Chestertown, MD, March 12, 2002 — The Richard Harwood Program in American Journalism at Washington College presents "STRAIGHT TALK ON POLITICS AND THE PRESS" with John McCain, U.S. Senator from Arizona, on Monday, April 22, 2002, at 4 p.m. in Washington College's Tawes Theatre, Gibson Performing Arts Center. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.
Named one of the "25 Most Influential People in America" by Time magazine in 1997, Sen. McCain is many things—former presidential candidate, an outspoken independent conservative and a fighter and survivor in both politics and war. The son and grandson of Navy admirals, McCain attended the U.S. Naval Academy. Graduating in 1958, he was commissioned an ensign in the Navy and became an aircraft carrier pilot. In 1967, during a tour in Vietnam, he was shot down and held a prisoner-of-war by the North Vietnamese for five years (1967-1973), much of it in solitary confinement. He retired from the Navy as a Captain in 1981 after serving as the Navy's liaison to the U.S. Senate. When an Arizona House seat opened up in 1982, McCain announced his candidacy and beat five opponents to win the Republican primary. He went on to win the seat and served two terms in the House before being elected to the Senate in 1985. He was re-elected to a third Senate term in November 1998.
Throughout his public career, McCain has been a vocal opponent of big government, wasteful spending and special interests. He fought for 10 years to pass a line item veto to reduce pork barrel spending, and he has been a persistent proponent of lower taxes, genuine deregulation and free trade. He has become one of Congress' most respected voices for a strong national defense and sound foreign policy, and he is considered one of the leading defenders of the rights of Native Americans. Most recently, he has led the change to reform the campaign finance system, co-sponsoring bipartisan legislation with Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) to ban unlimited "soft money" contributions that corporations, labor unions and individuals now give to national political parties. Formally known as the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, the bill has been signed by President Bush but now faces legal challenges on many fronts.
Sen. McCain's visit is sponsored by the Richard Harwood Endowment Fund, established to honor the distinguished career of the late Washington Post columnist and ombudsman, Richard Harwood, who was a Trustee and a lecturer in journalism at Washington College.