Lots of fanfare today for the arrival of 4 term Senior Arizona U.S. Senator John McCain and newly elected Republican Massachusetts U.S. Senator Scott Brown, at the Manning House, 450 W. Paseo Redondo in downtown Tucson. The national stature of John McCain has grown since he became the Republican nominee for U.S. President in 2008.
KJLL 1330 AM radio talk show host John C. Scott spoke first calling McCain a “bright star” to look up to, as “an Arizonan to be proud of.” Then Cindy McCain thanked the supporters (about 150 people) for their help, saying her husband always “puts his country first.” Senator McCain then introduced freshman Senator Brown, thanking him for his military and public service, and saying that Brown’s upset election was “heard around the world.”
Senator Brown spoke eloquently about how he had always admired Senator McCain for many, many years, and that he had called Senator McCain to offer help in his re-election here in Arizona (not the other way around). He asked the supporters present to be the “truth squad” for Senator McCain, since he was a man of “integrity and character and believed in America.”
Finally Senator McCain spoke again about the situation in Washington, D.C. with health care reform, the $12 trillion national debt, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and how he had supported the Surge in Iraq because “he rather lose a campaign than lose a war.” He said he was confident that he could still be an effective voice in D.C. and that he “loved a good fight” (meaning his upcoming primary challenge).
Having been a legislative aide on the Capitol Hill personal staff of U.S. Senator Dan Inouye (D-HI), I knew what these Meet and Greet events would be like. Hundreds of loyal Republicans and others were in the crowd, including former state GOP Chair Mike Hellon.
Prior to this event, Senator McCain, his wife, and Senator Brown had watched the U of A vs. USC basketball game at McKale Center, then attended a private reception at the Arizona Inn, 2200 E. Elm Street. (The Arizona Wildcats won 86-84, in double overtime.) One of Senator Brown’s daughters plays basketball for Boston College.
Senator McCain has been in office since January, 1987 and he is facing a Republican primary challenge from former CD 5 Congressman J.D. Hayworth (served 1995 to 2007) http://www.jdforsenate.com/. There are Democratic challengers as well– former Bell Gardens, CA Mayor Rudy Garcia, http://arizonaonthemove.com/ or first term Tucson Councilmember Rodney Glassman, http://www.rodneyglassman.com/ (who will face off in the August 24 Arizona Primary). Glassman’s committee is still in the exploratory stage.
Note: Both Massachusetts U.S. Senators John Kerry and Scott Brown are graduates of Boston College Law School, which I also happen to be an alumna of. Kerry was the 2004 Democratic nominee for U.S. President.