Very best to Senator John McCain

It’s a punch in the gut to hear of John McCain’s serious brain cancer. I generally disagree with him on almost everything. I still find much to admire about him. And he had that genuinely great moment in the 2008 campaign.

Wow what a contrast to someone else we could mention.

On some personal level, Senator McCain has simply been a presence our lives for a quarter-century. His physical fragility provides yet another reminder of some basic realities in human life.

I and most of my friends on the Obama campaign never bore personal animus towards McCain. We admired his service, and he reminded us of a cranky relative we loved but didn’t think should be President. We were genuinely shocked that Trump denigrated McCain’s service–and that Trump survived it. Still are.

One irony. Senator McCain’s cancer has apparently derailed Republicans’ repeal-and-replace effort. It’s the same cancer that ultimately felled Senator Edward Kennedy, a story that profoundly altered the trajectory of the Affordable Care Act.

Author: Harold Pollack

Harold Pollack is Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. He has served on three expert committees of the National Academies of Science. His recent research appears in such journals as Addiction, Journal of the American Medical Association, and American Journal of Public Health. He writes regularly on HIV prevention, crime and drug policy, health reform, and disability policy for American Prospect,, and other news outlets. His essay, "Lessons from an Emergency Room Nightmare" was selected for the collection The Best American Medical Writing, 2009. He recently participated, with zero critical acclaim, in the University of Chicago's annual Latke-Hamentaschen debate.

3 thoughts on “Very best to Senator John McCain”

  1. I wanted to hear candidate Obama in 2008 say something like this: "Senator McCain is a good man, but he has some wrong assumptions about the workings of government. And a good man with bad assumptions will make wrong decisions as president."

  2. Senator McCain’s cancer has apparently derailed Republicans’ repeal-and-replace effort.

    It now appears that the Great Maverick is flying back to DC to vote on the repeal. Does that change anyone's view of the man?

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