John McCain. The Viet Cong couldn't kill him or break his spirit. Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans could lasso, tie down and brand this maverick. No recent president has come close to possessing the honor that this man exudes. He is a statesman.

He actually thinks about and weighs the information that is presented to him. He doesn't scream at his opponents. He shows respect for them. He doesn't absentmindedly resort to the latest cute technology to get his point across. His crucial vote to move the health care debate forward while adamantly stating that he would not vote for the bill in its present form was music to my ears. Once again, he proved that he is willing to compromise for the good of all Americans. After hearing the speech he made on the floor of the Senate, I said to myself, "John McCain, please don't die."

In the primaries leading up to the 2000 general election, we had a golden opportunity. The Democrats could have nominated Sen. Bill Bradley of New Jersey. The Republicans could have nominated Sen. John McCain of Arizona. Both well-respected statesmen. Whoa, did we blow it. I would have had a real hard time deciding between those two gentlemen. But, at least, I would have had a decent choice.

I find myself left with only the hope that future generations of Americans will come to their senses and start electing men and women the caliber of John McCain. I am optimistic.

John McCue

Bangor

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