CNN Examines Cindy McCain

Everyone knows Cindy McCain, the heiress wife of John McCain, was addicted to pain pills. CNN's 360 tonight highlighted it in a profile of her tonight.

But Cindy McCain wasn't just addicted to pain pills. She was investigated federally for stealing pain pills from a medical charity she headed and for having prescriptions filled in the names of the charity's employees. She admitted it. One of the doctors who wrote the prescriptions for her lost his license.

Mrs. McCain, through her lawyers, was able to get federal prosecutors to let her enter a diversion program and avoid jail.

Diversion is common in state courts for first-time offenders. It isn't in federal courts.

Here are some articles from that time period:

John McCain is a hawk in the war on drugs. One standard for his wife, another for everyone else.

His voting record on drugs, after his wife's problems:


  • 1999, he voted to restrict methadone treatment programs
  • 2000, the Boston Globe writes:
    Of the four major candidates, McCain has expressed the most hawkish positions on drug policy. He wants to increas penalties for selling drugs, supports the death penalty for drug kingpins, favors tightening security to stop the flow of drugs into the country, and wants to restrict availability of methadone for heroin addicts. He said the Clinton administration was AWOL on the war on drugs and he would push for more money and military assistance to drug-supplying nations such as Colombia.
  • 2007: McCain opposes medical marijuana
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  • Display: Sort:
    Addiction Is Terrible (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by squeaky on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:07:58 PM EST
    It causes people to do unimaginable things. Can you imagine what it must be like to be married to that hypocrite?

    Nope (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:13:49 PM EST
    And don't wanna either.  That's why God made divorce, for people like me who can't imagine some things.

    That Would Be Something (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by squeaky on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:27:55 PM EST
    Beyond unimaginable.

     Militarytracy and McBush.  



    I might need some serious legal counsel (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:34:42 PM EST
    LOLROTF (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by squeaky on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:52:11 PM EST
    McCain also invoked his faith at a campaign event Friday morning at the headquarters of Chick-fil-A Inc. in Atlanta. The company's founder, S. Truett Cathy, is a devout Baptist who closes his restaurants on Sunday so his employees can rest and honor God.

    "It's harder and harder trying to do the Lord's work in the city of Satan," McCain said of Washington.


    And what he said in a commencement speech at Falwell's Liberty University:

    Saying he respects opponents of the war, McCain pleaded, "But I ask that you consider the possibility that I, too, am trying to meet my responsibilities, to follow my conscience, to do my duty as best as I can, as God has given me light to see that duty."

    Obviously he envisions a long holy war.


    Chick-fil-A and God's work? (none / 0) (#26)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 11:07:10 PM EST
    The chicken farms aren't resting on Sunday ;)  Those chickens mature four times as fast as a normal chicken and they eat some strange concoction delivered in tanker trucks around here even on Sunday.  They must eat 24/7 to become a chick-fil-a.

    Thought You'd Like That (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by squeaky on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 11:10:28 PM EST
    I don't want to see Mrs. McCain smeared (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Teresa on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:08:29 PM EST
    over her problems but it sure does show what a hypocrite her husband is. Anyone who has had a family member suffer through prescription pain pill addiction should understand how easy it can happen. There is a wonderful pain clinic associated with the Catholic hospital here that is practically shutting down due to government pressure on how they prescribe medicine to people in awful and chronic pain.

    People with drug addictions need help not prosecution.

    This is a feminist household (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:10:32 PM EST
    and if I was a recovering addict while my husband went around crying throw the book at em I'd be leading him by his ear to the bathroom for a little private heart to heart chat ;)

    Yeah (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by squeaky on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:13:38 PM EST
    I think of what a creep Limbaugh was about drug users while he was a committing crimes as an addict himself.

    And yet you would think Rush and John (none / 0) (#23)
    by jerry on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:50:57 PM EST
    would be great pals with all they have in common....

    Who Knew? (none / 0) (#25)
    by squeaky on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:59:59 PM EST
    I guess it is obvious that I don't listen to his show.

    Every day since Mr. McCain emerged as the likely nominee in the aftermath of nearly two dozen nominating contests on Feb. 5, Mr. Limbaugh's switchboard has been lighting up with calls from conservative Republican listeners who say they plan to stay home on Election Day in November.

    "What he has got to be concerned with," Mr. Limbaugh said of Mr. McCain, "is all these Republican voters who say right now they're so fed up they're not going to vote at all. That's deeper than they realize."



    Record (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by waldenpond on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:19:48 PM EST
    The link to his record says he supports increasing federal funds for education and treatment.  I support increased funds for treatment.  Treatment is preferable to incarceration.  Maybe that's because of his wife.  Who knows.

