The story

John McCain's fight for the White House was a microcosm of his political career and broader life -- full of near-death experiences, stunning comebacks and close calls.

The former Navy fighter pilot, who'd been shot down over North Vietnam and held as a POW, had been able to battle back every time until Tuesday night. He regained respect in the Senate after being accused of improperly helping fraudster savings and loan chief Charles Keating in the 1980s; he got back on speaking terms with the Republican Party base after his primary defeat against George W. Bush in 2000; and he revitalized his campaign after its near-death last summer from lack of cash and power struggles to capture the nomination.

What would have been his greatest political comeback -- to seize the White House -- proved to be too difficult. A Republican win in what is being seen as a "Democratic year" was always a long shot. Read full article »

CNN's Rebecca Sinderbrand, Richard Allen Greene and Laura Haring contributed to this report.

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