It is being reported by Politico today that Joe Biden is preparing to nominate Cindy McCain as his administration’s ambassador to the U.N. World Food Programme. McCain, the widow of Senator John McCain, is being vetted and a background check is being run as Biden prepares to announce his ambassadorial picks en masse rather than individually. To say that she should sail through a Senate confirmation hearing is an understatement.
Cindy McCain is an emotional pick for Joe Biden. Over the years Biden has bragged about his friendships that crossed the political aisle and one of those was John McCain. McCain’s daughter Meghan has frequently spoken of “Uncle Joe” as a source of comfort during John McCain’s illness and death. Cindy McCain endorsed Biden for president in 2020 and this nomination is her payback. Cindy rewarded the Republican voters in Arizona who were so loyal to her late husband for decades by helping to turn their state from a red state to a blue state.
Cindy McCain, the wife of the late Sen. JOHN MCCAIN, gave Biden a critical boost in Arizona with her endorsement of the Democrat over Trump. Biden was the first Democratic presidential nominee to carry the state since Clinton in 1996.
Past presidents have used a token appointment from the opposition party to their cabinets but Trump ended that tradition. Status Quo Joe is predictably bringing the tradition back so that he can point to a Republican member of his administration as proof of his desire for bipartisanship. He failed to appoint a Republican to his cabinet as three past presidents before him did – Bill Clinton (William Cohen, Secretary of Defense), George W. Bush (Norman Mineta, Secretary of Transportation), and Barack Obama (Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense and Ray LaHood, Secretary of Transportation). Cindy McCain will be based in Rome so she will be out of sight, and likely out of mind, too. The position is thought to be a coveted one in Western Europe.
Cindy McCain is 66 years old. I’ll say this about Biden’s choice – her past work gives her some valuable experience in this role, unlike most of Biden’s choices of cabinet secretaries. She’s a white woman and wealthy so we’ll see if the progressive wing of the Democrat Party throws a hissy fit that she doesn’t check any identity boxes for them, other than her gender.
As chair of the McCain Institute board of trustees, McCain has worked on curbing world hunger and human trafficking. During the 2008 campaign, she traveled to Georgia with the U.N.’s World Food Programme to visit wounded soldiers after a Russian invasion and also monitored the program’s work in Southeast Asia and Africa.
It was rumored that Cindy McCain was going to be nominated as US ambassador to the United Kingdom by Biden as her reward for delivering Arizona for him. Frankly, the U.N. ambassadorship is a more logical choice. She has been a philanthropist for decades and a world traveler pursuing charitable and philanthropic endeavors, with a focus on human trafficking and with Operation Smile. She is not scandal-free but she’ll sail through her Senate confirmation hearing anyway. The Senate is a club and they won’t risk dissing a widow of a former colleague.
A plum assignment in Rome to work on world hunger is probably a good fit for her. McCain’s nomination will fulfill Biden’s pledge to be a president who strives to be bipartisan, though so far his actions have not fit with his words.