    I remember him speaking in that (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:38:41 PM EST
    fashion in 2000 when I first learned of all this.  I respected him for it but most of the things I respected John McCain for in 2000 he decided weren't aspects of his political self worth keeping.  Incarceration accomplishes nothing for most people needing treatment in my opinion and for what my opine is worth incarceration seems to me to have the potential to make matters worse for the person needing treatment and in the end worse for all of us sharing the world with them.

    Jeralyn, since 360 highlighted this in her (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Teresa on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:18:26 PM EST
    profile, they need to do a "Keeping Them Honest" segment on her husband's record on drugs.

    Great idea! nt (none / 0) (#12)
    by jpete on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:21:11 PM EST
    I am more concerned (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Foxx on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:37:56 PM EST
    about how emaciated she is. Neither of them look at all healthy.

    Chronic pain is brutal... (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by K Lynne on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:40:03 PM EST
    And I've known a couple of people who have gotten addicted to pain pills.

    I'm married to a man who has suffered excruciating back pain for years, and now at one-year post surgery he is finally experiencing just a little relief.  He recently admitted that he considered suicide when he thought the pain might never get better.  

    Even when he can barely walk, he's scared to take the pain pills that take enough of an edge off the pain that he can sleep because he knows how easy it is to get addicted.  The only pills that work are percocet / oxycodone.

    Personally, I think there's a HUGE difference between someone who gets addicted to pain pills after major injury, surgery, etc and someone who gets addicted to recreational drugs - or someone who gets addicted to the pain pills taken recreationally.  In both cases, though, there needs to be treatment and counseling.  

    I have a friend who is only 25 (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:44:57 PM EST
    but she has two herniated discs from a really bad car accident.  She's in constant pain and has a very high tolerance for pain meds.  She's getting married in May and can't work out though anymore.  Without telling me until it was all over she had liposuction done last week because she wants to look some kind of picture perfect for her wedding.  She's in so much pain though right now and she looks like a walking bruise when the wrappings are off and the pain meds just don't do much anymore.  It's a terrible thing to watch someone deal with in more ways than one.

    I first saw Cindy McCain (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by jen on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 11:10:47 PM EST
    on teevee the other night when John was giving his victory speech. There's something very fragile looking about her, almost an innocence or something. I feel bad that she'll have to go through this scrutiny into her private life... but that's what our wonderous media has made of politics. It's all a freak show.

    She had a serious stroke (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 11:19:06 PM EST
    two years ago, that's why she's so fragile looking. She still suffers some effects from it, from memory loss to confusion.

    The War on Drug Users Is Wrong (5.00 / 3) (#30)
    by myiq2xu on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 11:15:31 PM EST
    I don't care if it's Cindy McCain or anyone else.  Drug abuse is a medical and societal problem, not a criminal one.

    Protecting people from the dangers of drugs by introducing them to the dangers of prison is stupid.

    McCain is a hypocrite, but so are most politicians on this issue.  Their attitudes always change when their own families (or asses) are the ones in trouble.

    What an excellent comment (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 07:41:11 AM EST
    Protecting people from the dangers of drugs by introducing them to the dangers of prison is stupid.

    Bush doings (none / 0) (#33)
    by Stellaaa on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 01:18:45 AM EST
    Did she not spiral into drug use as a result of all the Bush antics in their primary?  

    OK... (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 11:38:55 PM EST
    ...heres' what bugs me.  I have no doubt that John McCain has experienced some pretty significant pain in his life.  Pure, intense, unrelenting pain.  And yet, he seemingly has no empathy others who might be in pain.  

    I know from significant pain, and the last thing you want is for anyone to needlessly suffer.  Simple human compassion and empathy.  Apparently, JMC is lacking this capacity.  

    Your wife has an addition problem and you support the WOD that shuts down legitimate pain clinics?  Nice.  

    Combined with his temper (along with many other things), certainly not a man I want to see anywhere near the White House.

    Keep in mind that Bill (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Ben Masel on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 04:20:08 AM EST
    pushed through, and signed, legislation creating a Federal death penalty for such trivial Controlled Substances Act violations as growing a field of hemp, and then insisted the Party endorse his barbarity in the 1996 Platform, not removed until 2004.

    Thank you Ben.... (none / 0) (#38)
    by kdog on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 08:44:08 AM EST
    The D's and R's are so on the same page when it comes to drug law tyranny.

    To be blunt, if Cindy McCain or anybody else wants to go to my utopian Costco and buy a gross of pills, it is their sun-god given right to do so.  Knock your kidneys out.


    everybody knows (none / 0) (#1)
    by Kathy on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:01:53 PM EST
    republican political officials and their family members (and their radio supporters) get treatment while the rest of us get jail.

    Why else be a republican?

    Sometimes they don't get treatment though (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:08:42 PM EST
    like when they torture and strangle small animals and instead a cover up is sought.  Seems to me that treatment usually leads to empathy for other addicts as well, so it looks like Cindy didn't absorb much during her treatment other than the ability to not steal drugs from the poor of third world countries.

    blah... (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by mindfulmission on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:41:25 PM EST
    Prominent Dems get the same special treatment.

