John Sidney McCain III (born August 29, 1936) is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican nominee for president in the 2008 United States election. McCain followed his father and grandfather, both four-star admirals, into the United States Navy, graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1958. He became a naval aviator, flying ground-attack aircraft from aircraft carriers. During the Vietnam War, he nearly lost his life in the 1967 USS Forrestal fire. In October 1967, while on a bombing mission over Hanoi, he was shot down, seriously injured, and captured by the North Vietnamese. He was a prisoner of war until 1973. McCain experienced episodes of torture, and refused an out-of-sequence early repatriation offer. His war wounds left him with lifelong physical limitations. He retired from the Navy as a captain in 1981 and moved to Arizona, where he entered politics. Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982, he served two terms, and was then elected to the U.S. Senate in 1986, winning re-election easily four times, most recently in 2010. While generally adhering to conservative principles, McCain at times has had a media reputation as a "maverick" for his willingness to disagree with his party on certain issues. After being investigated and largely exonerated in a political influence scandal of the 1980s as a member of the Keating Five, he made campaign finance reform one of his signature concerns, which eventually led to the passage of the McCain-Feingold Act in 2002. He is also known for his work towards restoring diplomatic relations with Vietnam in the 1990s, and for his belief that the war in Iraq should be fought to a successful conclusion. McCain has chaired the Senate Commerce Committee, opposed spending that he considered to be pork barrel, and played a key role in alleviating a crisis over judicial nominations. McCain ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000 but lost a heated primary contest to George W. Bush. He secured the nomination in 2008 after coming back from early reversals, but lost to Democratic candidate Barack Obama in the general election. He subsequently adopted more orthodox conservative stances and attitudes and largely opposed actions of the Obama administration.
Start of fifth Senate term
While control of the House of Representatives went over to the Republicans in the 112th Congress, the Senate stayed Democratic and McCain continued to be the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. As the 2011 Middle East and North Africa protests took center stage, McCain urged that embattled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak step down and thought the U.S. should push for democratic reforms in the region despite the associated risks of religious extremists gaining power.
John McCain was an especially vocal supporter of the 2011 military intervention in Libya. In April of that year he staged a visit to the Anti-Gaddafi forces and National Transitional Council in Benghazi, the highest-ranking American to do so, and said that the rebel forces were "my heroes". In August, McCain voted for the Budget Control Act of 2011 that resolved the U.S. debt ceiling crisis.
Read more about John McCain on Wikipedia