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How come McCain's treatment of his first wife doesn't get more press?

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Diamond Member
Jun 22, 2003
Originally posted by: shira
Originally posted by: MovingTarget
Like it or not, war changes people. You can't expect to go through something like he did and expect everything to be the same for him when he returns. You change, and the relationships with those back home will inevitably change in response to that. Talk to many in the WW2 generation and they will tell you this. I'm not saying that what he did was right, only that some of it can be explained.

Personally, I don't think that it is brought up in the media because they don't want to open up that can of worms. They would have to face the reality of what has been happening to our veterans when they return despite improved public acceptance of service (think Vietnam) and increased medical care. Physical damage can be repaired, but you can't close your eyes and pretend that everything is okay once they are discharged.
I don't see where you're getting this "war changes people" stuff. If you read the story, it's pretty clear he was a playboy before marriage, and when he saw Carol's state on his return from the service, he became a playboy again. Once McCain met rich, beautiful Cindy, Carol was history.

But I guess it was all because of post-traumatic stress of the testicles. Poor, poor, John.
Perhaps I am being misunderstood. I am not taking up for McCain. War does change people. Re-integrating back into your family and circle of friends that you had beforehand isn't easily (nor at all) done. Many veterans I've spoken to have emphasized this. It does break families in some cases.

However, that doesn't excuse McCain for the fact that he didn't man-up and take care of his wife. All I was trying to say was that if there was anything in him beforehand that made the two of them "work", that it was gone. If it wasn't there, well, he's got some 'splaining to do to his former wife. Should we hold it against him in the current campaign? Personally I am not sure of the extent to which it should or shouldn't. I'll let his positions on the issues decide my voting preference.


Diamond Member
Feb 1, 2008
I'm just waiting for Mccain to say "God wanted me to be rich, so he broughteth Cindy unto me".


Golden Member
Sep 8, 2007
Originally posted by: shira
It's funny how John Edwards gets so much flack about his cheating on Elizabeth. How come John McCain's treatment of his own (first) wife commands so little attention?

A synopsis:

McCain's first wife, Carol, was a beauty. But during the time McCain was a prisoner in Viet Nam, she was in a awful auto accident, which destroyed her body and her looks. When McCain was released, he cheated on her regularly and after meeting Cindy, abandoned Carol.

McCain - quite a guy
She was the woman McCain dreamed of during his long incarceration and torture in Vietnam?s infamous ?Hanoi Hilton? prison and the woman who faithfully stayed at home looking after the children and waiting anxiously for news.

But when McCain returned to America in 1973 to a fanfare of publicity and a handshake from Richard Nixon, he discovered his wife had been disfigured in a terrible car crash three years earlier. Her car had skidded on icy roads into a telegraph pole on Christmas Eve, 1969. Her pelvis and one arm were shattered by the impact and she suffered massive internal injuries.

When Carol was discharged from hospital after six months of life-saving surgery, the prognosis was bleak. In order to save her legs, surgeons had been forced to cut away huge sections of shattered bone, taking with it her tall, willowy figure. She was confined to a wheelchair and was forced to use a catheter.

Through sheer hard work, Carol learned to walk again. But when John McCain came home from Vietnam, she had gained a lot of weight and bore little resemblance to her old self.

Today, she stands at just 5ft4in and still walks awkwardly, with a pronounced limp. Her body is held together by screws and metal plates and, at 70, her face is worn by wrinkles that speak of decades of silent suffering.
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.?
What does anyone see in this guy?

I tend to give some slack to someone who was a POW for 5+ years.


Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
Originally posted by: TechAZ
I tend to give some slack to someone who was a POW for 5+ years.
Pfft... what's that mean? That you haven't kicked a bum lately?


Platinum Member
Mar 27, 2001
Originally posted by: JD50
I dunno, the guy had just returned home after spending 6 years in the Hanoi Hilton, I think I'll give him a little leeway. I have no idea how I'd act after having been through that hell, I'd probably be ready to live it up as well. I'm not excusing his actions, just saying that I think he deserves a little leeway. And uh...it was 30 years ago, so who cares?
6 years after returning home is just returned?

According to the record the affair began in 1979.


Aug 21, 2007
Originally posted by: Zenmervolt
Originally posted by: Hafen
Wow...I knew he cheated on his first wife, but wow, that's unbelievable. Dumping the woman when she's crippled and disfigured. Bush was a party boy too, but least he never cheated on and left his wife.
If you read the whole article, rather than the cut and paste job in the OP, a few things stand out, the main being that McCain was clearly becoming dissatisfied with marriage even before leaving for Vietnam and that Carol already had one divorce under her belt. She and McCain married after knowing each other for less than a year. The stage was set for a divorce from the very beginning. Two young people, neither of whom had a history of lasting relationships, rushed into a marriage with no real chance to get to know each other, and the inevitable result is that they later divorced. Trying to claim that the divorce was because McCain thought his wife had become unattractive is grossly oversimplifying the situation.

