Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., entered the 2008 presidential race on Feb. 28, 2007
after months of speculation, announcing on CBS' "Late Night with David Letterman"
that he was seeking the GOP nomination.
His staunch backing of the Iraq
war -- though he has frequently criticized President Bush's management of it --
will likely dog him through the campaign as public support for the conflict wanes.
is a fiscal conservative, who draws attention year after year to lawmakers' pet
projects in appropriations bills and touts making the process more transparent.
He cosponsored campaign finance reform legislation to crack down on "soft
money" contributions that became law in 2002. He also believes in the reversal
of abortion law Roe v. Wade.
After receiving his BS from the Naval Academy
in 1958, he became a Navy pilot and was shot down over North Vietnam, where he
remained a prisoner of war for five-and-a-half years. He was elected to the House
in 1982 and then the Senate in 1986.
He ran a competitive, yet unsuccessful,
presidential campaign in 2000, battling then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush for the
party's nod and building a public image as a straight-talking maverick. Although
he clashed with the Bush White House after the election on issues such as campaign
finance reform and the way the administration ran the war in Iraq, he garnered
much of the support of President Bush's former top fundraisers, helping increase
his chances in 2008.