RIP John McCain

As all will have heard by now, has died of brain cancer aged 81.

I think nothing reflects his character more than his decision during captivity in the Vietnam War. He had been tortured on multiple occasions and was offered early repatriation once they realised his father was a senior Admiral. He refused to be released until everyone who had arrived before him was also released. There is a great article detailing what happened to him here.

He had two chances of becoming President but lost the Republican nomination in 2000 to George W Bush and the general election in 2008 to Barack Obama.

We will never know, but I think he would have been a better President than both Bush and Obama. I think he would have pursued a more successful path in the Middle East than Bush.

It speaks volumes to his characters that his two opponents will be the main speakers at his funeral.

He was a good friend of New Zealand and one of the most reliable pro-free trade voices in the Senate. Off memory he once said his ideal free trade agreement would be a single piece of paper saying “You can sell us anything and we can sell you anything”.

The US Senate will seem empty without John McCain. He has been a Senator for over 30 years and would easily be the most well known Republican Senator of his generation.


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