His first political office was in the U.S. House of Representatives, which he won in 1982.
While some people tied to the McCain camp understand why Trump would be disinvited, they are puzzled over Palin's.
McCain, the GOP's 2008 presidential candidate and longtime party leadership figure, and Trump - a political neophyte whose now wide grip on the party dates back less than two years- had always been rivals.
But McCain's decision to invite Obama to speak at his funeral stands out as far more extraordinary, given their brutal and bitter rivalry during the 2008 presidential race.
There were the bad dad jokes McCain liked to tell.
"I think we need to take a deep breath and do these ceremonies this week in a manner that will respect his legacy and his life", Perdue said.
In June, for example, the president hastily disinvited the entire Philadelphia Eagles from a White House event in honor of their Super Bowl championship after growing frustrated that, in protest of some of his policies, the team had planned to send only a small delegation of players.
The two Republicans shared a bond over their military backgrounds; both believed in the need for USA military intervention in foreign conflicts and grew close traveling the world together.
Yet Trump has also found himself excluded from - or opting out of - other, more routine parts of the presidency.
The Senate has yet to make a decision about renaming the Russell Senate Building in honor of John McCain, but for a brief time on Wednesday, some Google Maps users could already get directions to the "McCain Senate Office Building".
When the 43rd and 44th USA presidents stand on the high altar of the soaring cathedral on Saturday, after the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" anthem is sung, they will not only be celebrating the life of John Sidney McCain III. Attendees included three of McCain's onetime Republican colleagues from Arizona's congressional delegation - retiring Senator Jeff Flake, former Senator Jon Kyl and former Congressman James Kolbe.
McCain's remains will later move to the U.S. Capitol, where he will lie in state before this weekend's burial at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
In this October 25, 2017 file photo, Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., pauses before speaking to reporters during a meeting of the National Defense Authorization Act conferees, on Capitol Hill in Washington.
"He believed in something", said Hubbard, who had voted for McCain. "I don't think that political ideology is necessarily germane to friendships". Just a few weeks ago the president signed into law a defence bill named in honour of the senator without a single mention of his name.
Trump eventually re-lowered flags and made a statement saying he respected McCain. Trump later told a crowd in Iowa that McCain was only a war hero "because he was captured".
"I have often observed that I am the luckiest person on earth".
McCain let his final feelings towards Trump be known by not inviting him to his funeral. He later withdrew his support after the release of the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape in which Trump bragged about groping women.