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AZ 2010: McCain’s dilemma [acting conservatively to get re-elected]
The Hill, Washington, DC ^ | 2009-07-29 | A.B. Stoddard

Posted on 07/29/2009 2:22:34 PM PDT by rabscuttle385

Somewhere, in his new life as a political hermit, Sen. John McCain must be grinding his teeth. Facing a primary challenge from the right in his campaign for reelection, McCain (R-Ariz.) has gone from spending nearly a decade as a hyper-exposed, perennial presidential candidate to being someone you can only find on Twitter.

But with a tough decision to make any day now, McCain will reluctantly do what he has avoided for so long: make news. This will happen when McCain announces his vote for or against the confirmation of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court. Either choice will be surprising — risk losing votes in a primary by supporting her, or risk losing votes in the general by alienating Hispanic voters in a purpling state where the Hispanic population is double the national average. President Barack Obama’s selection of Sotomayor was exactly the kind of complication McCain really didn’t need.

McCain’s attempt to woo Arizona Republicans is challenged by his maverick identity and long history of bucking his party. A founder of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps has announced his candidacy and criticized McCain for “reckless bailout spending” (he voted last fall for the Troubled Asset Relief Program) and a record of “opting to hold our nation’s border security hostage to his amnesty schemes.” So while McCain has spent time blasting Obama’s energy reform plans, his reaction to the election in Iran and his policies that have grown deficits and debt, he hasn’t spent much time keeping that promise he made on election night 2008: to “do all in my power to help him lead us through the many challenges we face.” Most notable is the absence of the bipartisan dealmaker in the midst of the brutal battle over healthcare reform.

This week, McCain’s close friend Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) complicated matters — or possibly laid some groundwork for McCain — when he broke ranks with GOP leaders to announce his strong support for Sotomayor. He noted that he had fought hard for McCain to win the election and that he “didn’t feel good about the election,” but said he felt good about Sotomayor, that she is “a good character,” “competent, not just qualified” and that “America has changed for the better with her selection.”

Graham, who criticized Obama during the hearings for choosing to oppose Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito on an ideological basis, also commended three Democrats on the committee for voting in favor of Roberts and “deciding to vote for someone you wouldn’t have picked.”

Because McCain voted in favor of Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and David Souter, many could assume he will remain orthodox and, like Graham, vote solely on qualifications and not ideology. Yet McCain voted against Sotomayor when she was confirmed to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in 1998. And McCain’s fellow Arizona senator, Jon Kyl (R), is voting against Sotomayor.

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, a moderate Republican running for the Senate who is also facing a more conservative primary challenger, announced he opposed Sotomayor’s confirmation. Crist is facing Marco Rubio, a former Speaker in the State Legislature who is Hispanic, in their bid to replace retiring Florida Republican Sen. Mel Martinez. (Martinez has announced his support for Sotomayor). While Democrats intend to use Crist’s opposition to Sotomayor against him in the general campaign, the Democrats vying in the primary who poll 30 or more points behind Crist seem no match for his high popularity.

Crist is also a friend of McCain’s. Perhaps McCain is consulting with both Graham and Crist. We will learn soon — likely by Tweet rather than a press conference — which friend McCain is going to disagree with.

Stoddard is an associate editor of The Hill.


TOPICS: Editorial; Front Page News; Politics/Elections; US: Arizona
KEYWORDS: 2010; az2010; chameleon; dnc4mccain; juanmccain; manchurianmccain; mcbama; mccain; mccaintruthfile; mcinsane; mcliberal; mcqueeg; rino; rinopurge; rinos4obama; treasonousbastard
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To: Dagnabitt

I heard somewhere that Juan McAmnesty’s wife wants him to retire with her in Rio. They can watch the democraps take the greatest nation on Earth go down the tubes from far off luxury.


21 posted on 07/29/2009 3:07:37 PM PDT by ByteMercenary (Healthcare Insurance is *NOT* a Constitutional right.)
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To: Ben Mugged
everyone write to McCain and tell him he will have our support if he votes no on Sotomayor. (then dump the RINO bastard anyway) Good joke on him.
22 posted on 07/29/2009 3:13:48 PM PDT by fish hawk (Lord, help us to attain knowledge and the wisdom to apply it toward your ultimate will.)
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To: rabscuttle385

McCain - fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.


