You don’t see much of them, but John McCain’s family is a microcosm of the modern American family. No longer mom and dad and two kids and a dog, McCain’s children are the products of three marriages and three adoptions. Let me explain.
When he married Carol, his first wife, he adopted her two kids, Doug and Andy, from her former marriage. (Doug is now 48 and a pilot with American Air Lines.)
Then there is Sidney, his first-born, who was only 9 months old when he was captured. She seems to be the one most at odds with her father, not really meeting him until she was in elementary school. “In high school I was very rebellious. I needed to look at all sides. At least he would hear me out.” Sidney is now an executive in the music industry, but she was friends with the singer Moby before she let it slip who her dad was.
When John divorced Carol, the kids were devastated, and did not reconcile for a number of years. They did not attend his wedding to Cindy, but are on good terms now.
From his marriage to Cindy, he has daughter Meghan and sons Jack and Jimmy. And Bridgit, their adopted daughter from Bangladesh (now 16). These children lived a very different life. To begin with, their mother came from money. And dad was home every weekend (though he missed a lot of weekday activities while working in Washington. He also makes special effort to spend even more time with his kids during vacation times.
John McCain has made peace with each of his children. Andy now plays a key role in Cindy’s family-owned beer-distribution company in Phoenix. Megan is with him on the campaign trail. Jack (21) is in the Naval Academy, following in the family tradition. (Doug was also a Navy pilot.) Eighteen-year-old Jimmy is a Marine currently serving in Iraq. Bridgit is a normal teenager in Phoneix.
The McCain family blends children from multiple marriages, but is otherwise very normal. And like normal kids everywhere, they’re not in the public eye.
(Primary research source: Jennifer Steinhauer, “McCain Family: Bridging 2 Marriages and 4 Decades, a large, close-knit brood” in the International Herald Tribune, December 27, 2007)