Graham, other senators recall facets of friend, colleague McCainBy Daniel Perle
cronkitenews.azpbs.org WASHINGTON – As senators delivered glowing tributes to the late Sen. John McCain on Tuesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham reminded them of another side of his friend: Every one of them had “had their head ripped off time by him at some point in time.” But the South Carolina Republican said McCain could work with those same people the next day. It was one of a number of remembrances this week by senators, some tearful, of the Arizona icon who died Saturday of brain cancer. “What John McCain’s remembered for is finding a way to get over all the noise. Focus on what’s important,” Graham told reporters shortly after his speech on the Senate floor. “It’s kind of an effort to get everybody to realize if we all like John so much, which we do, why don’t we be more like him?” Graham asked. “Including me?”
While many senators had kind words for McCain, Graham was probably the most emotional. He teared up during a 16-minute floor speech Tuesday, not the first time he has cried since McCain died. That’s because Graham and McCain grew to be close friends in the Senate. Jennifer Duffy, a political analyst and editor of the Cook Political Report, said the two men had a special bond, probably because of the several long official trips they took together. They also had interests in similar issues and were not as different as people may think, Duffy said. “You would hope every member (of Congress) would be friends like they were, you would hope they would have someone in the chamber they could rely on and be friends with inside and outside the Congress,” Duffy said.
So that future generations will study his example, I’ve proposed that we rename the Russell Senate Office Building, one of only three Senate office buildings, after John McCain.— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) August 28, 2018
But it need not be the only way we honor Senator McCain.
Graham said one of the last pieces of advice McCain gave him was to “keep going, boy.” For him, that means he will “get immigration reform done or die trying,” along with continuing McCain’s fight on issues such as containing Russia and protecting this year’s elections. “This guy dedicated his life to finding a solution to a very, very difficult problem,” Graham said of McCain. “I’m going to make sure that Congress keeps asking the hard question.” Cronkite News reporters Charlene Santiago and Daniel Perle contributed to this report. For more stories from Cronkite News, visit cronkitenews.azpbs.org.
Additional Coverage from Cronkite News‘Sometimes, just standing sends a message’: Honor guards pay homage to McCain (August 29, 2018)
Hold off on new stationery: Senators balk at naming building for McCain (August 28, 2018)
‘I was heartbroken’: Larry Fitzgerald recalls time shared with John McCain (August 28, 2018) This story originally appeared on Cronkite News and is published via a Creative Commons license. Cronkite News is produced by the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.
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