Offbeat "The Restless Wave": Parting words from John McCain

02:33  21 may  2018
02:33  21 may  2018 Source:   cbsnews.com

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The Restless Wave is John McCain at his best. “[ McCain ] is open and candid, a refuge from spin and arrogance.”—The Washington Post. “Wise words from a man who personifies courage.”—The Sunday Oklahoman.

Arizona Sen. John McCain was diagnosed with a deadly form of brain cancer in July 2017. He has since written a memoir, The Restless Wave : Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations, to be published on May 22.

Straight Talk has long been Senator John McCain's political hallmark. Now, with his life quite literally on the line, the senator is offering straight talk and more in a new memoir, co-authored by the man our Chip Reid's been talking to:

John McCain returned to the U.S. Senate last July, for a critical vote on a Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and he was nearly moved to tears by his reception.

Just one week earlier, the Arizona senator had been diagnosed with brain cancer, after undergoing emergency surgery to remove a blood clot.

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Books of The Times: In ‘ The Restless Wave ,’ John McCain Says America Is Still Exceptional. In his latest and likely last book, McCain expresses concern about the state of the union, but generally stops short of calling out President Trump.

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But just moments after that standing ovation, McCain – always the maverick – chastised colleagues in both parties with some of his renowned straight talk:

"Stop listening to the bombastic loudmouths on the radio and on the internet. To hell with them," he said. "We've been spinning our wheels on too many important issues because we keep trying to find a way to win without help from across the aisle," he said.  "We're getting nothing done, my friends; we're getting nothing done."

On July 27, 2017, turning his thumb down, Senator John McCain joined Republican Senators Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, and all Democrats, in voting against a Senate Bill to repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act.© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. On July 27, 2017, turning his thumb down, Senator John McCain joined Republican Senators Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, and all Democrats, in voting against a Senate Bill to repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act.

Mark Salter, who has been writing speeches for McCain for 30 years," said McCains words really resonated: "Part of it obviously was because he had just received this very tough diagnosis. And he looked like he had just had brain surgery. That speech spoke of his love for the place and what it was capable of doing and how senators can be the equal of statesmen in any White House, you know? And that we should strive to be that way and we should want to work together to make progress on our country's problems."

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The book is set to hit shelves on May 22. (Image credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images). Source: npr Sen. John McCain Rests His Case. Bill Henson: 'How do you suggest the whole world in a hand?' →.

John McCain is a politician, veteran and published author. He wrote his latest, upcoming book, “ The Restless Wave : Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Kept in solitary confinement for part of his imprisonment, McCain endured torture and beatings at the hands of his captors.

The story of that dramatic night is just one of many in McCain's new memoir, "The Restless Wave," published by Simon & Schuster (a division of CBS). Covering the last ten years, the book details his historic presidential campaign against Barack Obama, as well as his disagreements with President Obama, and President Donald Trump, about America's place in the world.

a close up of a sign© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc.

Co-written by Salter, it's their seventh collaboration.

The title, Salter says, comes from the Navy hymn. "He's a very restless man, as anyone who knows him or has covered him knows. And only God could slow him down. And that's [why] he thought that was an appropriate title."

As McCain writes (and as he's heard in the book's audio edition):

"I don't know how much longer I'll be here. Maybe I'll have another five years. Maybe with the advances in oncology they'll find new treatments for my cancer that will extend my life.

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John McCain , R-Ariz., receives the Liberty Medal from the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. An upcoming memoir from McCain has taken on new meaning since he first decided to write it. “ The Restless Wave ” is scheduled to come out in April, 2018

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"Maybe I'll be gone before you hear this," he added.

Reid asked, "Do you think this became a different book as a result of the diagnosis?"

"Yes, it did," said Salter. "Much different."

How so? "Well. I don't really want to say it's a last testament, 'cause he's fighting hard on sticking around for a while. But he did want to tell Americans how much this country meant to him before he was gone, and how much he thinks this country means to the world."

