    August 23, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
  46. Lene, IL

    I don't see anything different about McCain than I did when he had his "Straight Talk Express". He was a flip flopper then and he is a flip flopper now.

    August 23, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
  47. bobwhite 'n KS

    Yes. Political ambition and terrible personal values have changed and ruined Sen John McCain. He is only about his own ego and wealth. This is not a case of "father knows best." Sen McCain can learn a whole lot from his daughter, Meghan.

    August 23, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
  48. diane belmont ca

    yes jack–mccain has ruined his legacy. he has been nothing but a switch-a-roo on many things he stood for. for me, he is just a has been. he should retire and be done with his long career...and live out his remaining years with what pride he has left–if any.

    August 23, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
  49. Irv Lilley

    Sarah Palin ruined McCain's legacy.

    August 23, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
  50. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: We all leave footprints in the sand, the question is, will his be a big heal, or a sorrowful soul. His political reputation is what we say he is. That can be damaged; but his political reputation is for time and what the media creates; his character is for eternity---and that is what is of importance--only time will tell, Jack.

    August 23, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
  51. tom trapani, quito, ecuador

    Jack, this man like all others before doesn't seem to realize the time has come to leave the stage. Ambition overriding principle reveals his lack of character. Straight talk ? More illusion than fact... just more hot air from another politician.

    August 23, 2010 at 3:29 pm |
  52. Ed

    Sort of a catch 22 when the majority say they want the illegal immigration problem dealt with. He flips now but can always flop later.

    August 23, 2010 at 3:30 pm |
  53. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, New York

    Jack,

    At this point, Senator Mccain's concern is more toward self-preservation than legacy. My suspicions are that the well-do-to Mrs McCain has an ironclad prenup.

    August 23, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
  54. JONIQUE

    jonique from virginia writes– the real mccain has finally come full circle.he is desperate for the opportunity to stay in the /senate. He is greedy and self serving. he is as old as me. He needs to find sarah palin and take a trip to alaska. no credentials for this "has been."
    Go home John, enjoy the gran kids like me.In the end, that is who will love you, after all, my man your best days are over, you made a terrible error in judgement. look what you gave sensible Americans, that nutty sarah palin, the jokester.

    August 23, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
  55. Leslie

    No I think age has.

    August 23, 2010 at 3:33 pm |
  56. Erla Williams

    You named it right, Jack..A " Hypocrite " is the best description, where McCain is concerned. His constant TV, programs, asking for His vote, is driving everybody away from doing that. Lots of people, voicing out on this, as it's also, driving them NUTS...Can't stand, that miserable request of his,,,anymore. I automatically Mute my TV, while I'm changing chanels, as nearly every 15 minutes, anymore,,,His Ad comes on. He diffinately contains, 2 " face's " , which He has displayed, for too many yrs, as a Senetor. Who needs Him now.. ??

    August 23, 2010 at 3:33 pm |
  57. Harold in Anchorage,

    John has been that way for years. Unfortunately for him. choosing a female for a running mate in 2008 back-fired on him. I'm sure he was hoping for an increased vote from women.

    August 23, 2010 at 3:33 pm |
  58. McMorty

    Finally, at age 73, the Maverick is coming to his senses and representing the majority of people in his state and in the United States.

    August 23, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
  59. Peggy in Iowa

    His political legacy was lost when he picked that nutjob from Alaska as his running mate and now she won't shut up.

    August 23, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
  60. Gail, Plano TX

    Hi Jack: Mc Cain shot himself in the foot 2 years ago by choosing an unknown obnoxious running mate during his presidential run. He has not changed his politics Jack. This is who he always was. He is a member of the good ole boys' club which include Demint & Graham, and he is now showing his true colors. His blatant disrespect for the President bespeaks volumes. He is way too old to be re-elected to the Senste. Unfortunately, his opponent in the primary is unqualified. Boy oh boy, I glad I don't live in Arizona!

    August 23, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
  61. Terry in Chandler, AZ

    A hallway in my house is full of pictures. These are mostly family. There were once five photos of me with celebrities. There are now four celeb photos. The picture of McCain and I is in a box in a closet. I am saddened of what this man has become. Since his selection of a running mate last year, he has shrunk into person whose philosophies I no longer recognize. We should all hope he regains that old McCain creed, and will once again be a man we admire.

    August 23, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
  62. Carl

    Jack,

    Who are we talking about, McCain who?

    August 23, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
  63. Allison, Vancouver B.C.

    Oh, at last ~ someone telling it like it is.Thank you. McCain has shed every bit of honour, principle ( if he really ever had any) and decency, and for what? He is a pathetic old man, trying to hold on to his sense of power/ entitlement by any means possible. He has denied that he was ever a "maverick" and by doing so he has denied the very identity he tried to build. Who is he? I wonder how he can look at himself in the mirror.The greater wonder is that people will actually vote for him, and apparently he's going to win .The people who vote for him should look at THEMSELVES in the mirror, and wonder why they voted for a man with absolutely no character.

    August 23, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
  64. Steve

    McCain is another one that was out of touch with the people. The kiss of death was when he picked Palin for VP. Mitt Romney was thr better man for the Presidency. It just like everything else, the voters got duped. If he picked Romney for VP, he would have at least a fighting chance to win, but he was stupid. Politicians have no logic. He called Romney a flip flopper. Guess what McCain now is the King of flip floppers. People that accuse people of something are usually the ones that do the things themselves. It's usually a Liberal Trait not a Consevative one. The Liberals are the best at it.
    The bottom line, as a result of his stupidity , we get a real looser in the white house.
    The people will get another chance in 2012. We'll see if we get duped again,

    August 23, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
  65. cecilia

    sadly, yes. he could have turned into a statesman. i wonder if it is the aging process that ruined him, although it is unfair to other seniors to think that.

    August 23, 2010 at 3:51 pm |
  66. Griff

    "Cafferties Kitchen... Dont you dare go picking on John Mr Cafferty. He is your Numero Uno Politician, and if you are just learning. You had better learn quick! Your Country is going to the Dogs, and all you can do is squabble about CNN's mkistake in 20008. You had better wake-up soon Jack or all you'll have left is Mr Blitzers Bones."

    August 23, 2010 at 3:55 pm |
  67. Ed from Port Aransas, TX

    I choose to remember him for his courage at the Hanoi Hilton, refusing to be released because others had been there longer. Sadly, at the end of his career, he compromised his principles because he was in a tight race. It's a demonstration of why we must get rid of professional politicians.

    August 23, 2010 at 3:56 pm |
  68. Jim S

    I believe that McCain began acting irrationally following his loss in the election. His selection of Sarah Palin as a running mate sure showed poor judgment as well as a desire to pander to female voters, which backfired in his face. Now, it seems that he will flip flop just about any issue to please the electorate. He's become like all the rest in Washington and cannot be trusted.

    August 23, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
  69. Susan from Idaho

    I thought a legacy was a term used for someone that was deceased. However, a wishy washy windbag can be alive. Didn't we go through this dog and pony show with him two years ago?

    August 23, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
  70. Harry

    The McCain maverick played both sides of the political fence until his dream of the presidency was finally taken away.

    Was McCain ever really a maverick? Perhaps the McCain maverick was the hypocrite and now we are seeing the real John McCain shine through. You know... the one with the outbursts that were glossed over by the press, because he was a likable "maverick".

    Harry
    Millersburg, Ky

    August 23, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
  71. Geri

    He's first a warrior. Warrior's seek to win at almost any cost, particularly when they are desperate. And McCain is a desperate man,

    Geri, Mead, OK

    August 23, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
  72. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    No his ego has!

    August 23, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
  73. George from SC

    Jack

    Sadly yes, Senator Graham is heading that direction also. What's wrong with our country instead of coming together, we grow further apart. The solution to solve this political mess is the moderate candidate like Scott Brown and Charlie Crist. Lets just hope they don't cave also.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
  74. Arlene, Illinois

    As the saga of John McCain comes to a close, where has he been
    for the last 25 years? Has he been in the back of the bus of the
    straightalk express, instead of driving it, oh I forgot he doesn't
    know how many cars he has. His legacy will be know for the
    most times he appeared on the Sunday talk shows.
    Please John join us for the Senior coffee chats your time has
    passed.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
  75. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    Yes. He is willing to sell his soul to the devil to maintain his power. This negates all of the sympathies for his past POW experience. Now it is not Country First, it is John McCain First.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
  76. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    No, his ego has done all the talking! A weird kind of ego since one would beleive a person to being aware of such incoherence spilling out but frankly this is what being blind by our ego does to any person instead of truly fighting for the people and for the country! He is just like many other republicans fighting for their own ego of beleiving their same old and divisive rhetoric instead of using new words to bring new ideas for new solutions and yes for new results and better outcomes for the american people having faced quite a difficult decade! We are now starting to see more light, better results than at any other time in the recent past! It is not about the past administration; it is about the past poor outcomes and poor results! Too bad his and other's ego has forgotten the better outcomes and better results if some of them were to maintain their values and principles on any of their previous moderate views if they did truly exist at all!

