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McCain’s Past Catches Up in the Press

Posted on Jul 11, 2008
John and Cindy McCain
AP photo / LM Otero

Take two: John McCain and second wife Cindy.

Along with maintaining the hypervigilance necessary to avoid having one’s gaffes caught on camera and replayed endlessly on YouTube, politicians face a vast array of image-maintenance challenges these days. John McCain encountered a PR problem of the lower-tech variety on Friday, in the form of two newspaper articles focusing on details from his private life that could be gleaned from plain ol’ public records.

The first, from The New York Times, deals with a potential legal issue regarding McCain’s American citizenship based on the location of his birth as well as the laws in place at the time. The second, from the Los Angeles Times, looks at the timing of and fallout from the early stages of relationship with his current wife, Cindy, which apparently overlapped with the last months of his marriage to his first wife, Carol—contradicting McCain’s account of those events in his 2002 memoir. Grist for the gossip mill, perhaps, but these stories touch on two key issues that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee will have to grapple with during the run-up to the November election in order to appease his conservative base: immigration and family values.

The New York Times:

In the most detailed examination yet of Senator John McCain’s eligibility to be president, a law professor at the University of Arizona has concluded that neither Mr. McCain’s birth in 1936 in the Panama Canal Zone nor the fact that his parents were American citizens is enough to satisfy the constitutional requirement that the president must be a “natural-born citizen.”

The analysis, by Prof. Gabriel J. Chin, focused on a 1937 law that has been largely overlooked in the debate over Mr. McCain’s eligibility to be president. The law conferred citizenship on children of American parents born in the Canal Zone after 1904, and it made John McCain a citizen just before his first birthday. But the law came too late, Professor Chin argued, to make Mr. McCain a natural-born citizen.

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The Los Angeles Times:

McCain, who is about to become the GOP nominee, has made several statements about how he divorced Carol and married Hensley that conflict with the public record.

In his 2002 memoir, “Worth the Fighting For,” McCain wrote that he had separated from Carol before he began dating Hensley.

“I spent as much time with Cindy in Washington and Arizona as our jobs would allow,” McCain wrote. “I was separated from Carol, but our divorce would not become final until February of 1980.”

An examination of court documents tells a different story. McCain did not sue his wife for divorce until Feb. 19, 1980, and he wrote in his court petition that he and his wife had “cohabited” until Jan. 7 of that year—or for the first nine months of his relationship with Hensley.

Although McCain suggested in his autobiography that months passed between his divorce and remarriage, the divorce was granted April 2, 1980, and he wed Hensley in a private ceremony five weeks later. McCain obtained an Arizona marriage license on March 6, 1980, while still legally married to his first wife.

Until McCain filed for divorce, the Reagans and their inner circle assumed he was happily married, and they were stunned to learn otherwise, according to several close aides.

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By AnnMullins, July 12, 2008 at 3:29 pm Link to this comment

Not brain dead, brain-washed. The 20th centruy saw the flowering of the art/science of Misleading. People resist though- it costs nearly a billion a year to scare and confuse a bare majority of the voters.

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By samosamo, July 12, 2008 at 3:19 pm Link to this comment

Paolo, July 12 at 3:15 pm

In this role, he was anticipated by Napoleon, Stalin, Hitler—you name it.

OK. w.

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By Paolo, July 12, 2008 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment

As a libertarian living in Arizona since 1992, I can heartily attest to the fact that McCain is a scumbag—the worst man in the Senate. He is foul-tempered, foul-mouthed, and inconsiderate (he once called his own second wife, Cindy, a “cunt” in public). He is a red-faced, small-minded, evil little man. He tries to compensate for his obvious mental deficiencies (finished near the bottom of his college class) as well as his physical deficiencies by playing the fake role of Great Military Leader. In this role, he was anticipated by Napoleon, Stalin, Hitler—you name it.

If this nut-case is elected president, we are all worse than doomed. We are going to watch our country turn into an evil empire, even worse than it already is.

The very thought of it makes me wanna puke.

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By Psaltseller, July 12, 2008 at 1:26 pm Link to this comment

John McCain started out his military career as a person of privilege, and hasn’t changed. The heart of his attitude to everything is in that phrase, and the derivation of the word—private law. It tends to explain a lot of his behavior over the years.

