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A couple days after President-elect Joe Biden gave his victory speech and Sen. Kamala Harris was projected to become the country’s highest-ranking woman in politics, Cindy McCain spoke about her late husband, Arizona Sen. John McCain, and her hopes for a bipartisan future. 

“I think my husband would be very pleased,” McCain said during a CNN interview. “I just know he’s looking down and going, ‘You did the right thing.’”

McCain also said she was “very honored” to be a part of the president-elect’s transition team as he prepares to move into the White House, and that she believes Biden will be able to unite the country and get things done. Her late husband and Biden were able to work together on the Senate floor despite their political differences, she added. 

“This has been such a bitter divide these last few years,” McCain said. “And it’s time that we heal this.” 

In a conversation with The 19th last month, McCain explained why she formally endorsed a Democratic presidential candidate for the first time since she was 18. The longtime Republican said she would remain with her party, but argued that the United States deserved more civility and honesty from its leadership.

“I feel like women in particular want a president that will tell us the truth,” McCain told The 19th. 

When President Donald Trump was campaigning in 2015, he said Sen. McCain — a naval aviator — was “not a war hero,” because he was held as a prisoner of war for five years after his plane was shot down during the Vietnam War. “I like people who weren’t captured,” the president said. 

Despite Trump’s appeals to suburban women while campaigning in 2020, McCain is a high-profile archetype for the type of suburban Republican woman who increasingly crossed the aisle to support Democrats in her home state of Arizona — which has emerged as an important battleground state. As of Tuesday, Biden has a close lead in the historically conservative state with about 2 percent of votes yet to be counted. 

McCain said her husband would encourage the state to get the results in, but more importantly, to be diligent and count every vote.

“My husband would abide by the process,” she said. 

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