Learning About McCain's Roots

This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
I spent some time with John McCain in Mississippi this weekend. McCain was there to kick of his service to America tour - his effort to reintroduce himself to the country.

So while the Democrats squabble, the senator and former POW is telling his story…and it's a pretty good one too.

We dug up his old high school yearbook and found that his nickname back then was "punk". He said he smoked and wrestled...and made an impression. His yearbook said McCain was like a magnet - many were drawn to him, but some were repelled too.

He told me he resisted going to the Navel Academy even though his father and grandfather were both four-star admirals. He bucked the system at Annapolis so much his demerits put him fifth from the bottom of his class.

McCain has matured, of course. But he insisted he hasn't lost his fighting spirit. Americans want authenticity in their president, and McCain is at his best when he stays closest to his roots. out.
By Harry Smith