McCain’s New Recruit to Savage Rice

30 November 2012 |permalink | email article

JOINING the dynamic duo of John McCain and Lindsay Graham in their Washington meeting this week to discredit Susan Rice, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations over what she said about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya was Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H. The newcomer to foreign policy issues, has stood by her more senior Senate colleagues throughout the Rice debacle. The unusual new alliance suggested that the two men wanted a female for balance even as Ayotte positions herself for a 2016 presidential run. New Hampshire political expert, James Pindell, explained her reason for teaming up with the two amigos: “Kelly Ayotte is dancing with the one the one who took her to the ball. Outside the NRSC itself, McCain was Ayotte’s biggest outside backer in a primary she won by 1,500 votes against a conservative insurgent and two self-funding millionaires. McCain invited her to Phoenix for a major fundraiser, introduced her to bundlers, and campaigned for her at town hall meetings in New Hampshire, where he is a two-time winner of competitive primaries. Ayotte came to the Senate without ever working in Washington before, not even as a hill staffer. She also had never been elected to anything before. She needed others to help her navigate the place and McCain took her under his wing. Because of McCain and Mitt Romney her profile has risen to the point where most Washington pundits can correctly pronounce her name now.”

Quotable

Alan Simpson and Democratic counterpart, Erskine Bowles, “have been on the road, sometimes solo but often together, perfecting a sort of Off Broadway show that has kept their panel’s recommendations alive.”—New York Times writer Jackie Calmes. 

There are 33 Republicans from the 112th Congress who signed the pledge and aren’t coming back next year because they are either retiring or they have lost re-election. How many of these lame ducks feel compelled to stick to Grover’s pledge? And, will they be courted and arm-twisted “Lincoln” style by the White House?ABC News

I should note that former John McCain strategist Mike Murphy who is one of the handful of Republicans that sort of get it; I’m sure Murphy and I would disagree about exactly how his party can fix its problems. Murphy said the Republican challenge was about policy. “We repel Latinos, the fastest growing voter group in the country. We repel younger voters, who are much more secular than their parents.”—Joan Walsh, Salon’s editor at large, and author of “What’s the Matter with White People.”

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