Thursday, September 23, 2021 4:15 am

McCain lauded in Kelly’s first floor speech

Mark Kelly pays tribute to John McCain in 1st Senate speech/CSPAN

By Jonathan J. Cooper

Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona used his first speech in Congress on August 4 to pay tribute to John McCain, the late Republican U.S. senator whose seat Kelly now holds.

“His legacy is something that cannot be matched,” Kelly said. “But it’s what inspires me serving in this Senate seat. And it’s his example of bipartisanship and independence that continues to demand more of us.”

McCain’s widow, Cindy McCain, watched from the gallery as Kelly’s guest. She’s awaiting Senate confirmation after President Joe Biden nominated her as the U.S. representative to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture.

Kelly was elected last year to finish the last two years of McCain’s final term. He is a top target for the GOP and faces a tough reelection fight next year for his own six-year term.

Kelly has gone out of his way to pay his respects to McCain, a Vietnam War hero who was tortured during more than five years of captivity. He visited McCain’s grave at the U.S. Naval Academy the day before taking office last year and talks regularly about being inspired by McCain’s example not just as a politician but also as a fellow Navy fighter pilot and a prisoner of war.

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