23 posted on 07/29/2009 3:20:11 PM PDT by eCSMaster
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To: MplsSteve

Challenge him once and he’ll go postal.


24 posted on 07/29/2009 3:21:29 PM PDT by Terry Mross ( I hate all politicians. Including republicans.)
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To: rabscuttle385

That rancid turd has been floating in the bowl for WAY too long, it’s time to flush him.


25 posted on 07/29/2009 3:38:14 PM PDT by mkjessup (0bama is ineligible to serve based on Article II Section 1 of the Constitution. End of Story.)
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To: rabscuttle385

Dump him and his daughter!!!!


26 posted on 07/29/2009 3:41:48 PM PDT by Titus-Maximus (Light from Light)
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To: rabscuttle385

He would really be helping himself if he were to oppose Sonia Sotomayor. And it’s notable that McCain opposed Sotomayor in 1998.


27 posted on 07/29/2009 3:43:43 PM PDT by Clintonfatigued (Liberal sacred cows make great hamburger)
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To: rabscuttle385
or risk losing votes in the general by alienating Hispanics

If Sotomayor is SO important to Hispanics how come Obama's Gallup approval rating has gone from 81% to 72% among Hispanics in the past month? That is the largest drop among any ethnic group, including whites.

28 posted on 07/29/2009 3:51:09 PM PDT by FreepShop1
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To: FreepShop1
“or risk losing votes in the general by alienating Hispanics”

The writer is a twit. There is no dilemma. The Dems and Indy's here love McCain. He just has to get through the primary.

29 posted on 07/29/2009 4:05:56 PM PDT by Luke21
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To: rabscuttle385
A founder of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps has announced his candidacy and criticized McCain for “reckless bailout spending” (he voted last fall for the Troubled Asset Relief Program) and a record of “opting to hold our nation’s border security hostage to his amnesty schemes.”

Well said.

30 posted on 07/29/2009 4:39:29 PM PDT by RJL
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To: screaminsunshine

I do not think he will be easily re-elected.


31 posted on 07/29/2009 5:03:02 PM PDT by hsmomx3 (GO STEELERS!!!!!!!!!!!!)
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To: Baladas

You never hear about his family here in Phoenix.


32 posted on 07/29/2009 5:03:56 PM PDT by hsmomx3 (GO STEELERS!!!!!!!!!!!!)
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To: rabscuttle385

He’ll need Palin to get him re-elected. Fat Chance on that one.


33 posted on 07/29/2009 7:52:48 PM PDT by Bringbackthedraft (TR started the Bull Moose Party, maybe Palin can start the Moose Cow Party?)
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To: rabscuttle385

I really want to see this piece of crap dumped in the primaries.I`ll throw a party if and when this leftist wanna be is flushed down the political toilet.


34 posted on 07/29/2009 9:43:01 PM PDT by nomad
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To: rabscuttle385

He should do us a favor and pull a Specter.


35 posted on 07/30/2009 12:18:35 AM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (~"This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps !"~~)
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To: screaminsunshine
"DUMP THE CHUMP"

Do it "for the children" (like Meghan).

36 posted on 07/30/2009 6:04:47 AM PDT by Paladin2 (Big Ears + Big Spending --> BigEarMarx, the man behind TOTUS)
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Comment #37 Removed by Moderator

To: Paladin2

“Dump the Chump” indeed. I am waiting for JD Hayworth to announce a run. I don’t think the other challenger would win, but JD would most likely trounce him, and he’s a great guy too. Whoever runs against him (that is right of him, not tough) I will vote for/donate to. I respect his service as a Navy pilot/POW, but I am ashamed of his actions as a Senator.


38 posted on 07/30/2009 11:41:16 PM PDT by yankeebulldog ("Semper Viper!")
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Comment #39 Removed by Moderator


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