The only reason I bring up the name of the politician who tried to resurrect his long dead political career this year by running against John McCain in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate seat from Arizona is as a reminder that sometimes the alternative to an imperfect politician is worse than the flawed incumbent. And on the issue driving American voters this fall, out-of-control federal spending, J.D. Hayworth was a johnny-come-lately if this johnny come at all.
And while Hayworth was wallowing in earmarks, McCain, as the senator told Terry Moran of ABC News’ “Nightline” in a recent interview, is “the one that fought against earmarks since it wasn’t popular to do so“. And the Arizonan was always solid on national security.
To be sure, he did disappoint conservatives on a number of issues, often grandstanding in front of the cameras when he was at odds with his party. And I wonder sometimes if he did this in order to curry favor with the media, assuming that he could so win, what no Republican has enjoyed perhaps since Eisenhower (if not before), favorable treatment when he ran for president.
He assumed media folk were honorable men and women, operating as do most decent individuals.
He just didn’t account for the depth of their partisanship — and their natural antipathy to a Republican nominee (as opposed to a Republican attacking another Republican).
When McCain saw how they treated him in the presidential campaign, when he saw how they treated his running mate behind whom he still stands*, he realized his attempts to secure favorable media treatment were futile (at best). This guy’s not go to bend left as he did in the best. He knows that it just won’t redound to his benefit.
*McCain on Palin:
“I haven’t seen anyone since Ronald Reagan that with certain individuals and large groups of individuals who really have this passionate belief and support for her,” he said, “It’s really a remarkable thing to observe.”