    August 23, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
  77. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    No, his ego has done all the talking! A weird kind of ego since one would beleive a person to being aware of such incoherence spilling out but frankly this is what being blind by our ego does to any person instead of truly fighting for the people and for the country! He is just like many other republicans fighting for their own ego of beleiving their same old and divisive rhetoric instead of using new words to bring new ideas for new solutions and yes for new results and better outcomes for the american people having faced quite a difficult decade! We are now starting to see more light, better results than at any other time in the recent past! It is not about the past administration; it is about the past poor outcomes and poor results! Too bad his ego and other's ego have forgotten the better outcomes and better results possibilities if some of them were to maintain their values and principles on any of their previous moderate views if they did truly exist at all as being moderate views!

    August 23, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
  78. Michael H. in Albuquerque, NM

    Perhaps McCain believes he must represent the political reality of his state, rather than his own thoughts. Like the play by ionesco, he has altered his being from elephant to rhinoserous.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
  79. Rich Moccia

    From New York City, NY
    I think political ambition is a part of it but it is his ego that is ruining his legacy. Sometimes you just need to know when to quit and he is not there yet. We saw this in the Presedential election and now in the current senate election in Arizona. Once viewed as fiercely independant and a voice of reason he just seems to be pandering to win and his positions are now really so unbelievable. And this is unfortunately what he will be remembered for.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
  80. pat in michigan

    Jack I am a democrat and i dont believe he has sold out. Fist I respect him as a man who indured more than you or I ever could.
    Second.Circumstances change. we are drowning in illegal aliens who come here for lots of reasons. but we cant handle it anymore.
    Face the fact that we as a nation will go under because of our mantra of give us your......
    weak immigration laws and a failing immigration system have led to this mess and he is just reacting to the facts. It isnt popular to be sure but it is sure real.
    John Mc Cain has done just fine .If this stuff was easy you would be out of a job.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
  81. Marilyn from Ohio

    Yes, Jack, his political ambitions AND his vice-presidential pick in 2008.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:26 pm |
  82. Alex in Gig Harbor, WA

    To quote his former running mate, "You betcha!" The changes started in 2008 and reached its peak when the maverick denied he was ever a maverick. (We have video, John!) I might have voted for him as president had the previously honorable man of character ran, but when challenged from the right John McCain completely sold out.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:26 pm |
  83. Chuck in Ohio

    Jack: The one thing that ruined John McCain was simple ( Palin). That's it in a nut shell! Get my message???

    August 23, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
  84. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    McCain has rode his military career as long as he can, the fact that if it hadn't been for his father and grandfather he would never been accepted into the academy and with his class rankings would sure as hell never been a pilot and for good reason after crashing a grand total of five fighter planes. He has simply rode a good horse to death. Now he is spending his wife's money to get elected again, why don't some of these old jerks just give it up and get out of office and let someone with a new and refreshing outlook take over.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
  85. Arnold MI

    McCain may be flip flopping on the campaign trail, but as long as he wins the election I can support his policies. It is not that I support this type of policy, but it is what we will end up with if J.D. Hayworth wins the election.

    J.D.Hayworth is another Rush Limbaugh and this is someone we don't need in the Senate and as far as I am concerned, we don't need him in politics. J.D Hayworth is so far to the right that he may call for air strikes if a Mexican lit a firecracker on the Fourth of July. This man is an extreme right winged radical who does not understand politics or economics and is depending on support from people like the Tea Potty and the rest of the illiterates we have in this country.

    I am not a supporter of John McCain, but he is by far the lessor of the two evils.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  86. Colin

    McCain has always pandered, he just used to get away with it more often. On campaign finance he wasn't a fan until he was named one of the Keating 5. He became a champion of what he had abused, there's a pattern of that throughout his career. He's always been a hypocrite he was just better at deceiving the media who were bought incredibly cheaper. The price was donuts?!

    Colin
    Denver (moved to Denver recently lived most of my life in Phoenix, AZ).

    August 23, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  87. Kenneth in Pinon Hills, California

    No, not in this era of Party before Country!

    August 23, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  88. Tom in Abilene,Texas

    I believe ambition has likely destroyed Senator McCain's legacy. Wouldn't it be ironic,however, if he wins and the" old McCain " resurfaces? After all, he would have nothing to lose and might regain a modicum of respect. Just a thought.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
  89. tcaros

    McCaffety: Got brains?

    Really, is there anything inside that noggin of yours McCafferty?

    August 23, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
  90. CommonSense

    Maybe instead of "selling out his principles" he is now representing the people who put him in office.....

    August 23, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  91. Hank

    yes with a side dish of Sarah Palin

    August 23, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  92. honest John in Vermont

    Sadly, he just wants to win another term and will say whatever his handlers tell him will stick to the wall.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  93. K'leen mary

    John McCain lost almost all of my respect when he pulled the most cynical political move I have ever witnessed. Going with the idiot choice of Sarah Palin before discovering that she indeed is an idiot. He was willing to do that to the country he loved just to gain power, so yeah, I respect his past but for me he is history and so is his legacy.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  94. Steve

    I think that most of that "brave.war hero" crap was way overblown by aides and campaign managers..Think more about the petulant temper tantrums, and the switching positions to accomodate whatever group he needs for the next election cycle...That IS and WILL BE his legacy

    August 23, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  95. LauraLa

    Yes!!! I planned to vote for him in the 2008 election UNTIL he picked that wacko Palin as his side-kick. What happened to the John McCain that everyone respected???

    August 23, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  96. Mel Seyffert - Houston

    Just like the Bible says that money is the root of all evil; politics is the ultimate distruction of a person of principle.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  97. Mike_Cox_Sux

    Hopefully he is committing a fraud just to be elected and will end his career voting and acting like he did before Karl Rove and Bush cheated and lied to win the republican nomination in 2000.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  98. Ian from MN

    I'd have to say so. I would have voted for him if he'd won the Rep. primary back in 2000, but now he's so worried about saving his job he's not doing his job.

    This is unfortunately the biggest problem with congress. Senators and Representatives have to pander to the extremist voices within their small neck of the country, rather than what's best for the whole of America.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  99. biggeorge22

    Is anyone surprised? I have watched the transformation over the past few years and it's ugly. It goes to show the power of the far right wing on the Republican Tea party. It's really radical, way too conservative and has no platform solutions other than moral issues. We rejected that nonsense the last time we voted and will again this time too.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  100. riley oday

    Yes hes proven that he will say and do whatever it takes to be reelected.
    Not even a thought of being honest or doing whats right.
    I believe most of the reps and senators are like this.

    charleston wv

    August 23, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  101. Erik Osterrieder

    Yes. McCain changed into something I didn't recognize when he ran against Obama, and he has become worse ever since. I used to like him for his indpendent and common sensical positions regardless of party affiliation. He's lost credibility and integrity. He'll say, pay, or do anything for re-election.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  102. Leo Zainea

    Honor once set John McCain apart from typical politicians. His stances against his own party and the grainy footage of him languishing in the Hanoi Hilton as a POW made him different. Now that is lost. How sad.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  103. PDXSerric

    In other words, McCain is a Politian, changing his opinions with whatever tides may be bringing a vote in his favor. I’m not surprised in the least. The most sickening thing about this is, people will fall for it simply because they feel the need to vindicate how THEY feel by voting for someone who says that’s how he feels. If people took just a little longer to actually review a candidate thoroughly (voting history, etc.) we the people would have a much tighter hold on the reigns of our own government.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  104. James

    McCain needs to retire. He will never be president and is too old for the job he has now. He is power hungry. He said he wanted to be president just to be president. It is a blessing he did not win in 2008.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  105. Mr D

    After the Sarah Palin farce, what do you expect. He evidently has not filed a flight plan and is flying by the seat of his pants in order to make the nearest conservative airfield. It's time for him to pull the ejection handle and bail out into retirement.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  106. Scott

    McCain has become a pathetic version of the politician I once respected. Like the contemporary Republican party, McCain has pandered to the worst instincts of base voters – and our political process has been denigrated as a result. Both are jokes.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  107. Josh

    I'm sure to not be alone in saying this: McCain squandered his legacy when he picked Palin as a running mate.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  108. ~BEVERLY~Mystic,Iowa

    Not sure what did it. Maybe being out in the Arizona sun has taken its toll.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  109. Demetrius Ross

    Yes it has, definitely ruined and tarnished his reputation. I am what you would have called 20 years ago a Reagan Democrat, and I thought that McCain was the guy, untill that VP pick, then I knew something was not right with this man. He has been trying for years to get that last feather in his hat (to be president), but instead he gets a dunce cap. He will probably die while serving in the Senate trying to become the longest serving senator, but once again he will fall short.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  110. Puneet Chandra

    Being a non US citizen, I was neither left, right or center... I am OUTSIDE.

