John McCain and Hillary Clinton. Photos: Patrick Semansky and Matt Rourke / AP
Esquire posts a big interview of Sen. John McCain by David Usborne: "[A]fter the senator was diagnosed with brain cancer in July, his contrarian resolve revealed itself in unexpected ways that may shape his legacy — and our future."
McCain says he resisted the temptation to immediately set the record straight with his own lengthy account, as Hillary Clinton did recently in What Happened. "You've got to understand that you can't rewrite history," he told me. "One of the almost irresistible impulses you have when you lose is to somehow justify why you lost and how you were mistreated: 'I did the right thing! I did!' The hardest thing to do is to just shut up."
- And while McCain has lately announced plans for his own memoir, which will reach back to 2008, he suggested Clinton had erred in writing hers so quickly.
- "What's the fucking point? Keep the fight up? History will judge that campaign, and it's always a period of time before they do. You've got to move on. This is Hillary's problem right now: She doesn't have anything to do."
- On the health care vote: Vice President Pence tried to persuade him both on the Senate floor and in his private office, where McCain took a call from Trump. "I said, 'I thank you, Mr. President, for your involvement,' " he told me. "But I said, 'I cannot vote for something called Skinny Repeal. I can't do it. I didn't even see the bill until today. I mean, this is insanity. I appreciate the call and now I have to go vote, and I'm sorry.' "