Barack Obama’s Speech During John McCain’s Eulogy Called For Americans To Move Past “Petty Politics”

Back in 2008, John McCain and Barack Obama weren’t the best of friends due to being in a political race to become President Of The United States. What I remember when I watched their debates though is that it was like a chess match. Each man still respected each other at the end of the day and never went for the low blow.

Obama remembered that as many gathered for John McCain’s funeral this past weekend. Nothing but beautiful words were spoken by all, but of course Obama knew the perfect ones to say to remember his friend in the most endearing way.

He began by saying:

“To know John was to know that as quick as his passions might flare, he was just as quick to forgive and ask for forgiveness. He knew more than most his own flaws, his blind spots. And he knew how to laugh at himself, and that self-awareness made him all the more compelling.”

He then began speaking about how back in 2008 on the campaign trail, a woman said she could not trust Barack simply because he was an “Arab.”


McCain responded to that racism with:

“No, ma’am. He’s a decent family man, a citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues, and that’s what this campaign is all about.”

And at the end of the day isn’t that what politics really is? If you are a republican you shouldn’t hate a democrat for the shoes they are wearing or if they like to eat hot dogs with ketchup on them! You should respect them as a human being and just stick discussing politics in a civil manner.

Obama spoke to that interaction, saying:

“As Joe Lieberman said, it was John’s instinct. I never saw John treat anyone different because of their race or religion or gender, and I’m certain that in those moments referred to during the campaign, he saw himself as defending America’s character, not just mine.”


Obama then began to touch on how our modern politics have changed since his time in office…

“So much of our politics, our public life, our public discourse can seem small and mean and petty. There’s a politics that pretends to be brave and tough, but in fact is born of fear. John called on us to be bigger than that. He called on us to be better than that.

What better way to honor John McCain’s life of service than, as best we can follow his example, to prove that the willingness to get in the arena and fight for this country is not reserved to the few, it is open to all of us. In fact, it is demanded of all of us as citizens of this great republic.”

He concluded his speech with:

“There are some things worth risking everything for. Principles that are eternal. Truths that are abiding. At his best, John showed us what that means. For that, we are deeply in his debt.”