    I used to like many things, McCain said. BUT no more....

    He is another casualty of the conflict between the Domestic US political drama and International compulsions of US policy makers...

    As past US Presidents have steadily lost international respect ( starting Richard Nixon ), times are not far when, a visiting US President will be treated like a paltry British PM on his State Visits.. AND that will be SAD...

    GOD bless ....

    August 23, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  111. Shirley Sherbahn

    Yes Jack, political ambition has ruined John McCane, but he didn't have far to go. We live in Arizona and as far as I can see, he hasn't done much for our state. He is now the total Flip-Flopper. First he's a Maverick and then he isn't. He's for comprehensive immigration (Amnesty) and then he isn't. He's against the "Danged" Wall, and then he's for the "Danged "wall.
    Wouldn't it be nice if we could have a politician that had some convictions and then would stand by them???? What a novel ideal!
    Shirley in Arizona

    August 23, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  112. Delguy

    McCain should be ashamed of himself. 10 years ago ,he easily would've had my vote against Al Gore had he got the nomination . I'm a life long Democrat who is totally disgusted by his transformation from a gutsy ,tell it like it is guy,to the man who will be reviled for introducing SARAH @#$%$$## Palin to America!

    August 23, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  113. Kim in Houston, TX

    You betcha! Started when he chose Sarah Palin as a running mate.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  114. Eardley Ham, Woodbury, MN

    Jack,
    John McCain never had a legacy–he's a cruel and vindictive old man and needs to just go away. Pose that question to his first wife, the one who was horribly injured in an accident and became too ugly to be Johnny's wife. For better or worse, John, that's what you promised.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  115. Alex L

    Only Presidents care about their legacy, most everyone else is interested in keeping that comfy chair in that corner office. If McCain had any interest in what the history books would say, he would have stuck to his beliefs rather than bending and twisting to keep that nice chair.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  116. Jack

    Political ambition is all that it takes to ruin a person and his/her ambition.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  117. Alex

    Your time is up, John. Move over and give others a chance. We definately need term limits in the senate.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  118. Jacques

    He ain't half the man he used to be. I used to rather admire the guy, actually. I probably would have voted for him too, but he lost me when he picked the poorly vetted and ostensibly incompetent Sarah Palin as his running mate. That decision smacked of pandering to a demographic rather than holding true to his principals, behavior which in my eyes is unbecoming of an elected official. These past few years seem to be more of a slide down that path.

    Sad really, when you think about what sorts of positive change the man is capable of effecting.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  119. Maureen Maguire lewis

    I used to think that McCain had integrity. But after insulting the American public by appointing Sarah Palin as his VP, I realize he has none. His legacy will be that of a greedy opportunist.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  120. rc solomon Dallas, TX.

    I voted for McCain for president. I was right for all the wrong reasons.
    O bumma still isn't the answer, but we're right back to the lesser
    of the two evils!? Have we come so far from our principles that
    we don't know right from wrong... just power or win at all costs?

    August 23, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  121. Rick

    Flip flop or not, he's finally supporting the conservative view that he should have been with all along

    August 23, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  122. james

    Dear Jack

    John McCain will be always remembered for choosing Sarha Palin, that in it;s self made him look foolish.
    Now as Senator of Arizona, while the state was screaming immigration enforcement, McCain turned his head and did nothing for eight years under bush. Millions came in to this country Illegally through Arizona in those years.

    Well he did do one thing, he tried to get Amnesty passed for his Corporate lobbyst's so they can keep using that cheap slave Third World labor.

    Now that the people are DEMANDING Immigration enforcement he has changed his mind.

    The man has no respect for the American people and is infact a self serving polotician.

    That is his legacy.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  123. calvin

    Yes vote him out along with all the others. New people in dc now and 1012.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  124. Brad

    YES! That and Sarah Palin. He will do anything to get elected. Sell out to any group that will get him elected. WHY? His views are from the 70's and not really then. He is out of his element and will become senile any day now!

    August 23, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  125. Jerad

    McCain sold out when he started supporting torture at Guantanamo. Once the former POW did that, I knew that all bets were off. I think we'll find that losing that primary to George W Bush changed him more than we will ever know. It's too bad, he's gone from a republican that I could vote for to just another political hack.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  126. Jarod of San Diego

    Jack, McCain's legacy train pulled out of the station during his recent Presidential bid. ...but this much is true, the McCain we all use to know and respect has sold his soul and is long gone...

    August 23, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  127. Rosca Zimmerman

    Yes, John McCain has disgraced his ideals but can you blame him for that? He has to survive and that is the only way he could have survived. What good are ideals for if you would be forgotten the day you lose the primary? Instead of blaming McCain, we should be blaming the ignorant people who bring disgrace to the name of democracy and cast votes based on one-liners. I think the American nation is currently ruining the legacy of this democratic nation and till we figure out a way to educate our public, we would keep on seeing McCain, Harry Reid, and Obama flipping on their ideals.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  128. Kathy Prendergast

    John McCain's legacy was ruined when he accepted Sarah Palin as his running mate, she was a nobody, with no brains and he made her into the loud mouth, virtual idot she has become.,

    August 23, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  129. RB

    I believe McCain ruined his legacy the day he chose Sarah Palin as his presidential running mate. Willfully thrusting an undereducated, inexperienced, narrow-minded, childish, deliberately polarizing character like Sarah Palin into American history, McCain showed that he cared more about votes than about the good of America's legacy. I hold McCain completely responsible for the brazen idiot-ification of American political discourse that has come to pass since he decided to hoist the blathering, simple-minded, self-proclaimed reincarnation of Shakespeare upon the rest of us.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  130. Guy Grand - FL

    Yup – the old warrior in the end threw himself on the Punji Sticks of the Far Right Whack Jobs ... Or – is this REALLY how he's felt all along and now the truth comes out – THAT is the sadness. the questioning itself – and now left to history to decide his legacy ... hope it was all worth it.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  131. Illinoistom

    Typical windsock that runs to the right every 6 years. Of course, running to the left like Specter did isn't such a great move these days for a RINO. Republicans do better when they stand on the principles of limited Federal government, and the power of the private sector to grow the economy, and an unshakeable belief in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It worked for Ronald Reagan and America in the 80's, it will work now.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  132. Joe from Brigantine, NJ

    It certainly seems that way. Unfortunately he is just one of many who will do whatever is required to get elected or re-elected. The current Political situation is a sad commentary on the State of our country and it's so called leaders.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  133. Matt

    He has my respect as a solder. But I never had confident on him as a politician. He easily switched the side and he gets too much influenced by others such as Liberman. He does NOT know much about world, but he has opinion about everything influenced by his surrounding. Then again, what do you expect when he selects sarah palin as his running mate!

    August 23, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  134. Vin

    Yes it has. McCain used to be a Republican moderate. He was Pro-Choice, Pro-Amnesty, Pro-military, Pro-war, etc... Now the only thing he IS pro about is himself. He is no longer the maverick I used to admire, and has become what he himself used to despize in others.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  135. Tracy - Bullhead City

    How do you know he's become a hypocrite, Jack? It seems to me he finally is paying attention to what his constituents want. I thought that was what politicians were supposed to do, not do what the lobbyist and special interest groups want. The fact is that we Arizonans are tired of our tax dollars paying for entitlement programs for the illegals, we can't afford any climate change bill, and we want the "don't ask don't tell" to be decided by those who serve in the military. I will vote for McCain again, because he has always been against pork spending, the other changes in his campaign are just icing on the cake.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  136. Mack from Michigan

    It has with me Jack and it began when he inflicted Sarah Palin onto us all. His flippin and floppin in this primary has just managed to reinforce the only good thing I know about the republicans of today. Their cheap to bury when they die cause any thing that crooked you can just screw into the ground ya don;t even have to dig a hole.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  137. Griff

    "This is the Man you stole the 'Moment' from. And for stealing just one moment, it will take months to correct. But that wont be until months after Obama is out of office. The horr-orifice that swallowed billions of American dollars."

