The editors of National Review have decided to get in the ring behind long-serving Arizona Senator, John McCain,and throw their weight against former disgraced Congressman, talk-radio pundit, and rising infomercial star, J.D. Hayworth.
Now, as the editorial notes, McCain is hardly the perfect candidate. However:
“Hayworth is, to say the least, not obviously a more exemplary statesman than McCain. On one of the most pressing issues of the day — the need to control federal spending — McCain has had the better record. That Hayworth appeared in infomercials to tell people how to get “free money” from the government underscores the point rather emphatically.
If McCain had a different challenger, we might think differently. But, taken together, these considerations move us to suggest that Arizona Republicans nominate Senator McCain. If ever we needed legislators who favor a resolute foreign policy and budget restraint, that time is now.”
During the 2008 presidential elections and since then, I’ve come more and more to believe that McCain, aside from his aversion to pork-barrel spending, really has very little political center.
Perhaps he is simply not all that ideological, accounting for his self-styling as a ‘maverick’; or perhaps he is simply not as interested in domestic policy as he is in foreign affairs, an area where, as National Review notes, he is in favor of ‘a resolute’ policy. Certainly we would all be better off he steered clear of legislation like the abysmal McCain/Feingold campaign finance reform law.
I tend to agree that had a different Republican candidate come forward to run against McCain, such as Congressman, Jeff Flake, I might have been more enthusiastic about seeing an end to his tenure in the Senate.
But, as I’ve noted previously, Hayworth is no Jeff Flake.
His rather dubious ties to lobbyist, Jack Abramoff, and his appearance in the now infamous “free money from the government” infomercial make him the wrong choice for both Arizona and the nation.
That doesn’t necessarily make McCain the right choice, naturally, but it makes him the better candidate in an imperfect world. Fortunately, Hayworth, unlike many other challengers unseating incumbents across the nation, is already well known and not terribly well liked. If McCain loses this thing, he will have only himself to blame.