John McCain is getting ready, it seems, for yet another run for re-election to the U.S. Senate from Arizona.
What’s more, he’s launching a pre-emptive strike against the wing of the Republican Party that is likely to challenge him. I’m talking about the TEA party wing of the GOP.
McCain is making an effort to purge the Arizona Republican Party of TEA party activists and replacing them with mainstream Republicans — like himself.
Not that he cares what a Texas liberal thinks, but hey — go, John, go!
As Politico reports: “The ambitious effort — detailed to POLITICO by nearly a dozen McCain operatives, donors, and friends — has stretched from office buildings in Alexandria, Virginia, where strategists plotted and fundraisers collected cash for a super PAC, to Vietnamese-American communities across Arizona, where recruiters sought out supporters eager to help the incumbent defeat the tea party.
“Team McCain’s goal? Unseat conservative activists who hold obscure, but influential, local party offices.”
I believe that’s how you play hardball politics in Arizona.
Arizona political rules are a bit strange, according to Politico. It allows for the election of precinct committee men, who then elect party chairs — who then assume powerful roles in recruiting candidates to seek public office. As of this past August, most of those party chairs and precinct committee folks were considered McCain foes. He’s working now to replace them with friends, allies, loyalists — those who favor his re-election to his umpteenth term in the Senate.
TEA party activists and other Republican conservatives consider McCain to be too moderate. He’s just not tough enough on immigration, for example. They want his head on a platter — so to speak, of course — because he’s just too darn chummy with some Senate Democrats. I would hasten to add that the media love McCain because he’s, well, quite quotable. He makes “good copy,” to use the journalist’s parlance.
Many conservatives consider McCain to be washed up, past his prime, part of the problem. He knows the Senate. He understands the art of legislation.
I hope he’s just getting warmed up.