    August 23, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  138. garc

    Yes. Not only do the examples you mention prove the point, but there's also Silly Sarah, whom he chose as his running mate last election because he actually thought women are so simple-minded we would somehow "confuse" her for Hilary Clinton.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  139. jsa

    McCain's position on immigration hasn't changed. You can be all in favor of making the immigration process more fluid while enforcing that immigrants that are here are both legal and not criminal.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  140. Jean Bather

    Well said, Jack; couldn't agree more.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  141. susan n

    McCain lost all credibility when he added Palin to his ticket – prior to that while I did not support positions he held on issues, I could respect him. but no longer – in choosing Palin he showed how he could be sold to the GOP and risk placing an incompent on his ticket – I think he should retire gracefully though Haywood is a disaster as well

    August 23, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  142. James from Lebanon, PA

    Are you seriously asking this question now? It's about a couple years too late. Your answer lies in his selection of a running mate in 2008.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  143. Brian

    Hey John. How about asking if his political ambition has hurt the people he's supposed to represent? In fact, we should be posing that question to every person holding a position of power in our government. I find it hard to care about a multi-millionaire's legacy with the current state of the country and world. Let's focus on people that actually deserve our attention.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  144. AzRose

    No, I don't believe that political ambition will change John McCain's legacy. I believe that when he is elected we will see the return of the John McCain that we all respected. He is a better choice than his opponent, I don't trust what J.D. Hayworth says at all, he is the one with the political ambitions. The way the Obama administration is handling everything it is easy for a politician to change their stance on many issues.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  145. Clint, Wa.

    No, the only legacy John McCain has claim to is crashing fighter jets.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  146. Les

    While there is no question that the last two years have placed a stain on what Sen. John McCain has stood for as a politician, his true legacy was forged as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. The legacy that he created there can not be stained by acting like a politician.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  147. Michael Shea Albuquerque,NM

    ll of this changed when McCain ran for President in 2008. He knew because of his age this was his last chance to run for president. McCain capitulated to right-wing Republican principals.

    This has happened even more in his 2010 Senate Primary. He even renounces his "Maverick" legacy.As of this writing McCain has a comfortable lead with his primary. However after the election he'll just be abother Conservative Republican Politician.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  148. davep

    Are you kidding?? The so called "Maverick" lost me when he picked that nut job from Alaska. He went hard right on that choice why would he do any different now? Sadly just another politician whose legacy is forever tarnished.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  149. Todd

    Hi Jack,

    He ruined his legacy when he picked Sarah Palin as his VP running mate.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  150. Manny Hillman

    Besides the good legacy you recite about McCain, there is also the bad legacy. He was involved in the same scandal that ruined the careers of senators with better reputations. He chose someone of the lack of character and competence as Sarah Palin for his vice presidential running mate. He considered War as a justified method for solving political problems with other nations – despite his personal experience. Perhaps his present attitude is merely an extension of this last item. He is waging war; anything goes.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  151. shellibelli

    He lost all credibility with me when he signed on a completely unvetted Palin, I seriously still question his sanity with that one.

    Louisville Ky

    August 23, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  152. Rob in DC

    I worked for Senator McCain over a decade ago and I am greatly saddened to say I barely recognize this version of the man. I miss the guy who went after problems regardless of the polling and in close partnership with anyone who was willing to tackle the tough stuff regardless of which side of the aisle they were from.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  153. neville

    He's from Arizon which have already lost itself. He couldn't help it.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  154. Eiolg

    As they say, "is the pope Catholic?"

    August 23, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  155. M ST

    It is likely that the reverse is true; that the loss of his political ambition ruined his legacy.

    Obviously, his positions made him appealing as a mainstream candidate to Republicans and Democrats alike. It was his intention to utilize this appeal as political power in the 2000 and 2008 presidential election. Now that he knows he will never rise above the level of senator, he is content to sit back, quietly follow his party, and let someone else rock the boat. His logic is understandable, albeit amoral.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  156. Laura

    As an Arizona voter it has been painful to watch John McCain change his position on issue of national importance. However, I have seen too many good candidates get trounced by crazy right wing voters in my state and I am willing to forgive McCain almost anything so long he beats Hayworth in the Republican primary. Perhaps that makes me jaded, but the thought of Hayworth representing me in congress is repulsive. Sometimes people sacrafice themselves for the good of the whole and I guarantee you that whatever McCain has sacraficed to win this election was well worth the trade off - the entire country should send him a "thank you" note when he wins the primary.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  157. Chris from Alabama

    I think his legacy was ruined when he chose Sarah Palin to be his running mate. He alone is to blame for this Crazy extreme right fringe movement that she "unofficially" leads. She knows nothing she says makes any real sense but she says it because she gets PAID. McCain gave her the platform.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  158. Ender

    I completely agree. The only political donation I ever made, and the only political t-shirt I have ever worn, was for McCain and his Straight Talk in the 2000 election. The principled maverick I supported has sold those principles one by one, in 2004, 2008, and now, and what is left is just another say-what-I-need-to-say politician. What he was once above, he is now a poster child for.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  159. Linda

    The beginning of the end of the "Maverick" is when he chose Sarah Palin as his running mate. Just to get the "Hilary" vote and win the Presidency the old man was willing to do just about anything! Even sell his soul!

    August 23, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  160. mccain sold out years ago

    if mccain were just now selling out for the first time maybe his legacy would be stained, but he sold out years ago...
    he ran against george bush in the 2000 primary and was driven from contesting that primary in SC by george bush's robo-calls implying that his adopted daughter (of color) was actually and illigitimate love-child. mccain later hugged and endorsed bush and his ultra-conservative agenda. mccain selling out? OLD NEWS...NEXT!

    August 23, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  161. Richard Rom

    From Arizona.
    You hit the nail on the head. McCain is an example of what is ruining this country, no ideals just pander to the voters. That is why our, ugh! governor is leading the polls right now. Pander for POWER! Keep up the great (Intelligent)columns.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  162. KCLaw

    Isn't it sad how the "Maverick" has become just another "bum steer."

    KCLaw in KCMO

    August 23, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  163. PaulinABQ

    He's never gotten back on track since the disastrous pick of the brain-addled half Gov Palin as his VP. He wants revenge on Obama for beating him, and the only way he knows how is to be front and center with "NO!"

    August 23, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  164. Michael

    "McCain has gone from maverick to panderer", What do you expect he is a Politician , they go flip flap all the time , all of them not just him. We need to change the Politicians Like Diapers , they stink after a wile.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  165. Jeff In Minnesota

    It does seem to appear that way. This is just one of the best examples of a politician doing anything to keep their job. Not that John McCain has been a bad Senator for the State of Arizona. But if you have to sell your soul to get re-elected, maybe it's time to get out.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  166. Ernest - Alaska

    Actual conservatives always knew he wasn't one, and pretending to be one now isn't going to convince anyone. By flip-flopping, now even the liberals don't like him, either. Sounds like he's done a fine job of destroying his 'legacy', all by himself.

    I really hope he loses, even though it looks unlikely.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  167. plasticheadblog.com

    Perhaps he's building another legacy...

    August 23, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  168. Edward Watson

    Lets just thank our lucky stars he's not president!

    August 23, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  169. Aria/Chevy Chase MD

    You need not to go far to summarize his legacy; just look at his photo hugging President Bush. It will tell you everything about the man. When he lost for the Republican candidacy against President Bush he wrapped his arms around the Cowboy like a little girl; that showed me his true colors.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  170. Mike

    Not to mention he went crawling back to Bush and Co. in 2008 after they had completely trashed him in South Carolina in 2000 (probably from the Rove playbook, and one of the most contemptible things I have ever seen in politics).
    Mike
    Boston

    August 23, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  171. Tammy from Ca

    I am a liberal and always had respect for John McCain until he selected Sarah Palin for the VP spot. Thats when he jumped the shark. Since then , he continues to ignore what made him a well respected politician from both sides: His ability to make reasonable decisions for the people, not driven by party lines.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  172. Sam Dallas

    Straight answer is YES. John McCain is no longer a maverick, but a mere flip floping politician, his more hardline character is bolstered by the passage of the health care, and since he knew he cannot walk the hallway of the white house as the President, so what the heck.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  173. Doc

    Doesn't it ruine them all?

    Name one politician that doesn't pander...Maybe that's why our government is broken.

    At his age he should do what is right for the country and if it costs him his seat then so be it. At least he could walk away knowing that he did what he thought was best.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  174. Dave Steinberg

    It has absolutely ruined his legacy. While he was a Maverick, and had very strong and centrist views, he had my vote locked up for president. But as he began pandering to the far right, he may have gained a few more conservatives, but he lost my vote and I suspect much of the moderate middle as well. What a shame that polotical ambition has to get in the way of sticking to what you believe in.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  175. B. R. Kitchen

    I read your article on McCain. The sad part is that there is no difference in McCain and the other Washington Politicians. We need some statesmen so bad in D. C and we need some true news media.
    By the way I am an Arizona voter and approve SB-1070 as most of the entire country and legal Americans does, so what does that again say about the D. C. politicians.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  176. Mike

    Absolutely ambition has ruined McCain's legacy! as a Vet of the same war I once respected him very highly. Now he is just another scum bag politician, A vote whore if you will allow me that latitude! He has clearly demonstrated that he wil do anything or say anything for the votes it takes to keep him in power.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  177. Ken from Little Rhody

    No picking Sarah Palin as his running mate was what ruined his legacy !

