Beltway denizens heading to work on Thursday were forced to contemplate something inevitable but which no one expected anytime soon: the possibility of a Washington without Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
McCain, the irascible old living legend. McCain, the Vietnam War hero. McCain, the globe-trotting State Department of one. McCain, the outspoken hawk who championed American troops — and Pentagon spending — and also pilloried the defense contractors he felt let them all down.
McCain, the Senate institution as much a fixture of the capital as the Capitol itself.