Cindy McCain, the widow of the late Sen. John McCain, on Wednesday shot down the idea of running for political office herself, saying she’d rather “sit back and watch others do it and give my blessing” in an interview with People magazine.
McCain, who recently wrote “Stronger: Courage, Hope & Humor in my Life With John McCain,” did not comment on a report from Politico that she will join President Joe Biden’s administration as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations World Food Program.
“I’m deeply grateful to be considered for anything,” McCain told the magazine, adding, “I haven’t given up on the [Republican] party.”
When asked about running for office, she added that she’s “been there” with her husband, who spent six terms in the Senate and was the 2008 Republican presidential nominee.
“I’ve been there, I got through that,” McCain said. “I’ll sit back and watch others do it and give my blessing.”
In the interview, McCain also reflected on her life with her late husband, saying that “In any marriage, especially a political marriage, I think humor is a great equalizer. And that’s how we were. … John was a very funny guy and then, as it turned out, I found out I was kind of funny, too.”
In her book, McCain addressed her struggle with an addiction to prescription pills during the early 1990’s, which she said led her at one point to steal from her aid group, the American Voluntary Medical Team, and the difficulty she felt dealing with the attention that politics brought.
“Part of the role of a political spouse is to laugh and smile at jokes you’ve heard a thousand times before, and to make it clear with your loyal gaze that there is no place else you’d rather be. … I would feel a twinge in my back and want to kickoff my high-heeled shoes and just lie down,” McCain wrote. “But as a political wife, you never got to wiggle your toes.”
She added, “It’s gratifying to be one-half of a partnership and have your life fully intertwined with the person you love. But there’s a yearning to be an independent person in your own right, too.”
McCain told People: “We were married 40 years, and anyone that thinks a 40-year marriage is perfect hasn’t been married 40 years. Our marriage was strong, it was solid, and we were great partners and we had a great life together. I have no regrets, and at the time of my husband’s death, he said to me he had no regrets either.”
She wrote in her book, “John had occupied such a huge space in my life that I would never stop missing him. All I could do was learn to live with the heartbreak of loss and take comfort that as I suffered through fewer impossibly bad days, I could make the rest of the time richer and more meaningful.”