John McCain still isn’t back in D.C. because of health concerns

February 12, 2018

John McCain still isn’t back in D.C. because of health concerns Gage Skidmore / CCL

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is one of the longest-serving members of Congress — and one of the most polarizing. But while he has managed to hold on to his seat for three decades, his popularity in his home state is dwindling, and nationwide, his approval rating is the second lowest among senators.

Right now, however, the senator’s focus is less on his work in Washington and more on his declining health. As he continues to battle glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, McCain has chosen to remain at home in Arizona for the last several weeks instead of returning to Capitol Hill as expected, partly because of concerns over this year’s deadly flu season.

Health Update

Speaking to Politico on a podcast interview, McCain’s daughter, Meghan, said her father’s “immune system is so down, everybody is worried about him getting the flu.” But she contends that overall, he is doing “really good.” She told Politico:

He’s doing, actually, really good. He’s made this really incredible comeback… He’s doing well. And I think it’s a very high likelihood that he will come back to D.C. at some point. I’m not misrepresenting: he’s doing really well right now.

She went on to assure listeners that her father is “very present” and not suffering from any mental deficiencies as a result of the brain cancer.

“We talk about politics all the time,” she insisted. “Mentally, he’s 100 percent there.”

After being diagnosed with brain cancer in July 2017, Sen. McCain has been in and out of Washington. His last appearance in D.C. was prior to their holiday recess, but although he was slated to return to Capitol Hill with his colleagues in January, he opted to stay home.

McCain’s office has not given an official update on his health since mid-December, leaving his daughter Meghan’s comments as the only source of information on the senator’s wellbeing.

Time to Go?

McCain’s years of “maverick” action have earned him a reputation in Washington for being willing to stand up to his own party.

But to the American people, his actions paint him as an unreliable conservative who may be more involved in scandal than we know.

Even the left-leaning publication Daily Beast pointed out during McCain’s 2008 failed presidential run that conservatives largely see McCain as a “shifty chameleon who can’t be trusted to keep his word,” an embarrassing reputation for a former prisoner of war.

This track record is forcing some to question his daughter’s sincerity in reporting on the senator’s health — could his health be worse than she says?

If McCain’s health and mental state declines to the point of rendering him unable to perform his duties, Arizona law dictates that the governor must appoint another Republican to fill McCain’s Senate seat for the remainder of his term.


Kit Perez

Kit Perez is a Conservative Institute contributor. She is an intelligence analyst with a dual specialty in counterintelligence and HUMINT. She writes on national security, tech, and privacy issues. Kit has a B.A. in Counterintelligence and an M.A. in Intelligence Studies from American Military University.