    August 23, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  178. Chris

    It's sad but true. Mr. McCain is now only interested in being re-elected and not matter the cost. I had for a long time been a supporter of his but his choice of Sarah Palin was the dead of this support. Expediency over principles.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  179. John

    I hope he believed his old principles.

    He should have been like his friends Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Charlie Crist of Florida. Stick by your principles, be prepared to lose your party's nomination, run as an independent, win the General election. John McCain would have shown he is truly is own man, and would have trounced all comers.

    Gainesville, Florida

    August 23, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  180. Jason

    Yes. No further explanation required.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  181. Don Desaulniers (Belleville, Ontario)

    The only American politician who genuinely appeared to put his ideas above his election was Ralph Nader, and his lack of political success speaks for itself.
    Politics is no place for principles. Like rats in a maze, lobbyists can make candidates say and do whatever their masters demand.
    John McCain is and always was one hundred percent politician. That is his legacy.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  182. robert lombardi

    McCain had an opportunity after the election to become the elder statesman, the Clay or Webster of the 21 century and help the nation with a display of bipartisanship. Instead we were treated to a bitter old man who resented the fact that he had been denied the presidency he thought the country owed him. Now he has become a typical hack, more interested in his seat than his nation, diappointing.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  183. Chris - New Jersey

    Jack,
    It's not over till it's over... meaning that John McCain many just flip back as the political winds dictate. And we also know that history has a way of forgetting the facts that don't fit the legacy. I'm disapointed that the maverick can't win being a maverick this election cycle. But after he is gone, I will always remember the hero and the straight talk express. The good work is worth remembering.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  184. Kevin K

    If he didn't already with his embarrassing 2008 campaign he is now officially a tired old retread. Another poster-child for term limits.

    Arlington, VA

    August 23, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  185. RONALD SMITH

    ...and let's drop the "war hero" crap. He was shot down bombing factories in which innocent civilians were working. And what came of it? We now have diplomatic relations with Viet Nam and it's an important business and tourist destinations.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  186. Jimmy Cracks corn

    Jack it ..took you this long to write this article? His mastery of the flip-flop was oh so apparent in 2008 when he ran for head of state!!

    August 23, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  187. James Pfeiffer

    Unfortunately, McCain is a career politician and is, in many ways, a perfect example of what has gone wrong with government in this country.
    He will spend any amount of money and say anything he knows people want to hear in order to get elected. He panders to the fears of the naive rather then be courageous and stand for something insightful, brave and wise. It's a sad time for America right now...and McCain isn't helping.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  188. Dave

    Jack I agree...where has the once-defiant John McCain gone. I actually switched from being registered as an Independent in 2008 so that I could vote for him in the 2008 primary. I couldn't say that today. And I think I was disappointed by his choice for a presidential running mate...Sarah Palin. Not sure where that logic came from.

    Sad to say, McCain wouldn't get my vote today. He's pandering too far to the right in order to get votes. Once a maverick, now he's just another Washington insider. Sad...very sad. Maybe he's just getting old and his mind isn't as clear as it once was.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  189. Bob Lapen

    "The maverick becomes a hypocrite" He is a Republican – by definition of Republican he is a Hypocrite!!!!!!

    What do you expect? Ask his first wife. A Republican staunch suppoter of family values? Except when he needed to pursue power and money. A Hypocrite from the beginning.

    Why did he move to Arizona? He was not a native. Only place he could broker getting elected.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  190. Jim

    Jack, Senator McCain's legacy was tarred and feathered when he thrust Sarah Palin upon us. He has now ensured that the tarnish to his legacy will be permanent. It's sad to see him cave in to the far-right at the expense of his long-held principals - maverick no more.

    Jim
    Rome, GA

    August 23, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  191. B-Dog

    There are 2 simple words that ruined McCain's legacy.

    Sarah Palin.

    By choosing Palin McCain FORCED all Democrats and all independents to vote for Obama.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  192. david

    McCain's run for re-election makes a mockery of his presidential campaign slogan "Country First" . . . now it's McCain first. Shameful!

    August 23, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  193. Chris

    I thought we found this out during his election campaign? Watching him change stances in front of the camera was very depressing to witness. Everything from his immigration stance at a Hispanic forum ( he was for), to his "overturn" roe vs wade at the next gathering, to his eventual running mate pick- the man became a professional panderer. It's shameful, I used to believe him to be a great man. Now he's just another politician.

    Chris ,Baltimore.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  194. Joe

    the ony difference between a hooker and a politician of mccain's ilk is the price of the trick..

    San Antonio

    August 23, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  195. Chris from Charlotte

    Jack,

    In a word no. I say that because he would need a legacy first, to ruin. He is just another of the many republicans that have worked on destroying the country like all the loyal republicans have for the last thirty-years. Here's my question to McCain. How come you claim to love America, yet clearly hate Americans

    August 23, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  196. Peter

    I don't know what specifically ruined him. Maybe the seeds were sown with what Rove and Bush did to him in the previous election. He had definitely capitulated when he selected Palin as a running mate. I have completely lost any admiration I had for him.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  197. TERESA GERJEVIC

    Nothing new about him....he is a poor loser!!! Started when he lost to George W.....downhill since then...I pray for him....PTS if you ask me. Glad his finger is not on the hot button

    August 23, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  198. Bill

    McCain is a republican, they will conceal their true stripes for any given goal or goals over any given time, but at their core they have no principles and would throw their own mother under the bus if it would get them reelected.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  199. David in Arizona

    It is ironic that Megan McCain resembles that maverick more then the maverick himself. This is another reason, to a list of countless others on both sides of the isle; why we need a viable 3rd party.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  200. Kevin

    Jack:

    You say he's a hypocrite and a flip-flopper. Some think there's another possibility: John McCain has flat-out lost his mind. After all, he tried to convince Americans that a winking leather pant suit should be a heartbeat away from the presidency.

    I'm 51 and I lose my keys and my glasses. McCain, at 73, seems to have lost his principles. But maybe it's just an act. Maybe the former POW, while mumbling to himself, is really planning his political escape. Maybe on Friday morning, with the primary over, he'll wake up, like a soap opera character who has had amnesia, and remember who he is.

    And then he'll wink at us. You know, like what's-her-name.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  201. Bob Weaver

    Jack:
    I gave up on McCain long ago. His gutless switcheroos became too much to stomach. I believe he may have used similar tactics to stay out of trouble in the Nam slam but on that we'll never know.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  202. androloma

    Commerce City, Colorado:

    John McCain's shift on those policies is what working class America needs, Jack. No more illegal imports to subvert middle class incomes, which have remained stagnant for so long, that it's profoundly affected consumer spending. And while it may be PC to welcome homosexuals into specific, non-combat areas of the military, there are certainly other sectors which will never condone such misplacement and their segregation would be supported by a clear majority of personnel. Non-vets have no business advocating for homosexual inclusion into the armed forces, and white-collar politicians disrespect the working class by doing nothing to stop the flood of cheap labor into this country that the elite so readily exploit.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  203. Jerry Johns Creek, GA

    John McCain is not just another politician, he is an American Hero. What has changed is America. Hypocrite is a little harsh and totally inaccurate portrayal of Senator McCain. He represents the people of Arizona, that is the legal citizens of Arizona and he has come to realize that his the people he represents are compassionate about stopping a foreign invasion upon his state. On campaign reform, if the other side will not step forward to address campaign reform issue then it is time to show them what can happen if they continue with their arrogant, ignorant attitudes.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  204. Glenn

    Yes, and it's sad. An independent Republican that folks use to support is no more....

    August 23, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  205. John

    Couldn't say it better than you did, Jack. From "maverick" to total pandering party hack. Very sad.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  206. Nick

    What’s new, another politician willing to say whatever it takes to get elected! What happened to believing in what you say and standing behind it? I am sure there are examples of this kind of pandering from democrats also. It is sad that so few politicians actually believe in what comes out of their mouth.

