Senator John McCain is definitely a maverick, do not write his obit yet!

I think it is completely fascinating how so many are trying to eulogize or hint at their obituary for Senator John McCain. He is a fighter, not just because of military background but his political stamina. He is amazing.

After traveling as a journalist covering his 2000 Presidential Campaign, he was beast. He had so much energy and love for his job, connecting with people, the political process and the country he serves. He was still holding town halls in Arizona last year.

I would not be surprised to see him retire on his own accord, not let a medical situation dictate his service.

I remember the first time I met him during a state house interview in Arizona with Cary Pfeffer. I was new to Arizona and was setting the up the interview, the lights and getting ready to put the microphone on his lapel. He kindly asked me where I was from and I told him I grew up in Clemson, SC. He spent fifteen minutes sharing his love for Clemson, visiting the Esso Club, trips to the The Strom Thurmond Institute, and Death Valley.

I remember on the campaign trail coming home to cover Senator McCain during the South Carolina Primary in Feb 2000. He lost by nearly 11 percentage points, but he spent most of the night visiting with supporters, shaking tons of hands, then ultimately dropping out of the race. We waited into the early hours of the morning after the loss for a sit down interview with Senator McCain. He was tired, felt defeated, but had such a positive spin on the process and the people that supported him.

I will always cherish my memories of Senator John McCain and hope he continues to serve his home state of Arizona, a state I used to call home. The picture is from Charleston in 2000. I still think if he had the same approach and message in the 2008 Presidential Campaign as he did during the 2000…he might have won.