Visibility: McCain came to national prominence in 1988, when he delivered a strong speech at the Republican National Convention in New Orleans. "We have a duty to leave our children a safer world than the one in which we live," he said.
Good loser: After losing to Barack Obama for president in 2008, McCain's concession speech referenced the history-making election of the first black president in U.S. history.
No carpetbagger: McCain first ran for national office in 1982, when he sought a congressional seat in Arizona. Critics during the Republican primary referred to him as a "carpetbagger," but McCain was ready with a pointed response. McCain said the longest place he had ever lived was in Hanoi, where he spent 5½ years as a prisoner of war. McCain won the primary and the general election.