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Sen. John McCain was elected to the House in 1982, serving two terms before successfully running for the Senate, where he represented Arizona for the next 30 years.

The Washington Post sat down with a few of his congressional colleagues in recent weeks; In the interviews below, members of Congress who worked with McCain reflect on his time in the Senate, and who he was away from the Capitol.

John Kerry

“John and I went to the Hanoi Hilton together … John’s cell is still there, and John and I went into his cell and stood there together. It was really a very emotional moment.”

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine)

“What people often don’t know, and don’t see, is the compassionate side of John McCain.”

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.)

“I’ve met some great senators in the years I’ve been here, but you meet very few truly great men, in the traditional sense … very few, but he’s one of them.”

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)

“John was never one not to have an opinion, and sometimes expressed it very forcefully – and was, in my judgment, almost always right.”

Harry Reid, former Senate majority leader (D-Nev.)

“We spent 34 years together in the Congress. And John McCain isn’t somebody that didn’t feel strongly about issues ... but in spite of all that, John and I bonded a long time ago.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)

“John McCain would just constantly tease me … and finally, Lindsey came over to me, and he said, ‘John wouldn’t tease you if he didn’t like you.’”

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.)

“He’s a force of nature. He definitely wants his voice heard, and speaks it very strongly.”

House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)

“When Sen. John McCain comes to a meeting, they know somebody showed up. He’s a formidable figure, respected globally, and even across the aisle and across the Capitol.”

About this story

Reported and produced by Peter Stevenson. Videos by Bastien Inzaurralde, Meg Kelly, Joyce Koh, Zoeann Murphy, Darryl Nelson and Jenny Starrs. Design and development by Jake Crump.


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