McCain says wishes he were taking oath, promises Obama support

January 20, 2009

mccain1WASHINGTON – Former Republican White House candidate John McCain said on Monday he wished he were taking the presidential oath of office but pledged his support to former rival Barack Obama instead.

McCain, speaking at a dinner in his honor on the eve of Obama’s swearing-in, reflected on his own career of military and public service when mentioning Tuesday’s inauguration.

“I would have preferred to have sworn again tomorrow the oath I first took more than 50 years ago,” he said.

“But it would be an act of stunning ingratitude were I to resent the decision of the American people or dismiss the privilege I still possess: the privilege of serving in some capacity the country that has been so good to me.”

McCain wished the president-elect well even as he said the two may continue to joust in the future.

“We will disagree now and again, but not always and not for personal reasons, and not, I assure you, over the purpose we share: the progress of the nation we love,” he said.

The Arizona senator and Obama, a former senator from Illinois, clashed repeatedly on the 2008 campaign trail over policy in often bitter exchanges. McCain gave a gracious concession speech, however, after his loss on Nov. 4 and met with Obama in Chicago after the election.

Click here for more Reuters political coverage

Photo credit: Reuters/Jim Young – U.S. President-elect Barack Obama speaks beside U.S. Sen. John McCain during the Bipartisan dinner honoring McCain in Washington on Jan. 19, 2009.


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

John McCain is one of America’s Great American Heroes, both for his military and political contributions.
He has integrity and character, and I wish he was the one being sworn in for the office of President of the United States. I wish he would run again in 2012, because I will be behind him again 110%.
He is the Real Deal.

Posted by Karen Bonadio | Report as abusive

see how distorted he is?

Do you hear it Mr. McCain?

The sound of…


Posted by misfit | Report as abusive

I’ll be interested to see how McCain votes when things start coming to the Senate. We’ll see just how much of a maverick he is when his party opposes Obama’s plans. I will give McCain credit for backing away from some of the more nasty language used during the campaign, I hope he remains reasonable.

Posted by Eric H | Report as abusive

I greatly respect John McCain, though I did not like his campaign, other than it made it much easier forme to be for Barack Obama who is the right person at the right time. The dinner last night demonstrated appropriate graciousness by both candidates.

Perhaps McCain should run again in 2012, not necessarily to win, but to be a viable alternative and to have a true discussion on critical national issues, literally a sparring partner for the champ. This time, no invective, no duplicity. And then he could cap off his career as Secretary of the Navy inhis own family tradition.

Barack Obama has neither a halo or a magic wand. He will not solve our nation’s problems in one term or even two. However, he will move us on that path of making a ‘more perfect union’, and he stands squarely in the great tradition of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Teddy Roosevelt, Wilson, Roosevelt, Truman, Eienhower and Kennedy. All of these great men had flaws and Barack is not perfect either. But he does have a sense of history. He will not be reckless or foolish but he willmake decision not just for now, but for the future, and not because they are necessarily popular, but because they are right.

My dying wish was to have Barack elected. Now that that has happened and I’m still alive, my new dying wish is that thathe be healthy and safe and usher in a new world of order of peace, with a balance of cooperation and competitiveness that enables all mankind to share in the bounty of our planet,l with respect for the ecology and environment.

Posted by Phil Krone | Report as abusive

Obama is not the first black President. He is the first half white president. But the media continues to get on there knees for Obama. Well I am ready to see the”change”.
You would think that Obama is the new messiah.

Posted by sluke | Report as abusive

Even though I am a life long registered Democrat, I still consider it both an honor and a privilege to have been able to vote for John McCain for President. To me, he is the best candidate our country has ever nominated for this office and I would be delighted to vote for him again. His life of public service and integrity stands as an example to us all. Many of the ideas that he advanced during the campaign have already proven correct, such as his call to fire the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission for not getting the job done right (just think of the Bernie Madoff scandal). However, I do wish our new President well. After all, it is our country and our interests that he now leads.
I believe the biggest challenge that Obama faces is the high expectation of those who elected him. They expect him to turn things around quickly. Will they still embrace Obama if it takes longer than a year to do so? Will local politicians take advantage of his economic stimulous package to pay for low priority projects? I certainly hope not.
There are sound business methods that can be used to fix our economic mess. One that I would recommend is to install electric generating windmills at local schools to help lessen our dependence on foreign oil. T. Boone Pickens plan merits great attention & serious consideration as well.

Posted by Lawrence Brown | Report as abusive

America is blessed to have people like John McCain and Barak Obama as political leaders.

Posted by JCS | Report as abusive

The right man won. Period.

Posted by N scruggs | Report as abusive

I wish John McCain had won, too. And like one of the other commenters, I was not a Republican, although I became one as a result of this election. McCain is an extraordinary man who has dedicated his life to public service, and who stands up for what he thinks is right, even when it’s politically risky for him to do so. He is the one in this election who inspired me, even though it was his opponent who reputedly had the all the power to inspire. Still, I am glad that Obama seems willing to turn to McCain for counsel, and hope that the two of them will continue to work together for the good of the country.

Posted by Laurel Federbush | Report as abusive

I would also like to see John be sworn in today I really feel he would of been the best choice for all Americans but his campaign screwed things up

Posted by jerry | Report as abusive

I am deeply saddened that McCain didn’t win, and even more so that his chances of winning in the future are zero. He is a great man, and would have led this country the way it needs to be led. Now, we have a man with very little experience at the wheel of the great ship of America. Let us all pray that his crew can keep us on the right course, and not smashing into the various rocks surrounding us. God bless America.

Posted by Alex | Report as abusive

I KNOW the wrong man won. There are so many things that disturb me about Obama, I cannot begin to scratch the surface. I think Michelle is a HORRID person to represent our country. She is racist; and we have not begun to see the racism that the Obamas will create. I am leary of anyone who promises the moon. Obama has promised to much! He is not our savior and people are worshiping like he is. He will end up ruining our defenses by pulling out of the war. As stated previously, I find it disturbing that they continue calling him the first African American President, or first black president; HE IS NOT! One will come, but Obama is just as white as he is black! It is historic that someone of mixed race makes it to the White House. But as the Obama supporters said about Palin, the wrong woman to make it sets us back; the wrong mixed american will set us back! I hope all of you who supported Obama support him as much when our country really goes down the toilet. When we are attacked further at home; so you worry everyday about your children’s safety and if their school may be bombed, or if your office building is attacked by suicide planes leaving your child an orphan. We should have never got into a war, but since we are there we should finish what we started! So enjoy your parties and headlines of a black president. But, when he puts us further behind congratulate and enjoy that as well…

Posted by Madison Hope | Report as abusive

In my opinion, the greater man won the election. The man with the better plans and opportunites to offer the American people. I’m ready to see us pull together and get out of this mess.. its seriously time for change and i believe Obama can deliver that for the people.

Posted by Josh P. | Report as abusive

Welcome to shop

Posted by HEYAN | Report as abusive

Many reviewers say nike basketball shoes needs some work in terms of organization, and that the website needs a few tweeks. More air max shop.

Posted by nikeairmax | Report as abusive