Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey will not choose Cindy McCain to take her husbands place in the senate. This is 2018, and we live in the reality TV era where politics comes before country.
So this post could be considered wasted time.
Except, we should all refuse to become so cynical that we stop advocating for what is clearly the right thing to do.
Less than two years ago, Arizona voters went to the polls and a majority backed Donald Trump for president. Yet, in that same election, an overwhelming majority of Arizonans also chose to send Sen. John McCain back to Washington.
That’s what the voters wanted. No one knew that cancer would tragically take McCain from us too soon.
But that was God’s plan. And now we’re left with a decision on how to continue his legacy.
The case for his replacement
Here are the factual reasons why Cindy McCain’s appointment makes sense:
- Like many in Arizona, I met John McCain as a teenager. As a journalist, I covered him around the country, from Arizona to South Carolina to Ohio. John McCain built an amazing reputation that is impossible to measure. Arizona should continue to have a McCain in Washington, D.C. because the name alone enhances the reputation of the state.
- Let the voters decide when the McCain era should end. Just two years ago they sent a message that while they wanted to give Trump a try, they also wanted the stability of John McCain. If Arizonans do not believe Cindy is doing the job, or if she chooses not to run for the office in 2020, so be it. But let Arizonans make that call.
- Keep John McCain’s senate staff in place. They have the experience to seamlessly continue his ideals. Any new appointee, with the exception of Cindy McCain, will certainly purge the current staff and add new. That’s not what voters wanted just 24 months ago, and why would you create that chaos in the middle of a term?
- This is not without precedent. Other widows have gotten directly involved in politics after their husbands’ deaths including former Missouri first lady Jean Carnahan; Muriel Humphrey Brown of Minnesota; Maryon Pittman Allen of Alabama; and Jocelyn Birch Burdick of North Dakota.
- A brand new Public Policy Polling survey finds that 61 percent of Arizona voters want someone in John McCain’s mold to fill his seat until 2020. That’s an overwhelming majority.
- No one can match Cindy McCain’s experience. Period. She has been at the side of John McCain for 38 years, listening to all the topics of the day. Meeting national and world leaders. Doing her own respected public policy work on issues like human trafficking, and helping to improve the lives of millions around the world. There are very few people that could come close to Cindy McCain’s practical experience in the political arena.
Doing the impossible by doing what’s right
Replacing John McCain is an impossible task. But considering Arizonans just reelected him, respect his staff, understand the prestige the McCain name gives the state around the world, and already know the woman who has been at his side every moment of the day, this actually could be easy.
The giants of Arizona — Goldwater, Hayden, Rhodes, Udall, McCain — are watching. History could be made.
Gov. Ducey should ask Cindy McCain to take her late husbands seat. It’s the right thing to do.
The choice is his, the nations waits.