Sen. John McCain. (Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- The coincidence of Senator John McCain passing away of from the same disease on the same date as his longtime friend and colleague Ted Kennedy has been mentioned often over the past two days, mostly as an afterthought.
But it got me thinking about the similarities between the two men, and the life lessons we can learn from them.
Ideologically, the arch-conservative McCain and the arch-liberal Kennedy had almost nothing in common. And they were often in each other’s face over political issues.
"Ted and I shared the sentiment that a fight not joined was a fight not enjoyed," McCain said in his euology for Kennedy nine years ago.
But that didn’t stop them from working together on tough issues, most notably the 2005 McCain/Kennedy immigration reform that tried to solve one of our most contentious problems and never made it to a Senate vote.
Both men were reviled within their own parties for that effort, another recurring experience they both shared.
McCain was alternately trashed by conservatives as too moderate, trashed by liberals as too conservative, and labeled a RINO (Republican in Name Only) for daring to be bipartisan.
Kennedy was viewed with suspicion by all sides at one time or another, too willing to compromise after the posturing was done.
Both men led very flawed persona lives when they were younger, and sought redemption in multiple ways.
Both men stood on principle more than is considered wise today.
Both men loved the Senate, and serving their country.
What could be more American than the combination of selfishness and misjudgement with altruism and courage?
That’s something these two shared, along with a death date.
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