    I would love more articles like this. It would be nice if more media outlets actually held these clowns accountable for their words. This country needs a clean slate on both sides of the isle. This politics as usual crap is ruining this country.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  207. jeff george

    I even voted for this guy in the 2000 primary. But he has increasingly shelved his reach-across and otherwise very pragmatic approach and become just another hard right panderer. There are NO more moderate Republicans, just wingnuts and fraidy cats. At least a few of them are finally standing up to the birthers and the 14th amendment idiots, but not many. Very, very sad to see the party I once liked turn into a bunch of fringe guys and ostriches.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  208. Rick

    The pandering began with the pick of Palin to share the tickey, and it has done nothing but ramp up since. While I'm not sure if I would have voted for a Palin-less ticket, I had respect for the man. That respect is gone, and his legacy goes with it.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  209. Midwest Jim

    McCain ruined his reputation by picking Palin.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  210. Glenn in Dallas

    Jack,

    It's simple. He's ending his career the way it started. He is an example why we do not need career politicians. My grandmother always said, "There's no fool like an old fool!" At 73 years old, where is the evidence of the wisdom he should have gained from life?

    August 23, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  211. Carmen

    Is clear,he is like the politician are. McCain play the roll of Cain in the begining of creation. He have no sence when he choose Sara Pailin as a vice-president cadidate in last elections

    August 23, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  212. John

    I'm disappointed in him. I supported him in his 2000 primary against Mr. Bush but. I no longer have confidence in him.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  213. Ken in Mt

    In all honesty , as one who used to respect McCain but no longer does, I have to wonder if he took too many hard shots to the brain case when he was cooling his heels in the Hanoi Hilton. Brain trauma has been shown to generate degenerative brain function(s) and the Hanoi Hilton was not known as the country club area. What is more confusing is that McCain has this as an excuse but so few who share his thouhgts do not.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  214. Jerry - Florida

    Jack, if you are asking this question about Senator McCain, you should be asking the same exact question about our clueless/hypocritical present president. Even though I am a life-long Democrat, I have always considered Senator McCain a man of character. I wish I could opine the same about our current president. An individual that you seemed to support during and after the past presidential campaign.

    I guess we, the American populace, owe you and CNN a debt of gratitude. Jack, CNN thanks for nothing!

    August 23, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  215. ted

    agree with Clint,
    just a soldier who crashed jets and bombed
    innocent vietname people.
    no style no spin just a pure ego guy.
    its time to retire McPain

    August 23, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  216. Tom

    Sounds like Arlen Spector redux. Why can't they just quit?

    August 23, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  217. jmt

    He is a good example of why we need term limits!

    He lost his political value structure years ago.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  218. FRED LEINFEST

    McCain is guilty on every item you mentioned but he will be remembered
    primarily for picking an obscure and undereducated person to succeed
    him should he have been elected President in 2008. It was obvious then
    that his country ranked second to his ambition to become president. And
    that, I submit, is unforgivable and should be reason enough to deny him
    his fifth term in the senate of the United States. Unfortunately, this will not
    happen.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  219. ted

    NO, acting like a scared little boy when mention of a recession fell on both him and our president at the time of election. He lost my vote!

    August 23, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  220. Pete

    McCain, like so many long-term politicians, lost sight why they are their in the first place – to serve the interest of their constituents, not themselves. I've never been a McCain fan because he just never impressed me with solid decisions; or, he is just too conservative for me. I lost all credibility and faith in him when he selected Palin as his running mate. That was a totally unacceptable plunder. It's time for McCain to go. Thanks for your service John. Time to write a book and be a consultant.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  221. Patsy, Texas

    Sad for sure, Jack. In fact, those things you listed caused me to
    consider voting for Senator McCain, until he picked you-know-who-
    and I heard her speak. He has gone down hill since that day and
    cannot get back on track. Sad for Arizona that the two choices
    are now the epitome of "lesser of two evils". However, many of us are in
    the same boat, and it will take a miracle to shake sense into these
    "Southern" States. They have saved their confederate money,
    they see the Alamo rising like the Phoenix(AZ), and they are "locked
    and loaded". So, McCain is not the only one being eaten up by the
    many factions of the tea party, and I can only pray that most
    Americans will deny them their radical ambitions. John McCain
    made a terrible decision, which proves his judgment is gone, he
    is not true to himself, and you are right, selfish ambition now drives
    him. Sad for sure. Thank you

    August 23, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  222. Ned

    Sadly, McCain has become a casualty of a two dominant party political system. A system that leaves out the majority of Americans and has hijacked our democracy. With this, no matter which of the two parties, you have to run to their extremes. Extremes that do nothing for our economy or making America a better place. Instead of what's best for our country we've been reduced to what's best for these runaway parties. Remove the stanglehold these two parties have on our country and maybe a guy like McCain can stay the McCain we used to admire.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  223. Robert in NYC

    Yes Jack. John McCain is a hypocrite. The only reason it appears as though he may win this election is due to the enormous amount of money he spent. (Well, I hope it helped stimulate the economy!) And, JD Hayworth's infomercial where he touted "Free Government Money". John McCain is a sellout. I will never forgive the man who gave us the gift that keeps on giving, Sarah Palin. That decision alone showed us what poor judgement he has.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  224. Bill Peck

    This is not news. It started when he picked Caribou Barbie for his running mate and unleashed the "dumb-down America" tour on the nation. Nothing surprises me now coming from this bitter old man who believed that the country owed him the presidency.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  225. Tom Walker

    Don't fret Jack. J.D. Hayworth has forced John. McCain to run the Straight Talk Express to the right for a while, but it'll all be over tomorrow. After that I am confident that Mr. McCain be driving so much on the left side of the road that those who follow him will think they are in England. Politics... ya gotta have a strong stomach.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  226. Jim Joseph

    Really, who in their right minds can vote for the GOP anymore? On what basis? It's frightful that 57 million people voted for McCain and Palin. I'm at a loss to understand what resonates with GOP voters anymore. Guess the GOP is content to fill up their Big Tent with Teabags and Gasbags. There should be 57 million red faces out there.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  227. Bill Sharpe

    Where have you been Jack ?

    McCain showed himself to be a hypocrite when he campaigned for George W. after all criticism and comments.

    He further showed his complete abandonment of principal when he selected an inexperienced running mate that he didn't even know just to win an election.

    The McCain of pre 2006 was a methodical maverick on the way to becoming a statesman, but the taste of the water of the Potomac got in his way.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  228. D.M San Diego

    No it didn't. Being a Republican did.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  229. Evil Hollywood Liberal

    John McCain ruined any legacy he had, by bringing us Sarah Palin. That one wrong move immediately and completely offset any goodwill, accomplishments, etc. he accrued over his entire career. Thanks, John.......

    August 23, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  230. Roberto in Maine

    A war hero yes, an admired politician alas no longer. The insanity of the extreme right has poisoned him and what should have been a brillant legacy is now lost.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  231. Robert in NYC

    For someone who's supposedly such an internet whizkid now... I hope John McCain is reading these comments.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  232. Nanci

    McCain is a sad case. As an Arizona native, I have helped elect some of the finest politicians. Unfortunately, McCain was a carpetbagger who, when elected, failed to do ANYTHING to benefit the state of Arizona. He has, over the years, done much to place himself in the national spotlight, however. He has kept his word on one point though. He has never, ever brought a dime of much needed federal money into Az for any projects. And his treatment of local businesses, that do employee thousands, is shameful.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  233. Elizabeth

    Jack:

    McCain was pretty much finished when he took Sarah Palin on as a running mate in the Presidential race. She spewed so much garbage during that time and look at her now. Still going, no matter what stupidity and racist propaganda come out of her mouth. She is getting rich lying.
    He ended up looking like an old has been. So now, it looks like he has taken a page from her book and is being just as nasty and hateful as she is and like you said he is leading. Its actually quite sad. I used to respect this man, but no more. He has become another egocentric career politician with no shame! Dont know how he can look himself in the mirror. He sold out his fellow Vets years ago. He has no honor!

    August 23, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  234. Ivan Fernandez

    Jack,

    You are concerned about a non-issue. Why don't you pay attention to some burning issues such as future of Social Security, Mosque (celebrating Al-qaida's attack on 9/11), rising unemployment, corrupt politicians who do horse trading, Iran getting bolder & bigger than ever? Are you happy to be living in this country when our leaders are behaving like teenagers who just received their credit cards? Don't mortgage your soul Jack. Use your brain to think. Don't allow your heart to dance to every tune you hear at the king's banquet.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  235. pitamorin

    Senator McCain is the biggest hyprocite ever!! He might as well wear a KKK robe now....I used to respect his ideals and his inner strength to stand up for what he believes – he sold his soul to the racist conservative movement in the U.S. There is no legacy left to speak of – a negative one if any,,,,,

    August 23, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  236. MikinAZ

    " he's just another politician willing to sell out his principles for a vote." is right...claims he never was a "maverick" – does anyone remember the (if not you can search for it) Keating Five?

    August 23, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  237. Mark from Boston

    Jack,

    Uh, NO! He's a politician. What did you expect – Integrity, honesty, and acting in the best interest of the people?

