McCain's Circuitous Route To GOP Nominee

John McCain and Sarah Palin

John McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, stands on stage with vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin during the 2008 Republican National Convention. Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

Unlike his running mate Sarah Palin, Sen. John McCain is no stranger to the American public. And yet, his remarkable life story is only partly known.

NPR's Tony Cox takes a look at how McCain arrived at the pinnacle of his political life.

His guests include Delbert Spurlock, retired General Counsel of the Army; Max Fose, McCain's former driver before becoming his Internet manager in the 2000 campaign; Frank Gilliam, dean of public policy and political science at UCLA; the Rev. Oscar Tillman, president of the Phoenix, Ariz., branch of the NAACP; and Republican activist Princella Smith.

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