FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. (KMSP) - Along with the rest of the country, Minnesota is mourning the loss of Sen. John McCain.
Sunday, Sen. Amy Klobuchar discussed what Sen. McCain meant to her and the American democracy.
She says that most of the people that visited him in the last month or so knew this day was imminent, but that didn't make the news late last night any less shocking.
Though they sat on different sides of the aisle and lived in different parts of the country, Klobuchar says she and John McCain shared standards as leaders and as senators.
In fact, she says she learned many of those standards from the late Arizona senator.
“I learned how to put country first, about how to look at an issue and say ‘What’s the best thing to do?” she said at the State Fair Sunday. “I learned how to work across the aisle and how to love politics in a joyful way. And taking your work seriously, but not always taking yourself seriously.”
Klobuchar says the two became close during their shared time in office. On their extensive travels she was able to learn more about McCain and the man he was.
“He took me really under his mentorship and brought me to Asia, and I got to stand with him in front of that little cell where he was when he was in Vietnamese prison. Where he was when he decided to let others be released before him. That’s patriotism,” she said.
“He taught America how you never get down when you get kicked down,” Klobuchar added.
She says that was evident even in his final months of his fight.
“[McCain’s wife Cindy] invited us and my husband and I went there,” she said. “And he was in a fragile state physically, but he was just as irascible as always, yelling at stuff in the news and then at one point he pointed to a sentence in one of his books that said ‘There is nothing more liberating than fighting for a cause that is larger than yourself.’ And that was John McCain to the end.”
Klobuchar says, though he lost his fight to brain cancer, his legacy will continue to spread through the senate and through the country.
“I think that’s a lot of his legacy, is that kind of resiliency,” she said.
Klobuchar says she visited him at his ranch just a month ago and while she was there he pointed to a line in his book that said "nothing in life is more liberating than to fight for a cause larger than yourself."
She said that is what his entire life was about.