    People need to stop pointing fingers and complaining all the time and simply realize the word FAIR is only synonymous with circus clowns, small towns and cotton candy.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  238. Gary H. Boyd

    In a word - YES. As a 33 year Arizona resident I've watched this guy from the virtual beginning and you're right Jack, he's sold out. The dictionary definition of "POLITICIAN" includes a quote by John F Kennedy, to wit: "Mothers may still want their favorite sons to grow up to be President but, .. they do not want them to become politicians in the process". That fits McCain to a "T". Sad, but true.

    Gary Boyd in Scottsdale, Arizona

    August 23, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  239. Bob Kobs

    What legacy? The never had one to begin with. He graduated last at the Navy Academy, flew every plane he ever piloted into electic pylons and, sung like a canary when the Vietcongs captured him. Yet when he returned, he sold himself as a hero and has been on a public dime ever since. After he lost the presidential campaign, he continued to undermine the Prez-by the way, this man left us with a divisive, opportunistic and unqualified woman called Palin– that he unleashed on us and now, in a bid to go back to his old corrupt ways in the senate, he is showing his true colors–an angry, narrow-minded opportunist who will do anything to stay in power.

    He is a sad old man.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  240. Doris Lauter

    I think it is laughable that McCain was so set on giving illegal immigrants a path to citizenship, and now, since the country overwhelmingly agrees with the Arizona law, he jumped on the bandwagon to love it. I don"t trust anyone who changes to fit the public sentiment just to get votes.
    Doris
    Ojai, California

    August 23, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  241. Allen L Wenger

    Yes, John McCain went from someone we admired and thought was honest, to someone who will say and do anything to get elected. It is sad.

    Mountain Home ID

    August 23, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  242. toshmaster1

    Are you surprised? After picking this dingbat from Alaska to be the VP and saying that there was no problem with the economy, would you expect something better? he will do what it takes like 99% of other politicians. The system is broken!

    August 23, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  243. Johnny Sedona

    I'm an Arizona democrat. (Don't laugh. There's a few of us here.) I would have voted for John McCain for President in 2000, but after he picked Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008, he lost my respect and my vote. Watching him flip-flop on issues in the past few years has been extremely sad. It's time for him to retire, and I hope we soon have a democrat replacing him. But like anybody in their right mind, I sure don't want to see his seat go to J.D. Hayworth; that would e disastrous!

    August 23, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  244. Mike California

    Jack, it's the current political climate which is corrupting the smallest bits of good and hope in any politician. McCain can't do his state or country any good if his folks won't elect him. As Arizona's representative in the Senate, he must reflect his people's views – even if he disagrees. That's the job of a representative. I wish more politicians worked the same way. McCain is still great.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  245. Nathan M. Greenfield

    Senator McCain is and always has been a fraud. He is the product of interviews with CNN's Larry King; McCain is, I believe, THE MOST interviewed politician on King's long running show.

    Only in the Republican Party could McCain be considered a maverick. What more should we expect from a man who opposed the creation of Martin Luther King Day; something even that well known wide-eyed radical Ronald Reagan supported. What more should we expect from a man who believed Palin was fit to be "a heart beat away" from the button.

    Too bad he did not follow General McArthur's example (if not his words) and as an old soldier simply fade away.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  246. C Ricks, washington, dc

    The same ole McCain....Didn't support MLK Day, Quote, I made a mistake when he was on his campaign tour....Flip the switch, john.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  247. Armas Pukala

    This guy was a man of principle and integrity for years, ignoring the party line when it was the right thing to do.
    Now he's pandering to what he sees as the prevailing mood in Arizona just to get re-elected.
    The first sign he was falling off the rails was when he selected Palin as his running mate.
    Caledonia, ON., Canada

    August 23, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  248. John Gill

    He was done when he was kissing Bush's boots in 2004. It was clear then that he had sold out, and now is just another Republican and not an American.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  249. concernedvoter

    We are not surprise!! He been a hypocrite even when we thought not

    August 23, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  250. Allie

    No latino votes for McCain tomorrow. Randy Parraz for US Senate in Arizona!

    August 23, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  251. Michael n Seattle

    Mc Cain ruined his legacy when he selected Palin as VP

    August 23, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  252. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    It is not political ambition that fuels McCain or most politicians, it is the thirst for power and attention and the addiction to both.

    Any addict will lie, manipulate, cheat, and sell their soul to feed that addiction. McCain is no different.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  253. independent voter

    I lost faith in McCain a long time ago-
    When we departed a plane at the same time/standing near each other, some years back....(Bush was president), I made favorable comments to him. He simply looked past me and said (I am paraphrasing) I hope you liked Arizona and visit again. No thank you..no 'real world 'acknowledgment of my words. The comment was incongruous and out of place. You would think that a sincere ('straight talk express') politician would be ready for times like that–meeting constituents spontaneously –and sounding 'real'.
    As I thought about that long afterwards, I realized/concluded that he was a phony,
    Recent events have proven it.
    Needless to say perhaps, but he did not get my vote
    Rockville, Maryland

    August 23, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  254. George

    John Maccain is a fine example of the cant get anything done encumbant wreckage that has come to define the beltway on both sides of the isle. Reg. his legacy,his legacy was trashed the day he stood beside Palin and announced her as his running mate.
    George
    Chester,Ct.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  255. Anne Osborne

    McCain certainly has sacrificed his record for political gain. The 2008 election was his downfall with his race to the right and the addition of Sarah Palin to the ticket. Since then he has not been able to return to his previous image of the moderate Republican who championed bipartisanship and comprehensive immigration reform.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  256. Mick from Aruba

    Yes and it became evident when he allowed the advisors to pick Sarah Palin as his running mate.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  257. Chaney. La.

    McCain sadly is an example of what is wrong with our political scene, he has been there too long, and his legacy will suffer for it, just like his good sense.....its gone....

    August 23, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  258. Don Desaulniers (Belleville, Ontario)

    In today's era of special-interest controlled politicians, the only legacy a career politician can leave is a massive inheritance to his or her children. Principles bought and paid for by the highest bidder are neither permanent nor transferable.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  259. JohnRJ08

    John McCain showed himself for the political coward that he is during his 2008 Presidential bid. His subservience to Republican operatives, such as John Bolton, William Kristol and Fred Barnes was demonstrated by his blind acceptance of Sarah Palin as his running-mate. In order to get elected, he was willing to endanger the country by having a vice president that was totally inadequate to step into the presidency. That was the beginning of the end for John McCain. His more recent attempts to prove to right-wing voters in Arizona that he is as crazy as they are has ruined any legacy that he might have had.

    John Johnson
    Encino, CA

    August 23, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  260. JK

    What legacy? He hasn't done anything for the people of Arizona.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  261. Anthony

    Jack, McCain is doing what all or at least most politicians do. He is saying what he feels voters want to hear in order to get elected or retain his seat in congress. His pandering and flip flopping is the very reason that he is not the commander in chief right now. Once a maverick, now simply a dud!!

    August 23, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  262. Patrick in Madison

    McCain has sold his soul for one last round of power by choosing the Party of No over actually helping good government operate.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  263. Fred

    Just like Joe Hardy in "Damn Yankees", the Maverick has sold his soul to the devil in the form of the Tea Party.

    Fred
    South Carolina

    August 23, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  264. Tom-Vermillion Ohio

    Political ambition has ruined John McCain's legacy and the Republican Party. Bizzarre things happen to politician's minds when their political party has been hi-jacked.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  265. Brad Anderson

    Ouch! McCain was my maverick hero. I am so disappointed with him changing his positions to win a simple election. McCain was a voice of reason; now, he has a voice of a politician seeking to just get re-elected. Tragic!

    August 23, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  266. Ashok Thakkar

    McCain's accelerated descent is spectacularly sad. This country badly needs true mavericks – those who place the nation's interest ahead of their political career. We all thought McCain was that leader. Now we know he is an illusion.

    The rise of Ms. Palin within the GOP (on the ashes of Mr. McCain) also marks the demise of once strong, truly Grand Old Party into near oblivion in the arena of leadership. Now they have become a party of opportunists. I am sure President Reagan is turning in his grave. I am an independent. I voted for Reagan. It saddens me a great deal to see what is happening to this country.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  267. Bill Stephenson

    Aside from crashing airplanes, political ambition and pandering is McCain's legacy.

