McCain is being remembered today variously as a war hero, a bipartisan deal-maker, an enabler of some of America's worst foreign policy decisions, and a sort of Republican that is now in short supply.
But we should not forget that he could also do The Robot.
R.I.P. John McCain, an American hero and patriot, who could also do a pretty mean robot dance pic.twitter.com/qFAMBi8PDO
— Consequence of Sound (@consequence) August 26, 2018
Since most of the outpourings of love for McCain today are little more than virtue-signaling among the living—or, well, vice-signaling in certain corners of the internet and the White House—it seems only fitting that we at Reason (fans of all things robotic, apolitical, and groovy) should not let this moment of McCain's storied political career be forgotten. Politicians, after all, are just people like the rest of us, even when they have seemingly larger-than-life biographies and decades of experience in one of the world's most powerful legislative bodies.
The backstory is almost as good as the video. McCain broke it down at a 2014 charity fundraiser in the Hamptons hosted by Jamie Foxx and featuring performances from Barbra Streisand, Paul McCartney, and Jon Bon Jovi. According to a contempory Page Six account of the evening, Foxx challenged then–New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (a guest of Bon Jovi's, natch) to show off his dance moves. Apparently unimpressed, McCain got up and threw down The Robot in response to Christie's gubernational gyrations.
That's right: Seventy-seven-year-old John McCain took down Chris Christie in the whitest dance-off the Hamptons have ever seen.
There are, of course, many more important things to be learned from the life and career of John McCain. As Reason editor-at-large and McCain biographer Matt Welch wrote over the weekend, McCain shaped the purpose and application of political power for both good and ill. "Partly because of that mixed track record, his passing leaves as an open question what kind of future that McCain-style politics—with its robust, moralistic interventionism both at home but especially abroad—has in a political party and country that elected his rhetorical tormentor, Donald Trump."
It also leaves us with an open question of another kind. Who will take up McCain's mantle as the Senate's best dancer? Ben Sasse, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you.
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