The Brits are in on the American election speculation game, judging by this Daily Mail article about John McCain’s first wife, Carol, which, despite reporter Sharon Churcher’s “tsk-tsk” tone about McCain’s possible philandering and his eventual wife-swap (enter Cindy, beer heiress, pictured), also allows that Carol McCain still cares about her ex-husband and supports him in his political ventures.
In 1979 - while still married to Carol - he met Cindy at a cocktail party in Hawaii. Over the next six months he pursued her, flying around the country to see her. Then he began to push to end his marriage.
Carol and her children were devastated. ‘It was a complete surprise,’ says Nancy Reynolds, a former Reagan aide.
‘They never displayed any difficulties between themselves. I know the Reagans were quite shocked because they loved and respected both Carol and John.’
Another friend added: ‘Carol didn’t fight him. She felt her infirmity made her an impediment to him. She justified his actions because of all he had gone through. She used to say, “He just wants to make up for lost time.”’
Indeed, to many in their circle the saddest part of the break-up was Carol’s decision to resign herself to losing a man she says she still adores.
Friends confirm she has remained friends with McCain and backed him in all his campaigns. ‘He was very generous to her in the divorce but of course he could afford to be, since he was marrying Cindy,’ one observed.