Emotionally, it's a difficult thing to stomach because we all (myself included) want to think that we would stay if something terrible happened to our significant other, but we always assume that love was there from the start. The simple fact here is that McCain's marriage to Carol was faltering even before he left for Vietnam and probably would have ended regardless.

None of this changes the fact that McCain shouldn't have married Carol in the first place when he clearly wasn't ready to settle down, and none of this changes the fact that he should not have been involved with other women while he was married. Both of those things are, in my opinion, show very poor judgment are are reason enough to question McCain's credibility, but to say that he left Carol simply because she no longer looked like she once did is a naive oversimplification.



Apr 8, 2001
Originally posted by: shira
Originally posted by: lupi
You would think the OP wouldn't have been dumb enough to start another thread on this and instead could have just bumped any of the already existing ones where this was discussed.

At least we can hope for that to change next time.
Oh, I considered appending it to the thread on Edwards infidelity. But I just knew you'd put in one of your own mindless, defend-the-right-at-any-costs posts, and it was too good to resist.

Please. Tell us something enlightening. Something outrageous. Something we haven't heard before.

Edit: I'm kinda disappointed you didn't throw in one of your goofy grin-o-cons. You're slipping.
You're really going to need to try harder next time. JP, harvey and crew have such a lead that you're likely to get lapped in this years hack of the year award.
Aug 23, 2000
Originally posted by: Hafen
Wow...I knew he cheated on his first wife, but wow, that's unbelievable. Dumping the woman when she's crippled and disfigured. Bush was a party boy too, but least he never cheated on and left his wife.
Maybe he left because he spent 5 years in hell and that can change a man. He probably figured, why put up with the crap when I can do better?

But I guess the holier than thou crowd here will pass judgment once again without knowing the actual facts and feelings between the two at the time.
Aug 23, 2000
Originally posted by: dahunan
one would think any retard who was held captive as a prisoner of WAR --- would seek more diplomacy instead of yelling about 100yrs of war
You'd think some retards would be grateful for the people that put themselves in harms way to keep those retards safe.
Aug 23, 2000
Originally posted by: LegendKiller
Originally posted by: JD50
Originally posted by: Robor
Originally posted by: JD50
Maybe it has something to do with the fact that it happened 30 years ago....
What does time have to do with it? The Obama has been getting stuff dredged up from their distant past throughout this campaign. His father who he barely knew. His early education in Indonesia. His wife's thesis. The ties to Ayers. If it's good for the goose it's good for the gander.
And that's all been getting dismissed by the MSM and the left, so why would they go after McCain for something that happened 30 years ago?
I give little leeway to politicians who screw around on their wives and even less who screw around on wives who have had problems such as McCain's ex. It's disgusting that somebody would just dump their wife for the reasons he did. It shows he has little loyalty and heart. It calls into question his conviction of word and deed. Somebody like that wouldn't change their viewpoint after 30 years. If anything, he's probably become more selfish and deceitful in the soothing and corrupting womb of Washington politics.
It shows he wears the pants in the family, where as Obama seems to do what his wife wants.


Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 30, 2003
Originally posted by: loki8481
Originally posted by: Brovane
IMHO the reason that McCain's treatment of his first wife gets so little attention.

#1-He had been a POW for 6 years which makes people give him a little leeway. If you are separated from your spouse for 6-years things can happen.
#2-This happen 30-years ago. It isn't fresh news and the wounds are not so fresh.
#3-McCain has taken full responsibility for what happened to his first marriage. He has basically said it is all his fault and taken all the blame. He hasn't tried to minimize what happen which doesn't give the press really anywhere to take it. When asked what is his biggest moral failing he said his first marriage. People can accept in the US that he screwed up and he has admitted that he screwed up.
#4-This has already been covered before. McCain is his previous runs for the nomination this was already covered.
#5-You have no bitter ex-wife talking trash about him on the news.

You put all this together and this is why this isn't covered much at all.
this x5
Yep, add to that the fact NOBODY in Washington DC wants 30 year old stories about ex-wives to be relevant today. Talk about living in a glass and throwing stones - Jeesh. :roll:

And the whole *infidelity* angle is badly undercut by McCain's apparent faithfulness to his current wife for 26 years.

I also think dredging up all that now would NOT be seen as to respectful of his current wife either, nor the ex-wife who apparently isn't bitter/angry about it.