    If McCain really wants to get that "danged fence" done he should hire Mexicans. They built most of what's in Arizona and for a pretty good price too.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  268. Martin Wielgus

    Legacy? This loser never had anything significant to say. Picking Sarah Palin as his running mate was his swan song.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  269. Roy

    McCain has nothing to lose at this point he probably figures. He stooped so low as to select Palin as a running mate in what was a landslide loss to the first African American President of the United States. He didn't even leave a dignified election trail in his wake. So, he probably figures every other sellout will pale in comparison. This article is about 2 years too late.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  270. Wayne Heintzelman

    Exactly what legacy are you referring to? Mr. McCain has often spoken initially as a maverick only to follow or swallow the conservative view eventually.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  271. bruce twyman

    I have no problem with McCains "flip-flop" since he is doing the right thing supporting the strengthening of our border with Mexico. Let's face it, his "national" political future was bleak anyway.....

    August 23, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  272. Maureen Mower (Wilkes Barre, PA)

    I don't think it is possible for McCain to do any more damage to his reputation or legacy than he did when he chose Sarah Palin for a running mate, and then lost all control of his campaign by allowing her to run around accusing Obama of everything from being a Muslim to being a terrorist in disguise.

    That single act proved that McCain was desperate to do anything he thought would get him elected, even if it meant selling his soul to the ultimate fringe element of the extreme right wing, fundamentalist insane asylum. Nothing he does now can hurt his legacy more than sacrificing his personal honor for the sake of trying to win that election, and sadly, nothing he does can ever redeem him from that either.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  273. eltee

    Jack - It would be better said that the "Maverick" has neutered! Should he be reelected to the senate this fall he'll become known as the "Obstructionist" and that's a sad state of affairs. - eltee from the lower right hand of ND

    August 23, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  274. Arthur

    He has tarnished his legacy.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  275. Tayu MA

    well Jack ,McCain`s political ambition was ruined by his pick for Sarah Palin. Anything else just adds to his list of disasterous actions. He has destroyed his legacy for a dignified retirement.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  276. Troy

    Stop being so hard on him Jack, he's 74. What's he supposed to do at that age, become a retired hypocrite? He's obviously committed to fighting unemployment, one job at a time.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  277. Mickey in Norfolk, VA

    No! He left his hobbled wife for a younger, prettier and richer woman. He took on Sarah Palin to get Hillary's 18 million votes. The last honorable thing he did was in Vietnam and that was long time ago.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  278. Tom Guido

    There, but for the grace of God, would have stood our 44th President...

    August 23, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  279. Jeff, AZ

    I believe this above everything else is the reason why McCain lost the presidential election. I for one thought of McCain as man of honor, someone who holds himself to an ideal. But as the election progressed I found that he was sacrificing those ideals to win, and my question was if he was willing to do that to get elected what would he do while in office. McCain has become the quintessential career politician and it is sad to see a man fall so far.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  280. Annie, Atlanta

    No, his kissing up to the far right ruined his legacy. Of course, you would have to define legacy since he obviously was more of a legend in our own minds, and his, than what reality has come to show.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  281. Jeanne

    The old (as in the past) John McCain was one of the few Republicans I could respect. This new McCain has sold his soul to win elections. I would respect him more if he had became an Independent and held on to his earlier beliefs which were respectful, honorable and straight forward.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  282. John Crocker

    McCain was not a good Navy pilot just as he is not a good politician. What legacy?

    John Crocker
    Islamorada, Florida

    August 23, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  283. Alan in NJ

    It all went to hell for me in 2000 when Rove & Co. push polled McCain in South Carolina on the, “illegitimate black child.” Whether it was party loyalty or an eye toward his own future, I don’t know, but something kept him from standing up and saying that sort of thing was wrong; that it was something dirty that needed to be rooted out of our politics. I couldn’t listen to him much anymore after that.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  284. Anthony

    Jack, McCain is doing what all or at least most politicians do. He is saying what he feels voters want to hear in order to get elected or retain his seat in congress. His pandering and flip flopping is the very reason that he is not the commander in chief right now. Once a maverick, now simply a dud!!
    Anthony-TX

    August 23, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  285. Lori - PA

    Jack,

    Yes. It's lead to some bad decisions. I'll be surprised if he wins in November.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  286. Pat

    Commonsense and long-time residents of AZ will tell you the situation has changed on the border, and McCain would be a fool if he didn't adjust to the present. JD Hayworth has also changed on the border issue; he co-sponsored bills for guest workers and wasn't strong on border issues until after 2005.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  287. Pat

    McCain is not only a hypocrit regarding so many political issues he once supported, he is a joke! Spending $20 million dollars on the primary to try to get re-elected shows that there are no boundaries where McCain is concerned. And wasn't he once an outspoken politician regarding campaign contribution limits? But don't forget he threw his handicapped wife under the bus after coming home as a "War Hero!" to marry a child bride.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  288. Kenneth, Fort Worth, Tx

    It’s a horrible shame, years of torture couldn’t break the man, but now it seems that DC politics has.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  289. Don Breiby

    Maybe, unlike Obama, McCain is listening to his constituancy and voting the way they want him to vote.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  290. PiedType

    The only thing that surprises me about McCain's politically expedient flip-flopping is that it took him so long to do it.

    Sarah
    Denver, CO

    August 23, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  291. PK California

    McCain is telling people anything they want to hear. He is no longer the tough politician that many Democrats were willing to vote for. He will now do anything to get elected. Palin is an example of that! He let his roving eye choose a looker for VP, rather than choose from the many very qualified women out there to compete with Hilary. No, he's not the same man. Let's say he's a desparate old man trying to hang on, but can't find anything to hang on to.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  292. joe (Colorado)

    John McCain like any other Republican and some democrats have all swapped views on issues that they once championed for. John McCain unfortunately is worse, he has swapped issues a number of time since 2002, and now with Arizona Republicans on the rampage, he has to jump on that political bandwagon to further his already tarnished reputation. Its tasteless, embarrassing and typical in today's Government.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  293. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    No, it's McCain's "handlers" that are ruining his legacy who have their own political ambitions.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  294. Steve

    I don't think it's that easy Jack. Aren't politicians supposed to be there for "we, the people"? It isn't (or at least it shouldn't be) about what the politician wants.....it is (or should) be about what "we, the people" want. While what the politician stands for is important, it is more important, at least to me, that the politician will stand for what the people want, than what the politician personally wants.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  295. J. Michael Vice

    Jack,
    I'm a lifelong Democrat but back in 2000 I changed my registration so I could vote for McCain against GW Bush in the California primary.
    Maverick? No longer. The way McCain has abandoned his principles is just too sad.
    Mike Vice
    Angels Camp, CA

    August 23, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  296. R V Wagner

    Recall that John McCain was the grease on the skids for the corrupt Savings and Loan folks back in the day. Even tho he was never charged or convicted, he clearly helped that industry cruise to its failure. Hence, he has changed his position many times. It is likely the Latino community once thought of him as a measured voice in the immigration debate. No longer. Another change.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  297. Lou

    Nothing has happened to McCain. He is doing just fine.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  298. V Sormanti

    I am appalled and saddened that Senator McCain who clearly demonstrated his courage and patriotism while imprisoned for years at the Hanoi Hilton would forsake those principles for what appear to be misguided political ambitions.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  299. Patricia O

    It is sad to said, but yes. What is even more sad is that so many of our legislators are doing the same thing and selling out their constituents. I used to vote Republican, but now I believe we desperately need a 3rd party of Independents that will think about us "REAL" people. I am so disappointed in our government!

    August 23, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  300. Larry Arnone

    His legacy was ruined whle campaigning for President in 2008. Rush, Glenn, and Hannity, dictated his required stance on everything and he followed like a trained animal. He was jealous of Obama's popularity and joined Boehner, McConnell, and company in the party of no stance. McCain has been irrelevant for years.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  301. Disgusted In Tucson

    "Flip-Floping" is nothing but a "Perfuming the Pig" term for a Pandering Lying Politician.

    Sadly, John McCain has "flip-flopped" one time too many for my liking. Will he flip and/or flop on his Illegal Immigration stand and turn against the Citizens of Arizona once he has been reelected this time? I have a feeling he will.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  302. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Jack, I don't think it is/was political ambition. I think it is/was knowing when to give up the robes of office and let someone else take their turn.
    Allen
    Hartwell GA

    August 23, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  303. Jerry, Oregon

    Legacy? What legacy? McCain is just one more example of "the more you lie, the better the Republican voters like you"!! He now enjoys status with Sarah Palin, Sharron Angle, Jim DeMint, Rush Limbaugh, etc!

    August 23, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  304. Steve Wagner

    I dont think he's totally trashed it yet, but is moving in that direction fast if he keeps changing his stance for votes. Why doesn't he just retire. Is the lust for power so strong that he just cant hang it up and enjoy time with his family? He's not that young anymore.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  305. Joe

    Your commentary was so far out of line and simply put forth your personal impression that taking the time to kill your points one at a time is a waste of time.

    Maybe your term limit has expired.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:24 pm |