Thank you! Thank you very much! [wave] [remember to smile] Thank you!
I'm here because I want to tell you something about the man I love, the man who will be the next President of the United States, John Sidney McCain III. [wait for applause to subside] [smile again. try to seem warm]
John's story is an American story. He was born in the heartland, at Coco Solo in the Panama Canal Zone. His father was a four star admiral in the US Navy, and served as Commander in Chief to the US Pacific Command during the Vietnam war. And he was so proud when his son followed in his footsteps and attended the US Naval Academy.
John was a bit of a scamp in those days, and his classmates still tell stories of his youthful escapades and exploits which foreshadow the man that John would become... the maverick that we all find so endearing. Even at that time, he could get away with most anything without any consequences. It was as if the normal rules just didn't apply to him. Some say it was because his dad was such a powerful and influencial man, but I know that the reason was because of his infectious smile and devil-may-care bravado.
They just love that indomitable spirit in military academies...
I'll never forget the first time I met John. We were overseas, in that very exotic nation of Hawaii. It was at a military reception, and I remember catching his eye. I'd already heard about John - he had a reputation as a bit of a ladies man, despite the little ring on his finger. It's hard to keep a real man like John McCain on a leash!
He spent the evening chatting me up. I told John that I was older than I actually was, and he told me that he was younger than he actually was. Neither of us has ever let a little thing like the truth - or a vow - stop us from going after what we really, really want. And we never will. [wait for applause to subside]
About a year later, John found the inner strength to leave his car wreck of a marriage, and a month later, in May, we were wed ... although John claims it was in December.
Daddy gave John a job as a VP in our family business. He got his key to the executive washroom the old fashioned way: he married into it.
We moved to Mesa so John could follow a political career: in those days, we had fewer homes... Some said that John was a "carpetbagger", and this slander was raised during a candidate forum. I think how John responded reveals a lot about his character:
"Listen, pal. I spent 22 years in the Navy. My grandfather was in the Navy. We in the military service tend to move a lot. We have to live in all parts of the country, all parts of the world. I wish I could have had the luxury, like you, of growing up and living and spending my entire life in a nice place like the first district of Arizona, but I was doing other things. As a matter of fact, when I think about it now, the place I lived longest in my life was Hanoi."
As reluctant as he is to bring up his traumatic past, when pressed he'll do so - at the drop of a hat - but only in the name of a higher purpose: like getting elected.
We've had a full and happy life together, with the birth of our children Meghan, Jack, Jimmy and the adoption of Bridget, who was personally handed to me by Mother Theresa herself. This isn't to say that we haven't had a few bumps along the way... I became a victim of the ravages of "Keating's Disease", and became addicted to painkillers as a result. Even worse, I was "liberating" my drugs from a charity I had founded to provide medical supplies to third-world nations.
But John forgave me. And so did the law. Because if you work hard and make a lot of money, or are born into the right kind of family, you won't spend a day in jail on drug charges. And that's part of the American Dream, too.
I hope you've learned something tonight about the values that John McCain and I share and the kind of First Family we'll be. Thank you! Thank you! [wave][smile]