By 2013, however, he had become a key figure in the Senate for negotiating deals on certain issues in an otherwise partisan environment.
He retired from the Navy as a captain in 1981 and moved to Arizona, where he entered politics. After being investigated and largely exonerated in a political influence scandal of the 1980s as a member of the Keating Five, he made campaign finance reform one of his signature concerns, eventually gaining passage of the Mc Cain–Feingold Act in 2002.
Mc Cain ran for the Republican nomination in 2000 but lost a heated primary season contest to George W. He secured the nomination in 2008 after coming back from early reversals, but was defeated by Democratic candidate Barack Obama in the general election, losing by a 365–173 electoral college margin and by 53–46% in the popular vote.
He subsequently adopted more orthodox conservative stances and attitudes and largely opposed actions of the Obama administration, especially in regard to foreign policy matters.
The Violence Against Women Act was developed and passed as a result of extensive grassroots efforts in the late 1980s and early 1990s, with advocates and professionals from the battered women's movement, sexual assault advocates, victim services field, law enforcement agencies, prosecutors' offices, the courts, and the private bar urging Congress to adopt significant legislation to address domestic and sexual violence.
One of the greatest successes of VAWA is its emphasis on a coordinated community response to domestic violence, sex dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking; courts, law enforcement, prosecutors, victim services, and the private bar currently work together in a coordinated effort that did not exist before at the state and local levels.