In Sight

Inside John McCain’s 2008 presidential bid

Sen. John McCain could have said no to me when I asked for access as a photojournalist, but he rarely did. The senator believed in the importance of transparency as much as any politician could.

Through the camera I witnessed the evolution of a lawmaker crossing the aisle to make deals, the son of a four-star admiral, and a war hero who embraced the value and importance of an institution he believed in: the U.S. Senate.

Ahead of the 2008 election, I documented him aboard the rolling Straight Talk Express as he enjoyed and endured endless questioning from journalists, and then again behind the scenes at the Republican National Convention, where he accepted his role as the Republican nominee for the presidency.

I watched him deliver a memorable concession speech in Arizona as a tearful Sarah Palin stood behind him.

I documented a man returning to the halls of power, his home away from home, where he rediscovered himself: Sen. McCain, a lawmaker, a maverick — living by a code of honor.

On Saturday, McCain died from brain cancer at age 81. He will lie in state in both the Arizona and U.S. capitols this week.

He’ll be buried at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis.