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“He Was an Extraordinary Man” Says Barack Obama As He Eulogises McCain at Memorial Service


With statements of friendship, honor and patriotism, John McCain was eulogized Saturday at a memorial service at Washington National Cathedral.

Former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush were among those who spoke of the late senator from Arizona. Here are some of the highlights.

Former President Barack Obama has paid tribute to his one-time political rival, delivering a eulogy for the late Arizona Sen. John McCain at Washington National Cathedral.

Obama said: “We come to celebrate an extraordinary man, a warrior, a statesman, a patriot who embodied so much that is best in America.”

When John McCain called Barack Obama earlier this year to ask him to speak at his funeral, the former president admitted to being surprised. Obama is, after all, the man who ended McCain’s Oval Office dreams.

“What better way to get the last laugh than make George and I say nice things about him before a national audience,” Obama said to extended laughter.

But Obama, like speakers before him, used his eulogy to speak not just of McCain’s virtues, but America, too, and called on Americans to use McCain’s example to be better.

“John understood that part of what makes our country great is that our membership is based not on our bloodline, not on what we look like . . . but on our adherence to a common creed that all of us are created equal, endowed by our Creator certain unalienable rights.”

He noted that McCain “championed a free and independent press that’s vital to our democratic debate,” a clear swipe at Trump’s repeated attacks on the news media.

And taking on politics directly, Obama addressed Trump without ever saying his name.

“So much of our politics can seem small and mean and petty. Trafficking in bombast and insult, phony controversies and manufactured outrage. It’s a politics that pretends to be brave and tough, but is instead born of fear. John called on us to be bigger than that, to be better than that,” Obama said. “Today is only one day in all the days that will ever be, but what will happen in all the other days will depend on what you do today. What better way to honor John McCain than follow his example.”

The former president noted McCain was a conservative lawmaker, but said “he did understand that some principles transcend politics, that some values transcend party.”

Obama praised McCain for opposing “bending the truth to suit political expediency or party orthodoxy” and as a proponent of a “free and independent press.”

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