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Sen. John McCain during 2012 Republican National Convention. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

HBO's new documentary on John McCain ("For Whom the Bell Tolls," premiering 8 tonight) "is a thorough and intriguing celebration of the Arizona senator’s life, with many of his political peers and opponents describing McCain’s career of service," The Arizona Republic's Bill Goodykoontz writes.

The big picture: "The filmmakers spent hours with McCain both in his Sedona home and in Washington, D.C. There are testimonials from his family, as well as personal and political friends and enemies..."

  • "In fact, the latter part of the film is given over mostly to just that, laudatory musings about McCain, of which he is certainly deserving."
  • But the rest of the film sorts through McCain’s life — and his mistakes, of which he acknowledges many."
  • "That’s far more interesting, and makes McCain far more human."

An astonishing 49 senators turned out for a Capitol Hill screening hosted by Richard Plepler, HBO chairman and CEO (and former Senate aide to Chris Dodd). 

  • McCain’s entire office staff attended and the entire Armed Services Committee was there, along with many former staff members.
  • House members and many McCain family members joined, along with Frank Gamboa, McCain’s roommate at the Naval Academy. 
  • When the filmmakers showed it to McCain, he said: “You nailed it.”

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
4 mins ago - Economy & Business

Ripple CEO calls for clearer crypto regulations following SEC lawsuit

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse tells "Axios on HBO" that if his company loses a lawsuit brought by the SEC, it would put the U.S. cryptocurrency industry at a competitive disadvantage.

Why it matters: Garlinghouse's comments may seem self-serving, but his call for clearer crypto rules is consistent with longstanding entreaties from other industry players.

Republican Sen. Roy Blunt will not seek re-election in 2022

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) will not run for re-election in 2022, he announced on Twitter Monday.

Why it matters: The 71-year-old senator is the No. 4-ranking Republican in the Senate, and the fifth GOP senator to announce he will not run for re-election in 2022 as the party faces questions about its post-Trump future.

46 mins ago - Health

Popular independent COVID tracker officially ends daily updates

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer group of data analysts, researchers, and journalists brought together by The Atlantic, published its final daily update on Monday — the one-year anniversary of its founding.

Why it matters: The project quickly became a vital resource for news media, academic researchers, and everyday Americans to track COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the absence of reliable and public data from the federal government.