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Video by Philomé ROBERT , Catherine NORRIS TRENT

Text by AFP

Latest update : 2008-11-12

John McCain returns to the public eye just days after ending a presidential campaign that saw rumours of infighting and high-profile speculation over his choice of vice president, Sarah Palin. But love them or loathe them, this duo just won't quit.

John McCain, in his first media interview since the US presidential election, joked Tuesday that he'd slept -- and cried -- "like a baby" since his defeat.
   
"I've been sleeping like a baby: sleep two hours, wake up and cry, sleep two hours," McCain said on "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno.
   
Appearing a week after losing to Democrat Barack Obama, the Republican senator looked rested and was relaxed enough to make light of his defeat.
   
He pointed out that his home state of Arizona had now produced four failed White House candidates.
   
"Arizona may be the only state in America where mothers don't tell their children that some day they can grow up and be president," he quipped.
   
The first thing he and his wife Cindy had done on the day after losing, he said, was go out to buy a coffee. But "not the newspaper."
   
The failure had been "tough" on his family, McCain said, but he only wished Obama well. "I salute... president-elect Obama."
   
Asked why he lost, McCain dead-panned: "a personality flaw." He then went on to insist that he had no hard feelings and that the chance to run for president had been an "incredible honor."
   
"I'll never forget it, so many of those wonderful experiences," he said.
   
He also stayed faithful to his controversial pick for running mate, Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin.
   
Critics said that choosing the inexperienced Palin showed bad judgement by McCain. But he described her as "a marvelous person" and part of "the next generation of leadership in our party."
   
He added: "I couldn’t be happier with Sarah Palin."
   
McCain said he was looking forward to returning to his job in the US Senate, dismissed another possible White House run in 2012 and said he was not interested in second-guessing himself over possible mistakes made during the campaign.
   
The senator and Vietnam veteran said "the last thing Americans want is a sore loser."
   
McCain, famous for his time as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, was invited on the Jay Leno show to mark Veterans' Day and the audience was packed with serving members of the military.

Date created : 2008-11-12

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