To be clear, there’s no reason to think this might happen or even that Meg would want it to happen. I haven’t seen a single news report alleging that she’s on Doug Ducey’s shortlist for the vacancy. It’s pure conjecture! But on a slow holiday news day, when there’s new McCain/Trump drama afoot thanks to her?
Sure, we can devote a post to this.
Tom Rogan is all for it:
First off, McCain is a person of high integrity. The best evidence for this is rendered by McCain’s television appearances on ABC’s “The View.” Surrounded by liberals with whom she fundamentally disagrees, McCain balances passionate argument and respect. In our era of partisan rancor, the need for senators who can get along even as they disagree has never been greater. John McCain was one example of that high character and his daughter would be another.
Second, McCain is a conservative of strong values. Whether pushing back against socialism, or politely interrogating guests, or arguing for social mobility and a strong national defense, McCain’s appearances on “The View” show that she is well-versed on the issues and well-placed to advance conservative interests. This bears close consideration in light of the fact that Tuesday’s Republican primary for Arizona’s second Senate seat is being contested by one Republican, one ( perhaps senile) racist, and one extreme moron. Compared to the latter two, McCain would set a far higher standard as a conservative representative. Arizona deserves her service.
Finally, McCain has a good sense of humor and a natural, unpretentious sense of class.
I’ve always liked her and appreciate that she has good intentions even when I disagree with her. But if Ducey’s inclined to appoint a McCain — which he shouldn’t, as dynastic politics are gross — what’s the argument for Meg over her mom, Cindy McCain? (John’s sons, Jack and Jimmy, aren’t in the mix because they’re active-duty military, I believe.) Cindy was navigating Washington with John before Meg was even born; I assume Cindy knows Mitch McConnell and other Senate powerbrokers far better than Meg does. She doesn’t have as much TV experience as Meg but she does have some from her time on the trail as a would-be First Lady in 2008. And although younger candidates for political vacancies are usually preferable to older ones, Meg is *very* young to be Senate material — 33 years old, just three years over the constitutional age limit. Cindy is 64. Which, by Senate standards, means she’s only likely to serve … 25 years, maybe? 35 tops.
I don’t know that Meg’s even an Arizona resident now.
The reason there’s chatter about this on social media today is that (a) Ducey promised not to consider filling the vacancy until John McCain was laid to rest, which has now happened, and (b) Meg put herself on the public’s radar with her broadsides at Trump during Saturday’s funeral. This NYT story about her today is one of the most fulsome valentines to a political figure I’ve seen in awhile, all the more remarkable given that it’s written about a Republican. (The only Republican in recent memory to get love letters from the media was, uh, John McCain.) Anti-Trumpers loved that eulogy. The problem with converting that into a Senate appointment is that Ducey himself is on the ballot this November, running for reelection as governor of Arizona, and Meg is momentarily one of the populist base’s least favorite Republicans. If he nominated her, it’d be taken as a slap in the face to the president. Frankly, given the tenor of Saturday’s services, if he nominated *Cindy* it might be taken as a slap in the face to the president. Is Ducey going to start a war with Trumpers two months before he needs them to turn out for him en masse, knowing that the national climate is certain to favor Democrats?
No, he is not.
So, no, there won’t be a Senator Meg (for now) and there probably won’t be a Senator Cindy. It’s a testament to how much the McCain family disdains Trump and wanted to rebuke him this past week that they’d take shots at him knowing that doing so would make it all but impossible for Ducey to nominate one of them. I think the nomination will go elsewhere, to someone whom both Trumpers and anti-Trumpers can stomach. (Jon Kyl, a former senator, has been earning brownie points with the White House lately by helping with Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation.) An interesting scenario, though: What if Ducey’s nominee decides he/she will serve out McCain’s term through 2020 but not run for election? How would Arizonans react if Cindy or Meg got into the race then? McCain 2.0 might fare well in a general election in a state that’s turning more purple as Maverick’s legacy as a “moderate” immigration-friendly Republican grows. The question is whether either one could get through a primary when populist Trump fans would be spoiling to beat them, out for revenge after Team McCain snubbed their hero this week. Maybe not: Jeff Flake decided to retire from the Senate rather than face a beating at the hands of Trumpers in the primary this year, after all. But on the other hand, maybe: Flake didn’t enjoy the general public sympathy/goodwill that the McCains have received this week from non-populists of all stripes. Are there enough of those people in an Arizona GOP primary to overcome strong opposition from Trumpers? I’m thinking … no, probably not.