L.A. ‘Times’ Questions McCain’s Divorce Timeline

Cindy McCain
"What, me homewreck?" Photo: Getty Images

In John McCain's memoir, Worth the Fighting For, he fudged the chronology of his divorce from original wife Carol McCain and subsequent marriage to Cindy Helmsley, the beer-distribution heiress who is now his hopeful First Lady. According to the Los Angeles Times, McCain's book claims he was separated from Carol when he began dating Cindy, but his divorce did not "become final" until February 1980. Yet according to legal records, he only filed for divorce halfway through that month.

In those divorce papers, he said that he had "cohabited" with Carol until January 7, 1980. But he'd been dating Cindy since he met her in April 1979 (when she was 24 and he was 42), which means he wasn't, in fact, separated from Carol before he took up with Cindy. Not by a long shot.

In fact, when McCain obtained a marriage license to marry Cindy, on March 6, 1980, he was still married to Carol — and would be for nearly a month longer.

While these details may be new, the semi-scandal of McCain's truncated first marriage is definitely old news (though a British paper did its best to resurrect the issue last month). But what we loved best about the Los Angeles Times story today was the details about the Reagan family — friends with John and Carol McCain — and how they treated him after the divorce. They rallied around Carol, arranged for a White House job for her, and then gave John the cold shoulder for years. And when Nancy endorsed John for the presidency in March of this year, it was during a brief five-minute photo op. This is all she said:

"Ronnie and I always waited until everything was decided, and then we endorsed. Well, obviously this is the nominee of the party."


Man, she's still got it!

McCain's broken marriage and fractured Reagan friendship [LAT]