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McCain Adapts To Conservative Son-In-Law… But Is A New Conservative Senator Too Much To Ask?

December 4, 2017 Featured Today No Comments

By DEXTER DUGGAN

PHOENIX — Unless he’s running for re-election, U.S. Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) usually doesn’t have much favorable to say about conservatives, but he “crossed the aisle” of partisanship to pay tribute to 35-year-old conservative commentator Ben Domenech as “a very fine man” in October.
It probably helped that Domenech was going to be doing a little aisle time himself the following month when he was to marry McCain’s 33-year-old daughter, Meghan, at the McCain ranch in northern Arizona.
Even if McCain deeply disliked Domenech, whose The Federalist website is heavy on conservative commentary, the senator probably wouldn’t have had much fight in himself to oppose the strong nuptial wishes of his independent-minded offspring.
And was McCain feeling more mellow about life because his aggressive brain cancer was a forceful reminder of everyone’s mortality? In fact, Meghan and Ben became engaged while at Phoenix’s Mayo Clinic Hospital in July after her father’s diagnosis.
“We got engaged because we decided to sort of celebrate life, and celebrate being alive,” she reportedly said on The View television program she co-hosts.
Although the senator probably isn’t about to convert to philosophical conservatism, I feel sympathy for his health condition when I walk out my driveway and see his high-rise condo nearby. I’m on the “wrong side of the tracks” from the multimillionaire politician’s residence, but he’s just a few minutes’ drive away.
Maybe this is sort of a concern for a neighbor, although we’re very different species at various levels.
Could it be possible that McCain might start feeling more mellow about conservative Kelli Ward, too? If so, the day of miracles truly would have arrived.
Ward is the family physician and former Arizona state senator who gave McCain a tough race in the 2016 Arizona Republican primary. In a contest with four GOP candidates on the ballot, the internationally known, long-serving McCain ended up with less than 52 percent of the vote, and Ward got close to 40 percent.
As McCain increasingly aligned himself against Grand Canyon State conservatives, he had some ballot struggles.
Even when he was running for the GOP presidential nomination in 2008, potential home-state pride in having a possible White House occupant failed to burgeon, and McCain didn’t get even 50 percent of the Arizona presidential-primary result, while Mitt Romney pulled in just over one-third of the harvest.
Hardly had Ward conceded defeat after that August 2016 primary race than she turned around and announced her candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat coming before voters in 2018, currently held by Jeff Flake, a junior version of McCain — every bit as much a globalist and establishment fellow as the “maverick.”
Although Arizona’s elite establishment can maneuver well to give itself outsize power over the populace, even it couldn’t strengthen freshman Flake’s prospects enough for a second six-year term in the upper chamber.
Already weak in the polls, Flake announced on October 24 that he wouldn’t run for a second term, exactly a week after former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and national talk-radio host Laura Ingraham joined Ward for a rally in suburban Scottsdale.
Perhaps Ward’s biggest challenge leading up to the late-August 2018 primary will be the establishment’s determination to have someone more to its liking on the ballot — someone more in the mold of Flake and McCain.
The name of Cong. Martha McSally, of the less-conservative Second Congressional District, in southern Arizona, has been on the establishment’s wish list.
But, CNN said on October 27, “her history of criticizing President Donald Trump made her the target of a show-of-force statement from conservative groups that spend heavily in GOP primaries, including the Club for Growth, the Senate Conservatives Fund, and FreedomWorks,” telling her not to jump in.
CNN quoted “an Arizona Republican operative” as saying:
“The political class is beginning to question whether McSally can beat Ward, especially because it now has become assumed that if McSally gets in, considering she never endorsed the president and has such a low conservative voting record, the president would probably get behind Ward.”

A Bogus Theme

A November 23 report at Breitbart News noted the determination of establishmentarian Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) to stop conservative candidates like Ward.
Indeed, the McConnell-aligned Senate Leadership Fund regurgitated a disproven commercial theme left over from McCain’s campaign against Ward that claimed Ward promoted “chemtrails” conspiracy theories and has “just crazy ideas.” However, even The Washington Post’s fact checker pronounced the “chemtrails” theme bogus.
Conservative Republican political consultant Constantin Querard told The Wanderer in late November, “It seems very likely that before the end of the year Ward will have a primary opponent, but no one knows for sure who that will be. In the meantime, I’m sure she’s working hard, raising money, and building organization.”
There’s never a guarantee that a political candidate will stay the same once elected. Recall how Tea Party favorite Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) rode into Washington on conservatives’ power, but has yet to fully recover from his self-inflicted wounds over becoming part of the “Gang of Eight’s” immigration “amnesty” team. On the other hand, conservative Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) seems to have remained faithful to the way he sold himself to voters.
Ward was seen as a capable state senator whose energy continues propelling her through campaign events these days. She resigned from the State Senate in December 2015 to devote herself to the 2016 primary battle against McCain. I’ve seen Ward throw herself into events and take question after question even if only a few dozen people were present.
On the other hand, even back when McCain was healthier and could have built good will by attending Republican gatherings like annual precinct committeemen’s meetings, he often was absent although there may have been more than a thousand people there.
Ward’s campaign website (kelliward.com) lists her stands including border security, tax reform, pro-life, and gun rights.
The site says, “Kelli believes that life begins at conception. She also holds strongly to the view that Planned Parenthood should never receive taxpayer funding.” As for the topic of the Constitution:
“Kelli agrees with the late Justice Scalia’s view that ‘The Constitution is not a living organism. It’s a legal document, and it says what it says and doesn’t say what it doesn’t say’.”
During her three years in the State Senate, it says, “Dr. Ward established a proven track record of passing legislation that supported small businesses, preserved the Second Amendment, decreased the size of government, fought the opioid crisis, protected vulnerable Arizona students, and increased school choice.”
The bottom of the page proclaims, “We’re through with lying, fake ‘conservatives.’ Stand with Kelli Ward.”
Back in early May 2015 when Sen. Rand Paul’s (R., Ky.) views were capturing national interest, Ward had introduced him to an enthusiastic crowd at Arizona State University by saying, “Who is here because they want to fight for freedom?” I spoke briefly with her for the first time after that event.
Almost exactly a year later when I began to introduce myself at another appearance, Ward quickly recalled me at the Paul rally, and that I was with “the Catholic paper.”
There’s the kind of mind that voters might appreciate keeping track of detailed proceedings on Capitol Hill.

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