If there is one word that has encapsulated the life and career of Sen. John McCain, it is “survivor.”
Three times as a Navy pilot, he crashed planes he was flying; three times he walked away without a scratch. Once, when sitting in his jet on the deck of the USS Forester,[sic] (the ship was USS Forrestal) a rocket from another plane hit his plane, which exploded. Mr. McCain scurried through the flames; 134 other men died.
And when he ejected from his jet over Hanoi, breaking both arms and a leg, he fell into a lake but was pulled out by Vietnamese, who beat him unconscious. Given up for dead – he weighed less than 100 pounds at one point during 5 1/2 years of imprisonment in the “Hanoi Hilton” – he survived once more.
By Joseph Curl
The Washington Times
“This guy is literally unkillable,” a top aide said the night in January when the senator from Arizona pulled off a stunning upset in New Hampshire, propelling him on a path that would end with the Republican nomination for president.
But even he could not rise above what faced him this election – a toxic environment for Republicans, with an unpopular, even despised, President Bush, a late-campaign economic meltdown that favored Democrats, and a man who seemed from the outset destined to be president, the first black nominee, who also had more money to spend that any other candidate in history.
“It is highly doubtful that anyone will ever have to run in a worse political climate than the one John McCain had to run in this year,” Steve Schmidt, Mr. McCain’s top strategist, said aboard the Straight Talk Express as his boss flew back Tuesday from his final campaign rally.
Republican presidential candidate John McCain concedes defeat to Democrat Barack Obama during his election night rally at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona.(AFP/Mandel Ngan)
“The president’s approval numbers, you know, were not helpful in the race, but the party as a whole is unpopular with the American people and that was a big albatross,” Mr. Schmidt said.
He said Mr. McCain is not to blame for the loss. “I don’t think there’s another Republican the party could have nominated that could have made this a competitive race the way that John McCain did.”
Mr. McCain had said repeatedly that whatever the outcome Tuesday, he is “the luckiest man in the world.”
See video of John Mccain concession: