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Silver Spoon McCain

silver-spoon.thumbnail.JPGThe recent news that John Sidney McCain III is so frickin’ rich he can’t keep track of all of his domiciles is really no news to those of us who have been paying attention. This is a man, mind you, who is the Fortunate Son and Grandson of two admirals, and whose great-great-grandfather was a Mississippi plantation owner with 52 slaves and 2000 acres in the days before the Civil War. (McCain professed not to have known this when it was brought to his attention in 2000, but his cousin, author Elizabeth Spencer, mentions the McCain family’s slaves in her family memoir Landscapes of the Heart, a book John McCain had admitted to reading by the time the 2000 campaign had rolled around.)

It was McCain’s silver-spoon background and admiral daddy that got him into the prestigious Navy Air Pilot Flight Training program despite graduating 894th in his Annapolis class of 899. That same background and daddy also kept him flying over the years, even after crashing several planes. Wrecking one plane was often enough for a Navy pilot to lose his wings; McCain lost five, a feat that would earn him the ironic nickname "Reverse Ace McCain" or just plain old "Ace".

But even the influence of a powerful father couldn’t fix his stalled Naval career; by the mid-1970s, it was clear to everyone that McCain the Third was not going to make admiral as his illustrious forebears had done. He began casting about for a new career, around the same time that he began casting about for a new wife. He found his new wife in Cindy Hensley, the heiress to a very wealthy beer distributor in Phoenix with ties to organized crime. They married in May of 1980, and Cindy’s daddy was quite generous in letting his new son-in-law use his money to run for Congress in 1982 in the heavily-Republican Phoenix congressional district. (McCain essentially served as a placeholder for the powerful Rhodes family: When John Jacob Rhodes Jr. retired from Congress in 1982, he opened the seat for McCain, who then held it for two terms until he left it to Rhodes’ son, John Jacob Rhodes III, when McCain ran for the Senate in 1986.)

Keep all this in mind if you ever wonder how John Sidney McCain III could be so out of touch as to propose tax hikes on the middle class while backing and planning to expand Bush’s big tax cuts for those folks as rich as the McCains.

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