If suffering builds character and struggling builds strength, then John McCain is a very strong man of great character. His life story is well known, but just in case you missed it, he is a graduate of the US Naval Academy in Annapolis MD, he served heroically during the USS Forrestal fire, suffering injuries while attempting to save another pilot from the flames and explosions. Later McCain was shot down by North Vietnamese anti-aircraft fire, held captive for more than five years, and endured countless beatings and torture sessions both before and after refusing to be released ahead of other prisoners who had been held longer. By the time he retired from the navy in 1981, McCain had received 17 awards and decorations, including a Silver Star, Legion of Merit with a combat V and a gold star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star with a combat V and two gold stars, two additional Bronze Stars, Purple Heart, and others.
A short question: what is the hardest thing Barack Obama has ever done? Was it the long flight from Hawaii to his first college in California? Was it his successful application to Harvard? Maybe it was serving in the un-prestigious Illinois state assembly.