The still-married war hero, 81, is head-over-heels about the blonde singer-actress, says a source — and has been making covert calls to his crush.
"John's carried a torch for Connie for decades and dreamed of meeting her years before he finally did in the '90s," a source tells Radar. "He thinks she's the most beautiful creature he ever saw.
"He's been secretly calling her. Just hearing her voice brings happy tears to his eyes."
The insider says the feeling is mutual for Connie, 79, who played Cricket Blake in '60s TV series Hawaiian Eye. "There's no doubt John McCain was — and still IS — very important to her."
The pair first met in 1997 when Connie, mom of two daughters with second hubby Eddie Fisher, visited Washington, D.C., while making a Vietnam documentary.
"They've been close friends ever since," says an insider.
Rumors of a steamy romance emerged when Connie joined the former prisoner of war on his 2008 White House campaign.
"Connie was almost constantly by McCain's side and there were whispers about their close relationship!" says the mole.
The former Navy jet jockey has admitted cheating on his first wife, Carol Shepp, and when she divorced him in 1980, he wed Cindy Hensley, daughter of a millionaire beer distributor, the same year!
But it was usually Connie by John's side during his bid for the White House.
"Everyone thought it strange he chose Connie to join him on the campaign trail, not his wife," says the source.
"They made a good couple. His biggest regret is that he never married her."
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