John McCain is a maverick senator, Vietnam veteran and former prisoner of war for 5 years in North Vietnam. In 2000, he nearly beat George W. Bush by being an outspoken, even honest politician, which stunned everybody. He also is known for crafting bipartisan approaches to issues such as smoking and campaign reform.
This time around though, at 72, he apparently decided “now or never” and seems to have sold his soul, kissing up to his enemies and even abandoning his principled opposition to torture, which was based on his own POW experience. Now, conveniently, he’s even claiming to be a Baptist instead of an Episcopalian, and picked a far-right Christian running mate to make peace with conservatives.
It didn’t look like anyone was buying it for a while there, but danged if he hasn’t come back and taken the lead in the race for president. McCain went from Republican front runner to 3rd or 4th in various polls, spent all of his huge pile of cash and lost most of his staff, and worked his way back into a dominant position.
Here are some negative allegations:
Cheater (Adultery, that is) — Gambler — Religion Shopping — A Junkie Wife — Keating 5 — Mafia Ties — Quotes — Sources
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John McCain loves to play craps (dice), at the $15 dollar minimum-bet tables if not higher. This has been confirmed by his top campaign aides over the years (Mark Salter and John Weaver). His longtime friend Wes Gullet says they would play in Vegas for 14 hours at a time, (10am to midnight), and that McCain is superstitious, blowing on the dice and such. It’s not hard to see his love of gambling in his political choices, such as Sarah Palin for VP. All very exciting when he’s gambling his own money or his campaign; but if it’s America’s security at stake, his gambling might be a bit less charming.
That New Time Religion
John McCain grew up Episcopalian. He went to an Episcopalian high school. For at least 15 years, he has been listed as an Episcopalian in authoritative directories such as the Almanac of American Politics and Congressional Quarterly’s Politics in America 2008. He told a reporter from McClatchy News Service in June 2007 that he was an Episcopalian.
Suddenly, in September 2007, he’s campaigning in South Carolina, the heavily Baptist state where George W. Bush barely managed to stop McCain’s presidential campaign 8 years ago. And guess what? McCain tells a reporter “By the way, I’m not Episcopalian. I’m Baptist.”
When pressed, he said he’s attended the North Phoenix Baptist Church in Arizona for more than 15 years, though he has never been baptized in that church. Now see, that’s exactly the problem. Baptism is kind of a big thing in the Baptist Church. (That’s how they got the name.) No baptism, not Baptist.
Anyway, details aside, this is one very clear indication of how McCain has changed. Now, he’s just another hungry politician, happy to pander if it helps him win. Which eliminates the very reason people were excited about him in 2000 — his honesty.
Founding Member of the Keating Five
Back in the old days, defendants in famous trials got numbers — the Chicago Eight, the Gang of Four, the Dave Clark Five, the Daytona 500. McCain was one of the “Keating Five,” congressmen investigated on ethics charges for strenuously helping convicted racketeer Charles Keating after he gave them large campaign contributions and vacation trips.
Charles Keating was convicted of racketeering and fraud in both state and federal court after his Lincoln Savings & Loan collapsed, costing the taxpayers $3.4 billion. His convictions were overturned on technicalities; for example, the federal conviction was overturned because jurors had heard about his state conviction, and his state charges because Judge Lance Ito (yes, that judge) screwed up jury instructions. Neither court cleared him, and he faces new trials in both courts.)
Though he was not convicted of anything, McCain intervened on behalf of Charles Keating after Keating gave McCain at least $112,00 in contributions. In the mid-1980s, McCain made at least 9 trips on Keating’s airplanes, and 3 of those were to Keating’s luxurious retreat in the Bahamas. McCain’s wife and father-in-law also were the largest investors (at $350,000) in a Keating shopping center; the Phoenix New Times called it a “sweetheart deal.”
