Remembering John McCain, Arizona’s Maverick

On Saturday, Arizona lost its beloved senator, John McCain. McCain leaves behind a legacy he helped build, and one that will hopefully continue long after his passing.

McCain was known for being a maverick, a nickname dubbed to him by the press in 2000 which never faded. Much like his fiery personality, McCain earned the nickname for often breaking away from his own political party when it came to issues he had a strong opinion on.

And McCain had strong opinions on a lot of issues he tackled during his six-term run as Arizona’s state senator, one of those opinions being in regards to the press and their ability to hold politicians accountable and transparent.

McCain understood the job members of the press were up against, and he believed in the First Amendment down to its core. When other politicians pushed through the halls of Congress and maintained their silence, scurrying away as fast as possible, McCain greeted the press with jokes, a sharp tongue, and intellectual answers to the many questions thrown his way.

McCain remained generous with his time spent with reporters and never feared interaction with them. He encouraged, sometimes downright demanding, reporters ask insightful questions and dig deep to get to the roots of every story.

I never had the pleasure of meeting or interviewing McCain, but from what I have read he sounded like a man who always had his answer ready, but was waiting to be asked the right question.

Perhaps that’s why his hot temper exploded on reporters when he felt as though they weren’t connecting the dots. He pushed them to think deeper, to piece together the puzzle faster, and to ask the right question so he could sound off the answer he’d been anxiously waiting to say.

His interactions with the press was out of respect and understanding. The silent agreement he had with reporters in understanding they are there to truly make a difference, just as he set out to do, made for a relationship that will be missed by those who were fortunate enough to follow him during his time at Capitol Hill.

McCain will not only be missed by Arizona, but by all those he impacted during his political career. And as many people will continue to remember the great politician McCain was, the political powerhouse who fought tooth and nail for progression and change, those who were lucky enough to meet him will remember him for being more than a politician.

They will remember the man that was John McCain.