He’s running as a conservative in a party that touts “the sanctity of marriage” as one of their top issues. Therefore his having divorced his first wife because she was involved in a bad accident, and his having married his second wife, 17 years his junior, shortly thereafter, is relevant. John McCain likes to talk about he was a POW. He doesn’t like to talk as much about how he ditched his wife a few years after returning home. If we’re being asked to consider 8 more years of these people, and their morality, then it’s time we inquired about their morality. McCain would like us to remember the hero part, then forget the trophy bride part, even though they both happened around the same time. You get one, you get the other. And he was 42 years old at the time, so let’s stop excusing Republicans for their “youthful indiscretions” that happened about the time of menopause. The Bible doesn’t have a statute of limitations. If we have to live by it, they have to live by it.
Mr. McCain has acknowledged running around with women and accepted responsibility for the breakup of the marriage, without going into details. But his supporters and his biographer, Robert Timberg, all suggest that the marriage had already effectively ended and that the couple had separated by the time he met Cindy, his present wife.
That might be the most soothing way of explaining a politician’s divorce from a disabled wife and his remarriage to a wealthy heiress, but it does not jibe with accounts of family members and friends.
Lots more after the jump…
John and Carol McCain had separated once briefly after they moved to Washington, when he moved his gear into his mother’s house on Connecticut Avenue. That was the first hint that Joe McCain, John’s younger brother, had of any marital problems, for neither John nor Carol confided much about personal problems….
”For somebody to say that they were separated or at each other’s throats is just nonsense,” Mr. Smith said.
Yet at precisely the time that Mr. Smith was a guest in what appeared to be a happy household, in April 1979, Mr. McCain accompanied a group of senators on a trip to China. The Navy threw a big cocktail party for the group during a stopover in Honolulu.
”John and I were talking, and then somebody tapped me on the shoulder and I turned around and exchanged a few words,” said Albert A. Lakeland, then a Senate staff member. ”When I turned around, John was gone. I looked around, and he was making a beeline for this very attractive blond woman.
”He spent the whole party talking to her, and he kept avoiding me when I approached,” Mr. Lakeland said. After the reception, Mr. McCain and the young woman, Cindy Hensley, went out to dinner, and the romance blossomed….
Over the next six months, Mr. McCain pursued Miss Hensley aggressively, flying around the country to see her, and he began to push to end his marriage. Friends say that Carol McCain was in shock.
Late that year, the McCains finally separated, and Mrs. McCain accepted a divorce the next February. Mr. McCain promptly married Miss Hensley, his present wife.