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By jimmyjack, July 12, 2008 at 8:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Was he with Carol while cheating with Cindy?  If he was separated as he claims, perhaps he claimed to be living with Carol for Tax advantages.  It would give him the marriage deduction, deductions for maintaining two residences, etc. 

He is either cheated on his spouse or cheated on his taxes.

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By felicity, July 12, 2008 at 8:25 am Link to this comment

Much-ado-about-nothing, I’m afraid.  Now that the Supreme Court has set the precedent of appointing an individual to the presidency of the US, it’s highly unlikely, if asked, that it would balk at declaring a candidate for the office a naturalized citizen.

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By Fadel Abdallah, July 12, 2008 at 5:59 am Link to this comment

Well, I have nothing much to report, except that, despite the depression mood I am in, I managed to laugh, smile and have a taste of suppressed joy at these news, and particularly after reading the comments of DuncanIdaho, Cyrena, Bukko, Samosamo, Robert, Outraged and few others!

I think the most interesting part of the American election season is when the dirt-digging intensifies! Bring it on so we can be educated enough to elect the least of the evil choices!

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By cyrena, July 11, 2008 at 10:36 pm Link to this comment

•  “…Facts don’t matter to these people. The only question is, are there that many people in America who are so stupid that McInsane can get within cheating distance of stealing an election? I don’t think so (but I already left the country just in case.)”


I hate to tell you this, but I think there ARE that many people in America who are that stupid. I mean really…8 years of Dick Bush? It shouldn’t have been close enough for them to steal those elections. That means there are that many stupid people in America, and you were very smart to get out. I wish I’d done that myself, back when the options were a little bit better. They are extremely limited at this point, seeing as how I can’t exactly swim my way over.

As for the Beer heiress, I didn’t read the entire article to find out if they’d mentioned Cindy’s troubles with the dope or not. I was aware of it, and even posted a brief and basically objective, ‘just the facts mam’ piece on the details here at TD a couple or so months ago. Of course I was barraged by the same ones you describe so well in your own post. How DARE I post something like that! Humm…because it’s the truth maybe? As in, Cindy McCain is a junkie? I mean, it is what it is. *I* didn’t get her hooked on the stuff, and don’t particularly care that she did, except that it’s pretty pathetic that an heiress with that much money had to steal from her own charities’ patient’s. It’s the hypocrisy I was interested in making known. It’s really no different than Jeb Bushes daughter. She’s a junkie too, and like Rush Limbaugh and all of those other evil doing and immoral repugs, they are consistently above the law. NOTHING ever happens to them. THAT’S the part that pisses me off. Meantime, the feds routinely descend on the Native American tribes growing their hemp, destroy the crops, and throw the people in jail.

As for McCain’s citizen status, I don’t guess I’m all that bothered by it either, considering the fact that as far as I’m concerned, they’re ALL immigrants, (Anglos) and illegal ones to boot. In my mindset, Christopher Columbus was an illegal immigrant. Pisses me off everytime I hear that damned arrogant claim of him ‘discovering’ America. How the hell do you ‘discover’ (and claim) a land with millions of people that has existed for 10,000 years?

I guess we’ll one day here that Dick Bush ‘discovered’ Iraq.

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By Bukko in Australia, July 11, 2008 at 9:19 pm Link to this comment

Good zinger Cyrena!

I’m not too bothered about the technicalities of McCanetoad being born in a U.S. colony. He’s as much of a citizen as any other baby-killing bomber, as far as I’m concerned. An evil citizen, but a legitimate one nonetheless.

His personal behaviour is disgusting, though. As is his Stepford wife’s. I don’t suppose the LAT story went into how she was stealing narcotics from the cancer patients her very own charity was supposed to be helping. I could reead the story to see if that was covered, but I don’t care enough about these pieces of faeces (as it’s spelt here) to waste my time on it.

I contemplate the impact these things would make on the brain-dead, though. I imagine telling the regime dead-enders I used to know in the U.S. about it. What would their reactions be? First they’d say it wasn’t true. If it could be demonstrated enough to overcome their reality-denying instincts, then they’d say it doesn’t matter, that McSame is better than any Democrat because he’s for fiscal responsibility and he would keep the country safe. Then they’d say Bill Clinton and JFK did worse. Then they’d get angry at me for bringing it up, and they’d change the subject or walk away.

Facts don’t matter to these people. The only question is, are there that many people in America who are so stupid that McInsane can get within cheating distance of stealing an election? I don’t think so (but I already left the country just in case.)

