May 28, 2018

HBO documentary "sorts through McCain’s life — and his mistakes"

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.”

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What's happening: Seven contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination were in Charleston, South Carolina, for the tenth debate, just days before the South Carolina primary and a week before Super Tuesday. They spoke, sometimes over each other, about health care, Russian interference in the election, foreign policy the economy, gun control, marijuana, education, and race.

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The 10th Democratic debate was billed as the most consequential of the primary thus far, but Tuesday night's high-stakes affair was at times awkward and unfocused as moderators struggled to rein in candidates desperate to make one last splash before Saturday's primary in South Carolina and Super Tuesday.

The big picture: After cementing himself as the Democratic favorite with a sweeping win in Nevada, Sen. Bernie Sanders came under fire as the front-runner for the first time on the debate stage. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who will be on the ballot for the first time next Tuesday, was a progressive foil once again, but he appeared more prepared after taking a drubbing at the Nevada debate.

Coronavirus spreads to Africa as U.S. soldier in South Korea tests positive

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

A 23-year-old American soldier stationed at Camp Carroll in South Korea has tested positive to the novel coronavirus, as the outbreak spreads to more countries.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 80,000 others, mostly in mainland China. Public health officials confirmed Tuesday the U.S. has 57 people with the novel coronavirus, mostly those repatriated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

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