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Sen. John McCain,

maverick politician, nearly stole the Republican nomination for president away from Texas governor George W. Bush. McCain mounted a straight-talking insurgent campaign, with campaign-finance reform at its center. Despite his social conservatism, McCain attracted many Democrats and independents. His crossover appeal eluded many staunch Republicans, however, and he never managed to win the widespread support of his party. In Aug. doctors removed two malignant melanomas from McCain's temple and left arm. There was no evidence the cancer had spread.


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