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Cindy McCain calls for civility before anniversary of husband’s death

PHOENIX — Days before the first anniversary of her husband’s death, Cindy McCain penned an op-ed Tuesday calling for political civility in the manner urged by Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

The guest piece in the Washington Post asked politicians — especially those in Congress who had a personal relationship with the senator — to put aside partisanship for the betterment and progress of the country.

John McCain was 81 when he died Aug. 25, after a yearlong battle with brain cancer.

“When Congress returns from its August recess, I hope its veteran members, many of whom my husband was proud to call his friends, and its newest ones will energetically contest the issues of the day,” Cindy McCain wrote.

“I hope they will fight for their beliefs and enjoy the contest. But I hope, too, as John would, that they do it with minds open to the possibility of compromise for the country’s sake, and hearts open to the possibility and joys of unexpected friendships.”

She reminisced of her experiences watching her husband have “spirited encounters with colleagues on both sides of the aisle.”

She said her husband respected his colleagues, regardless of how intense affairs became.

Cindy McCain noted how bipartisanship of that nature was lacking in the current political climate.

“Sometimes all government can manage is very modest progress on the toughest problems, muddling through rather than enacting sweeping change,” she said.

“But muddling through is better than nothing, which is what partisan gridlock produces. Indeed, muddling through seems quite an achievement in these difficult times.”

She ended the op-ed with another plea for government to renew civil engagement.

“I think he’s missed most because he understood that a country like ours, a government system like ours — with its checks and balances and its protections for the rights of the minority — doesn’t permit one side to have everything its way on the great questions of the day,” Cindy McCain said of her husband.

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