30 August, 2018
McCain's wife Cindy and her sons Jack and Jimmy, dressed in formal military attire, received McCain's body ahead of the formal ceremony. John McCain inside the Arizona Capitol on August 29 for the first of several memorial tributes planned for the war hero and two-time Republican presidential candidate.
Indeed, McCain even appeared to take a final shot at the president in his last letter to America, when he urged people not to be torn apart by tribal politics or to hide behind walls, in comments that were largely believed to be aimed at the president.
The list of participants in the proceedings reflected the crossroads at which the Arizona Republican Party finds itself in the wake of McCain's death and at a time when the conservative base is lurching rightward. A vocal critic of Presiden Trump who is retiring at the end of his current term, Flake was joined by a group of other lawmakers representing the old guard of the party, including former senator Jon Kyl and former congressman Jim Kolbe.
He called Trump's Helsinki news conference with Vladimir Putin "one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory". "My biggest challenge is deciding whether to run for reelection in 2020", he said McCain told him.
During a brief private service inside the Capitol rotunda, Gov. Doug Ducey remembered McCain as a senator and internationally known figure as well as a key figure in the history of the Arizona. The single mom and Democrat brought a bouquet of flowers and said she had always looked up to McCain. That means he made repeated decisions Monday to withhold any praise - or criticism - of McCain.
"We were the ones who were privileged, privileged to have John McCain fighting for us", Ducey said, "privileged to learn from him".
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Ducey said to the rest of the world, McCain "was Arizona". And four times the president remained silent. "If you want to help the country, be more like John McCain".
Mr McCain's death could give Mr Trump even greater leverage over a rightward-tilting Republican Party as he fights for his political life against the Russian Federation meddling and obstruction investigations. "It's just not natural".
Their daughter Meghan McCain, co-host of the television talk show "The View", sobbed openly. Jeff Flake delivered a touching benediction.
McCain's wife, Cindy, widely seen as a possible candidate for appointment to succeed her husband, led a procession of relatives and dignitaries past his casket.
Phil Hubbard, a health care recruiter who lives in Scottsdale, held a cold water bottle in each hand as he waited for a chance to pay his respects.
The viewing later in the day will go on as long as people are waiting in line, said Rick Davis, McCain's former presidential campaign manager.