From CBS News' Andante Higgins:
NEW YORK -- John McCain was honored at a gala for Time magazine's "100 Most Influential People," entering the Time-Warner Center tonight on the red carpet along with other honorees, such as Tyler Perry, Martha Stewart, Herbie Hancock, and Suze Orman.
John McCain arrived alone, wearing a tuxedo generating a buzz as he entered. His wife, Cindy, is in Washington attending a fundraiser.
"I am very honored to be here, and I know my two colleagues are also recognized, Senator Obama and Senator Clinton," McCain said. "I wish they could be here and they are equally honored. It's quite a distinction."
McCain said he looked forward to meeting a lot of smart and accomplished people at the event and had run into one of them on the red carpet. "I just saw one of my heroes, Lance Armstrong, who's here not only because of his accomplishments but because he's leading the fight against cancer," he said.
He told reporters he was proud of the men and women serving in the military and acknowledged economic woes in the U.S. "We have a lot of tough challenges ahead," McCain said. "I have a plan of action and I'm sure that the fundamentals of our economy are strong, even though we're in very rough sailing right now."
McCain said the event reminded him of what was great about America. "For a guy who stood fifth from the bottom of his class at the Naval Academy, this shows that in America anything is possible."