    No wonder Cindy McCain is "always (none / 0) (#5)
    by litigatormom on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:10:06 PM EST
    proud of her country."  

    Other military wives tell me that xanax (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:12:22 PM EST
    helps you to always feel proud right now.  Can't seem to get my hands on any of it though without displaying drug seeking behavior.

    Xanax (none / 0) (#13)
    by jpete on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:26:31 PM EST
    I was given a perscription for it when I needed to have a CAT scan for a possible brain problem.  If you suffer from claustrophobia, you really may need a strong drug to stay put in the scary small, dark and very noisy tunnel.

    I hate to think that having a CAT scan is a good metaphor for her life, but it may well be.


    I got some xanax and scopolamine (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Kathy on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:44:47 PM EST
    when I did the Zero-G flight for pre-flight jitters and during flight puking.  I can see how people get addicted to the stuff. I was the proverbial cucumber.

    Statistically, one in every ten folks who tries a drug are likely to abuse it to varying degrees.  We are either genetically predisposed or not, as with any addiction or illness.  Considering how fluid definitions for mental health are in this country, and that a good many of our prisons have become de facto mental hospitals (thanks, Reagan!) I don't see a change in this thinking anytime soon.  (I mean, come on, Dahmer was a cannibal; don't you think that's kind of...insane?)

    But, you're right--McCain's double standard on this issue is appalling.  Reminds me of Jeb Bush signing that really strict "no tolerance" DUI law mandating jail time.  Next week when one of his daughters gets busted for DUI, she goes into treatment.  

    Does that mean that his wife deserves an "expose" type treatment on television...?  They didn't zero in on the hipocrycy of Bush's anti-gay policies and Cheney's gay daughter (yeah, I said it!  She's gay!).  But then we all know the press sucks, so what's the problem?


    Never had xanax (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by litigatormom on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 11:13:06 PM EST
    I have, however, used serious painkillers.  Years of bad arthritis in one of my knees let to a knee replacement five years ago.  First 48 hours after surgery, I was on an opiate drip directly into my spine.  You'd be amazed how well this enables you to withstand the pain that results from having surgeons saw off the tips of your tibia and femur and screw titanium caps on them, and replace your patella with more titanium.

    After the surgery I had vicodin for several months. At first I really needed it every four hours. Couldn't sleep without it. During the day, it produced a nice mellow, along with cutting the pain, that made it difficult to do anything more strenuous than watching Oprah. But I didn't have to wean myself off them -- over time, I just kept "forgetting" to take them because I no longer needed them every four hours without fail. My doctors believed that effective pain relief in the early post-surgical period results in shorter overall time on opiates, and that was certainly true for me. I was done with them in little more than a moonth, even though I had significant discomfort (especially after therapy) for some months afterward.

    But some people aren't so lucky, and I guess Cindy McCain was one of them. I sympathize with her.  Well, I would be sympathetic if I weren't suspicious that she'd been built at the same android factory that produced Mitt Romney -- this would also explain her constant state of pride in America.


    Your experience sounds (none / 0) (#40)
    by jpete on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:33:02 PM EST
    completely dreadful, except for the end part.  I was on vicodin for about two days and loved  the psychological effects - which was why I stopped taking it as soon as possible.  I suspect you were lucky to just forget to take it.

    McCain channeling Empress Maria Thersa? (none / 0) (#20)
    by ding7777 on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 10:43:27 PM EST
    Empress Maria Theresa's husband was a serial adulterer. Since the Empress could not control him, she created a "decency police" to arrest and chain to the Vienna Gates anyone suspected of doing the naughty stuff.

    ms. mccain is no (none / 0) (#34)
    by cpinva on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 02:43:45 AM EST
    "innocent". bear in mind, she's the "other woman" in the sen's. own personal soap opera life. taking lessons from newt gingrich, sen. mccain dumped his first wife while she was recovering in the hospital. i'm going out on a limb here, and guessing that mrs. mccain II probably knew her bf was married at the time. apparently, her high moral standards were no bar to being a home wrecker.

    with all due respect to the sen. for his military service to the country, without that he's got nothing. his political career has veered from one scandal to another. what he does have going for him is a fawning press.

    i have no sympathy for either of them.

    False - John McCain was the skirt chaser. (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Fabian on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 04:12:07 AM EST
    The story as I know it was that John began wooing Cindy while he was married but his marriage was failing.  He courted Cindy persistently for months.

    So if you want to call someone a "home wrecker", it would be more accurate to blame the married man chasing the single woman, not the single woman who was being pursued.

    That said, I rarely speculate about people's relationships.  I may not pretend to understand them, but I figure that what two or more consenting adults do is none of my business.


    off topic comment (none / 0) (#39)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Mar 08, 2008 at 03:25:39 PM EST
    by drug warrior deleted.