It is not clear whether McCain plans to outright retire from the Senate or simply focus on his Stage IV cancer treatments away from Washington, D.C. but many GOP insiders believe McCain's last days in the Senate are close.
Likely, McCain will not return after the Christmas break, many folks have privately confided.
McCain has been away for the Senate all week, missing votes and debate about a number of topics including tax cuts.
This is not the fist time McCain has sought medical treatment after his role in recent anti-Trump scandals have heated up.
It is hard to tell if McCain's health is genuinely declining or not because he has played that card often to slip and slide out of answering questions for his role in Fusion GPS' bogus Trump dossier:
- Emergency surgery.
- Late stage cancer diagnosis.
- Bad Achilles.
- Boot on the wrong foot.
- The wheelchair.
- Now the hospital.
A few weeks ago when McCain had vanished due to health reasons - again avoiding questions about the Trump dossier - he turned up in Italy slamming President Donald Trump.
What is a guy with advanced brain cancer doing on a weekend junket to Italy if he is supposed to be treating his disease?
That is the problem with folks who use illness for political gain: You never can tell if they are truly sick and if you criticize them for play acting when they are sick, then you can be easily labeled as insensitive. A guy like McCain is savvy enough to exploit such grey area.
Perhaps McCain will be back after the break, but this time there seems to be a growing chorus that his days in the Senate are winding down.
This from CNN on Thursday regarding McCain's health:
The sources described McCain as looking increasingly frail and said he has not spoken up in recent GOP meetings the way he had before, in addition to his absence this week for treatment at Walter Reed Medical Center.
One source said that McCain always used to speak up in these meetings, and that he hasn't at all recently. The source was not commenting on McCain's mental acuity, but on his energy level, and pointing out that his lack of participation was not normal. One well known side effect of cancer treatments is fatigue.