The book incorporates key themes from some of McCain's recent speeches, including one in Philadelphia last October, at the National Constitution Center, that many saw as a direct swipe at President Trump

McCain said:

"To fear the world we have organized and led for three quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership, and our duty to remain the last, best hope of Earth, for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems, is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history."

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John McCain Rests His Case NPR It recalls his previous literary efforts (he has written seven books with longtime collaborator Mark Salter), but it also ventures deeper into our collective memories of McCain and his world — as we prepare to part with both. The Restless Wave is a At His Ranch

Arizona Sen. John McCain was diagnosed with a deadly form of brain cancer in July 2017. He has since written a memoir, The Restless Wave : Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations, to be published on May 22.

Salter said, "He didn't want to turn this into a personal attack on Donald Trump, and I don't think it really is. But it does take strong exception with some of the president's views because they are in great contrast to his own."

"If John McCain could sit down and try to change Donald Trump's mind on one issue, what would it be?" asked Reid.

"On the importance of American leadership in the world," Salter replied. "The world order that's existed for 75 years is worth maintaining. It has made us powerful and wealthy, and it has freed people from tyranny and poverty more so than at any other time in history."

At the U.S. Naval Academy on October 20, 2017, McCain said:

"We have to fight. We have to fight against propaganda and crackpot conspiracy theories. We have to fight isolationism, protectionism, and nativism. We have to defeat those who would worsen our divisions. We have to remind our sons and daughters that we became the most powerful nation on Earth by tearing down walls, not building them."

McCain also criticizes the way in which many Americans have walled themselves off from those who disagree with them, writing about his friendships with Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and Ted Kennedy.

"He always seemed to have as many good friends on the Democratic side as on the Republican side," Reid said.

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Senator McCain recalls his disagreements with several presidents, and minces no words in his objections to some of President Trump’s statements and policies. The Restless Wave is John McCain at his best.

Senator McCain recalls his disagreements with several presidents, and minces no words in his objections to some of President Trump's statements and policies. The Restless Wave is John McCain at his best.

"He does. That's really one of the main messages he wanted this book to convey to the American people: Don't assume that if someone votes differently than you, that they don't deserve your respect, or your friendship," Salter said.

In fact, one of the book's most stunning revelation has to do with one of McCain's closest friends from across the aisle, expressing regret at not having chosen Senator Joe Lieberman (a Democrat who then became an Independent) as his running mate.

"He does," said Salter. "He does not say, though, as has been interpreted, that he regrets choosing Sarah Palin."

"That was my follow-up question: How can he regret not choosing Joe Lieberman but not regret choosing her?"

"Because he was persuaded not to pick Joe Lieberman. You know, it leaked out that we were considering it, and the advice of his staff – among them me – saying, 'You can't do it.'

"He regrets listening to us, I think!" laughed Salter. "But after he made the decision, he never regretted it. And in the book he defends her. And he's never uttered a word, in private or public, of criticism of her."

"Does he sometimes worry that there might have been a direct line from Sarah Palin to Donald Trump?" asked Reid.

"I've never heard him express that."

Last month, McCain underwent another surgery – this one to treat an infection. While his cancer is terminal, the 81-year-old war hero is still fighting, and says he doesn't feel cheated; he feels blessed.

"A fight not joined is a fight not enjoyed, and I wouldn't mind another scrap or two before I'm a memory. Who knows, maybe I'll get another round. And maybe I won't. So be it. I've lived in this wondrous land for most of eight decades, and I've had enough good fights and good company in her service to satisfy even my restless nature.

"Who am I to complain, my friends? I'm the luckiest man on Earth."

a man wearing a suit and tie: John McCain© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. John McCain

For more info:

"The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations" by John McCain and Mark Salter (Simon & Schuster), available via AmazonFollow @MarkSalter55 on Twitter

Story produced by Mark Hudspeth.


Arizona governor huddles with John and Cindy McCain .
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