By now everybody's getting familiar with Cindy McCain, the beer-heiress second wife of John McCain but what about his first wife? The Huffington Post points to a story about her in the venerable London tabloid, the Daily Mail. We have to go overseas to find news the media here will ignore.
"My marriage ended because John McCain didn’t want to be 40, he wanted to be 25. You know that happens...it just does."
Some of McCain’s acquaintances are less forgiving, however. They portray the politician as a self-centred womaniser who effectively abandoned his crippled wife to ‘play the field’. They accuse him of finally settling on Cindy, a former rodeo beauty queen, for financial reasons.
He first met Carol in the Fifties while he was at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis.He was a privileged, but rebellious scion of one of America’s most distinguished military dynasties – his father and grandfather were both admirals. But setting out to have a good time, the young McCain hung out with a group of young officers who called themselves the ‘Bad Bunch’. His primary interest was women and his conquests ranged from a knife-wielding floozy nicknamed ‘Marie, the Flame of Florida’ to a tobacco heiress.
I suppose everyone has their wild oats to sow. But I'm sure his experiences made him the straight-talking maverick he is today, right?
Whew. Apparently she forgives him. But this old family friend hasn't:
And yet despite his popularity as a politician, there are those who won’t forget his treatment of his first wife. Ted Sampley, who fought with US Special Forces in Vietnam and is now a leading campaigner for veterans’ rights, said: ‘I have been following John McCain’s career for nearly 20 years. I know him personally. There is something wrong with this guy and let me tell you what it is – deceit.
‘When he came home and saw that Carol was not the beauty he left behind, he started running around on her almost right away. Everybody around him knew it.
‘Eventually he met Cindy and she was young and beautiful and very wealthy. At that point McCain just dumped Carol for something he thought was better.
‘This is a guy who makes such a big deal about his character. He has no character. He is a fake. If there was any character in that first marriage, it all belonged to Carol.’
But Ross Perot, who paid her medical bills all those years ago, now believes that both Carol McCain and the American people have been taken in by a man who is unusually slick and cruel – even by the standards of modern politics.
‘McCain is the classic opportunist. He’s always reaching for attention and glory,’ he said. ‘After he came home, Carol walked with a limp. So he threw her over for a poster girl with big money from Arizona. And the rest is history.’