As Sen. John McCain battles stage-four brain cancer and faces a prognosis he’s called “very poor,” daughter Meghan McCain is opening up about her father ahead of this especially poignant Father’s Day — and reflecting on how the influential politician also managed “to pull off being such a great dad.”
“I’ve been trying to figure out how he did it, because I don’t have any regrets or any sadness or anything, except a really wonderful, beautiful feeling about our relationship and his role as my father, which I think is hard to pull off in general but especially when you have the kind of career he has had,” Meghan, 33, tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue.
The View co-host says she and her dad enjoy doing “normal stuff” together, like bird watching, screening cowboy movies, and eating a specific chili dish concocted by Meghan and her husband, conservative writer Ben Domenech.
While the activities might seem ordinary, she describes his character as anything but average.
“His convictions and his morals and the way he looks at the world are more beautifully honest than any other person I have met or known in my entire life,” she says.
For more on Meghan McCain and her bond with her father, John McCain, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday
The father-daughter pair celebrated this year’s holiday with a new selfie of them with Meghan tweeting, “Happy Fathers Day @SenJohnMcCain – you’re the greatest father in the world. I love you more than I can ever say. Thank you for always giving me something to believe in.”
Last year on Father’s Day, Meghan took what would be the last picture of her father before his cancer diagnosis.
One month later, the elder McCain was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer with a median survival rate of just 15 months.
“He is not scared, but I’m scared every day,” she says. “He is very courageous and incredibly physically resilient.”
RELATED VIDEO: Meghan McCain Talks About Her Father John McCain’s ‘Crazy Amazing Recovery’ from Brain Cancer
He is also unwavering in his support for his daughter.
“I feel like he is the president of my fan club,” she says. “I have always felt like I could be very honest with him and there would be no judgment back.”
A staple of her childhood was, unsurprisingly, politics. McCain was comfortable bringing his daughter to the office spaces and political events that fueled his career. From memories of Senator Barry Goldwater’s “scary” glasses, to attending numerous rallies, to watching him run for president, Meghan credits her father’s inclusivity with her patriotism.
“I’m so grateful for every second he involved me in his life and his career,” she says. “It made me love politics and democracy, and it really made me love America.”