The TAKE with Rick Klein
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Sen. John McCain loved a good fight. He did not live to witness what could be a whole lot of bad fights this fall.
This extraordinary week celebrating McCain’s life and legacy will be capped Saturday by eulogies from two former presidents – one from each party – who defeated McCain in elections that turned personal at times.
It happens on a Labor Day weekend where 2000 and 2008 seem like ancient political history.
Standing now – and actively campaigning, always – is President Donald Trump. His wars with members of his own administration are themselves all-consuming, to say nothing of the vitriol he regularly aims at his opponents.
The final week before the unofficial start of fall campaigning finalized much-anticipated November matchups. And in McCain’s extended moment, the time spent looking back makes the road ahead look only more uncertain.
A new ABC News/Washington Post poll will be released at 7 am ET Friday, looking at Trump’s approval rating, the Robert Mueller investigation, the public’s reaction to the Paul Manafort verdict and the Michael Cohen plea, and more.
The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks
"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," Sen. John McCain said about then-Sen.Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign. In a lifetime of notoriety, the line became one his most famous, often cited as an example of civility in political discourse.
In the moment, McCain stepped in and stopped a woman, a supporter of his, from continuing a nonsensical, racially-charged, personal insult against Obama, his opponent at the time.
McCain did not apologize later or offer an explanation. He took the microphone away in the moment.
At the core of the late senator’s statement, and a continuing theme of memorial services this week, was the idea that you can disagree with someone and still show them respect and dignity, still appreciate their patriotism.
How far away 2008 feels this week – when Florida's Republican gubernatorial candidate started off his general election campaign saying voters shouldn’t "monkey" up the state’s "success" by electing his African-American opponent.
Florida’s current governor, now running for Senate, brushed off the comment. The president said he had not heard it.
The TIP with Sarah Kolinovsky
Many of the Arizonans who lined the streets outside the memorial service for Sen. John McCain in Phoenix Thursday brought with them relics of politics past: navy blue and gold lawn signs with "McCain" spelled out in large, white letters – signs they said they’d kept from his 2008 run for president.
One of them was held by Thelma Alvarado’s young daughter.
"You guys saved that since the last campaign?" ABC News’ Terry Moran asked her mother.
"Oh yes, most definitely," she said. "I am a Democrat, but I like what McCain did … I mean, just like him, it didn’t matter. It was just about the country more than anything."
Franklin Olivieri had come to pay his respects as well and he, too, held one of the McCain signs.
"This is the last time that he’ll be here in Arizona," he said.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"Bottom line was, I think John believed in us. I think he believed in the American people." – Former Vice President Joe Biden during a tearful remembrance of his friend at Thursday’s memorial service in Phoenix. Biden lost his son, Beau, to the same brain cancer that claimed John McCain's life.
ABC News' "Start Here" Podcast. Friday morning's episode features ABC News Senior National Correspondent Terry Moran with his thoughts on the Phoenix memorial service for Sen. John McCain. And, Gary Langer, head of Langer Research, has the findings of the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll on President Trump and the Mueller investigation. https://bit.ly/2Ohkpz8
NEED TO READ
Washington says goodbye to McCain, who will lie in state at the Capitol. Sen. John McCain will lie in state today in Washington, a day after former Vice President Joe Biden gave an emotional tribute to the six-term Republican from Arizona. (Justin Doom) https://abcn.ws/2PkCBHy
Trump ramps up war of words against FBI and DOJ, but says nothing about McCain. President Donald Trump rallied a crowded and enthusiastic arena in Evansville, Indiana, for over an hour on Thursday night with his campaign's greatest hits. (Meridith McGraw) https://abcn.ws/2Po2Ahn
US Postal Service admits 'unfortunate error' in release of Virginia congressional candidate's CIA security form. The United States Postal Service (USPS) apologized Thursday to a Democratic congressional candidate and former Central Intelligence Agency operative for "inappropriate releasing" a copy of her official personnel file she submitted to obtain a security clearance at the agency. (John Verhovek) https://abcn.ws/2oq8Gm1
President Trump's Twitter endorsements offer reward, and risk, for midterm candidates. With the click of a button and a tweet seen by millions, President Donald Trump says his endorsement can resurrect foundering political careers and launch political rookies into stardom. (Katherine Faulders, Benjamin Siegel and Devin Dwyer) https://abcn.ws/2PQegur
Emotional Joe Biden remembers John McCain as 'a brother' at memorial service. "My name is Joe Biden. I'm a Democrat. And I loved John McCain," said Biden, who lost his son Beau to brain cancer, the disease that claimed McCain's life. (Mariam Khan) https://abcn.ws/2C3aUBf
Sen. Lindsey Graham: 'It pisses me off to no end' when Trump criticizes McCain. Sen. Lindsey Graham said it “pisses me off to no end” when President Donald Trump says critical, sometimes personally insulting things about the late Sen. John McCain, who died Saturday. (Ali Rogin) https://abcn.ws/2PQWtmU
Trump seeks to expand access to retirement plans for small businesses. Citing difficulty for small businesses to provide their employees with retirement security, James Sherk, special assistant to the president for domestic policy, said Trump will sign an executive order in Charlotte, North Carolina on Friday that strives to make offering work-based retirement plans "much more affordable" for small businesses. (John Parkinson) https://abcn.ws/2PndFiz
Advocacy groups upset over possible changes to campus sexual assault rules. Groups that advocate for survivors of sexual assault on college campuses are accusing the Trump administration of letting schools off the hook after reports that the Department of Education is set to release new rules that would change the process of investigating assaults to protect the rights of the person accused of misconduct. (Stephanie Ebbs) https://abcn.ws/2wtr4yN
Judge grants Mueller request for more time to decide whether to retry Manafort on deadlocked counts. A Virginia federal judge on Thursday granted special counsel Robert Mueller's request for more time to decide whether to retry former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on the ten counts a jury deadlocked on last week in his financial crimes trial. (Lucien Bruggeman and Trish Turner) https://abcn.ws/2MGDH3y
Trump administration backs Asian-Americans in Harvard discrimination case. "Harvard has failed to carry its demanding burden to show that its use of race does not inflict unlawful racial discrimination on Asian Americans," the statement filed in Massachusetts District Court said. (Mike Levine and Luke Barr) https://abcn.ws/2PSB8JJ
Nearly 500 children remain in government custody separated from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border, including 22 children under the age of 5, according to a new report by CNN. https://cnn.it/2Pk2pna
In their latest election update, FiveThirtyEight says their House forecast hints at the possibility that Democrats could make gains in the three states that held elections this week: Florida, Arizona and Oklahoma. https://53eig.ht/2PPMOwR
The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the key political moments of the day ahead. Please check back on Tuesday for the latest.