“Keep on fighting to the end”, that is the mantra of John McCain, Republican hopeful for America’s top job. Despite recent falling opinion polls McCain’s reputation is of being a savvy politician – he knows that the only important poll is the election. But at 72 this realistically is his last chance to reach the White House.
March 5, 2008, McCain won his party’s nomination to run for the presidency, he then surprised everyone by picking an unknown woman as his running mate, Sarah Palin. She has has attracted strong opinions both for and against.
But McCain is a fighter, he learned how in his youth. Born into a high ranking military family his time in the armed forces was tough.
In the Vietnam War, when he was 31 years of age his plane was shot down and he was held prisoner for five and a half years.
He was brought home in 1973 and eventually launched his political career.
He was elected for the first time in 1982 to the House of Representatives, then four years later it was the Senate. Over the next 20 years he became a prominent figure but difficult to classify politically as his own personal convictions always dictated which way he voted.
In 2000, he tried for the Republican nomination against Georges W Bush, and during the Primaries he won a number of key states. But he became the victim of a smear campaign on his private life and eventually the might of the Bush machine became too great.
Four years later, he considered teaming up with his old friend, Democrat John Kerry as his running mate, but he did not go through with it and returned to the Republican camp.
Although he then backed Bush, this time round McCain has been stressing how different he is from George W.
McCain addressed his supporters saying,
“I have not been elected Miss Congeniality in the United States Senate nor with the administration. I have opposed the president on spending, on climate change, on torture of prisoners, on Guantanamo Bay, on the way that the Iraq War was conducted. I have a long record and the American people know me very well.”
It is now up to those same American people to decide if McCain has got what it takes to make it all the way to the White House.