In 1995, McCain sent birthday regards, and regrets for not attending, to Joseph “Joe Bananas” Bonano, the head of the New York Bonano crime family, who had retired to Arizona. Another politician to send regrets was Governor Fife Symington, who has since been kicked out of office and convicted of 7 felonies relating to fraud and extortion.
For a guy campaigning on family values, John McCain has broken up a lot of marriages. When he met his first wife (a swimsuit model), she was married to another man. After breaking that marriage up, she stuck by him loyally as he went off to war and was a prisoner for 5 and a half years. When he returned to America, though, he found out that she had been in a car wreck and wasn’t as pretty. So he had a series of affairs, by his own admission, and dumped his wife and adopted family for a younger, very rich blond (now Cindy McCain.) Cindy, the daughter of a wealthy Budweiser beer distributor, was addicted to prescription narcotics and even stole hard drugs from a medical charity that she ran. In February, 2008, the New York Times ran a big article about the unusually close relationship between John McCain and a young telecommunications lobbyist named Vicki Iseman (who looks uncannily like Cindy McCain did when SHE was 25). They became so close that his staff, convinced they were having an affair, confronted both McCain and Iseman, telling them to back off. Now, a lot of people have criticized the Times for hinting without actually saying that McCain had sexual relations with that woman. But really, it doesn’t matter. It’s a matter of record that he accepted money and favors from her, spent a lot of time for her, and did favors for her clients. Among other things, McCain wrote two letters — from a draft provided by Vicki Iseman — to the head of the Federal Communications Commission — which was way out of line, since McCain headed the Senate Commmerce Committee, which controls the FCC. McCain’s pressure was so outrageous that, even though McCain was in charge of funding his commission, the FCC commissioner wrote a letter back rebuking him for his interference, at the height of McCain’s “ethics in government” campaign.
So, was McCain sleeping with her, hoping to sleep with her, or being subconsciously manipulated by a cute young woman? It doesn’t really matter. He was being led by his groin into ethical violations. Let’s face it, he was 64 at the time and is 72 now. Whether he is still cheating or not, he seems to be led by his dick; witness the videos of McCain checking out Sarah Palin’s butt during the speech where he introduced her.
– “Craps is addictive. … This is a very, very supersitious game.” — John McCain
– Leonardo DiCaprio is “an androgynous wimp.” — McCain.
– “The thought of [McCain] being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me.” — Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi, who has known McCain for 35 years.
“For McCain, Self-Confidence on Ethics Poses Its Own Risk”, New York Times, February 21, 2008, pA1
“McCain Says He’s Been Baptist For Years”, by Bruce Smith, The Associated Press, September 12, 2007
Candidates’ Vices: Craps and Poker, by Michael Sherer and Michael Weisskopf, Time Magazine, July 2, 2008
“Profiles: McCain’s Party”, by Connie Bruck, New Yorker Magazine, May 30, 2005
“Candidates invite questions about their faith”, by Stephen Dinan, Washington Times, September 18, 2007
“The Pampered Politician”, by Amy Silverman, The Phoenix New Times, May 15, 1997
“See John Run Off at the Mouth”, Phoenix New Times, October 1, 1998
“Opiate for the Mrs.”, Phoenix New Times, September 8, 1994
“Flashes: What’s Up, Murdoch?”, Phoenix New Times, September 17, 1998
the US Veteran’s Dispatch web site.
“Symington Gets Slammer”, Phoenix New Times, February 2, 1998
Election 98: Arizona Governor, Fox News web site, 1998 coverage (no longer on web)
“Keating Gets New Trial”, CNNfn Web Site, December 2, 1996
“No More Wagging,”, (editorial) by Maureen Dowd, The New York Times, January 3, 1999
“John McCain, rock-and-roll dad”, by Andrew Essex, The New Yorker Magazine, December 6, 1999 p52
“Unmasking Darth McCain”, by William Cleeland, The Daily Illini, March 9, 2001
“Famed McCain Temper is Tamed”, By Michael Kranish Boston Globe, January 27, 2008