Well, he squandered any opportunity to receive deference for his encounter with "alternative techniques" on the military battlefield when he caved to the Bush White House in 2005
pro-war/pro-Bush Doctrine bid for President today, will likely point out that McCain fought the White House on the torture rules; but, just like with every other maverick sleight-of-hand maneuver he has conned the people and media with - in the end, he votes with the BushCo. party line - or doesn't bother to vote at all.
Then came that dramatic December 15th handshake between Bush and McCain, a veritable media mirage that concealed furious back-room maneuvering by the White House to undercut the amendment. A coalition of rights groups, including Amnesty International, had resisted the executive's effort to punch loopholes in the torture ban but, in the end, the White House prevailed. With the help of key senate conservatives, the Bush administration succeeded in twisting what began as an unequivocal ban on torture into a legitimization of three controversial legal doctrines that the administration had originally used to justify torture right after 9/11.
In an apparent compromise gesture, McCain himself inserted the first major loophole: a legal defense for accused CIA interrogators that echoes the administration's notorious August 2002 torture memo allowing any agents criminally charged to claim that they "did not know that the practices were unlawful."
He can't have his cake* and eat it too.
* Mmmmm, cake. No better time for it than when an entire U.S. city drowns in toxic stew