CongressAmerican Government

Remembering John McCain

Posted on in Congress · American Government


Senator John McCain (R-AZ) died on August 25 and has been remembered by his colleagues as a towering figure in American history. McCain was elected to the House of Representatives in 1982 and then the U.S. Senate in 1986. He was the Republican presidential nominee in 2008.

Instructors, click the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt and a debate question as well as other assessment questions.

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for Remembering John McCain


“‘He put country before self’: The nation’s leaders react to John McCain’s death”

“Friends call John McCain hero, maverick at Arizona funeral”

“‘I’ve done everything that they requested’: Trump defends his handling of McCain’s death”

“Sen. John McCain, American ‘maverick’ and Arizona political giant, dies at age 81”

“Sen. Jeff Flake remembers John McCain as “the conscience of the Senate””

“Trump ignores lessons from John McCain’s life”

“Why coverage of John McCain’s death dwarfs even Gerald Ford’s, Richard Nixon’s”

“The ‘thumbs down’ health care vote that enraged Trump is John McCain’s lasting legacy”

“While Washington mourns McCain, Trump leaves town”

“McCain’s complex legacy offers GOP soul-searching opportunity”

“John McCain’s Death Marks the Near-Extinction of Bipartisanship”

“Senator John McCain: Take a look at a timeline of the Arizona Senator’s life”


  • Writing: Why has the death of John McCain caused such a national reaction?
  • Debate: President Trump was not invited to attend the memorial service to John McCain. He should have been.
  • Poll: Our political culture is not likely to improve now that John McCain’s voice has been silenced.
  • Short Answer: Why is it important that two former presidents, one from each party, spoke at the memorial to John McCain?

Current events quiz:

1) In which Presidential election year was John McCain the Republican Nominee?

a. 2008
b. 2004
c. 2002
d. 2000

2) A political “maverick” is someone who __________.

  1. defends their political party, even if they do not always agree with the policies
  2. rarely engaged in bipartisan pursuits
  3. is unorthodox and independent-minded
  4. is a champion for American rights and beliefs

3) One of the most memorable moments in McCain’s time in the Senate, a moment that is remembered often, is when he voted no for _________.

  1. the senate Obamacare repeal
  2. the DACA bill
  3. the senate’s budget proposal
  4. a bill to strengthen gun control laws

4) John McCain served as an Arizona senator alongside Lindsey Graham for thirty-two years. (T/F)

5) Senator McCain is well known for being a prisoner of war held in Vietnam. (T/F)

6) Joe Biden ran against John McCain in the 2000 Presidential election, which is what makes it all the more special that McCain asked Biden to speak at his funeral services. (T/F)


1) A

2) C

3) A

4) False

5) True

6) False

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