I don’t think Repukes want to win this election. They want a weak-assed, 4th-Amendment-killing corporatist Democrat like Obama to deal with the mess they’ve left behind. That’s why a pug like McCain is left to take one for the losing team. McCain is the new Bob Dole, without the sense of humour. He’s the sacrificial turkey. He has no chance. People should focus their energy down-ticket, to defeat Repig congressional candidates and hopefully to upend the lickspittle Dems who vote like Rethugs. Dump ‘em all—go Greens!

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By samosamo, July 11, 2008 at 9:04 pm Link to this comment

In the most detailed examination yet of Senator John McCain’s eligibility to be president, a law professor at the University of Arizona has concluded that neither Mr. McCain’s birth in 1936 in the Panama Canal Zone nor the fact that his parents were American citizens is enough to satisfy the constitutional requirement that the president must be a “natural-born citizen.”

Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, do I see a legal move to allow non-citizens to become president? This could become some very tricky waters here. As much as I liked Schwarneggar(whoever)for a little while as an actor, I didn’t like his becoming a politico when he captured the CA governors position just as I don’t like actors becoming president probably because they don’t have to read the teleprompter. But for a ‘B’ class actor, and a steroid monkey, he has an interesting republican term going in california. But still we should stick with the constitutional conditions for being eligable to run for president.

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By Robert, July 11, 2008 at 8:58 pm Link to this comment


“It is now being reported that John McCain has a severe gambling addiction, evidenced by his long bouts with the craps tables in Las Vegas. There are reports that convicted GOP lobbyist and Russian-Israeli mob money launderer Jack Abramoff traded favors with McCain and Alabama Governor Bob Riley, who, through election malfeasance, cost Democratic Governor Don Siegelman his governorship in 2002 and then proceeded to engage in a criminal conspiracy to indict and convict Siegelman on trumped up charges.

A set of emails sent between Abramoff and Tom DeLay’s Communications Director in December 2002, emails that were never produced by McCain’s Indian Affairs Committee, show that Abramoff was conspiring with Riley, a casino gambling opponent, to keep gambling from the Poarch Creek Indian Reservation to benefit gambling on the Coushatta Indian Reservations in Mississippi. The email also describes efforts between Mississippi Republican Governor Haley Barbour and Maryland Republican Governor Bob Ehrlich to bring casino gambling to Indian reservations in their states. Ehrlich and his staff were targets of a federal investigation linking them to a prostitution ring involving Pamela Martin & Associates escorts and Shirlington Limousine, which ferried escorts on behalf of individuals and lobbyists linked to Abramoff in the Washington, DC and Baltimore areas. That investigation was shut down after George W. Bush’s re-election in 2004.

McCain has also been linked to Russian aluminum tycoon Oleg Deripaska, another member of the Russian Mafia who has been denied an entry visa to the United States. Deripaska, unlike his Russian Jewish comrades, has maintained good links to Putin. Deripaska has also figured prominently as a supplier of aluminum to the European Airbus aircraft frames to be used in the production of the US Air Force tanker plane, a contract pushed hard by McCain and his top campaign advisers, some of whom were lobbyists for Airbus.

The Russian-Israeli mob infiltration of the McCain campaign is only the continuation of a cancerous infiltration of the American body politic that began with the takeover of the Senate office of Washington’s Henry “Scoop” Jackson by anti-Soviet Jewish “neo-conservatives” in the early 1970s and blossomed into the full scale coup witnessed in the presidential election of 2000.”

Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.

Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report.

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By cyrena, July 11, 2008 at 8:48 pm Link to this comment

I love it!! A Republican immigrant polygamist running for president. This is just too much!

The hit’s just keep on coming. Pun intended…

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By Outraged, July 11, 2008 at 8:22 pm Link to this comment

The McCain epic will put the National Enquirer in the dustbin of history.  How will they compete? 

But this tidbit is interesting…is it not?

“Mr. McCain’s birth in 1936 in the Panama Canal Zone nor the fact that his parents were American citizens is enough to satisfy the constitutional requirement that the president must be a “natural-born citizen.”

Whoops!  The cat’s out of the bag.

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By purplewolf, July 11, 2008 at 8:04 pm Link to this comment


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By P. T., July 11, 2008 at 7:43 pm Link to this comment

That means that John McCain has a history as a polygamist.

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