The sainted John McCain and Mitt Romney's hero worship
Wes Vernon, RenewAmerica analyst
March 26, 2019

He succeeded in private business, served as governor of Massachusetts, was nominated to run for president in 2012, and was elected by the voters of Utah as their United States senator in 2018. But freshman senator Mitt Romney apparently can't think of any way to build his own legacy in "the world's most exclusive club" except to hang his hat on the memory of a deceased senator (John McCain) whose record, while heralded by some, is decidedly "mixed."

The newly elected senator from the Beehive State delivered his "maiden Senate speech" by taking a gratuitous shot at President Trump, the titular head of the Republican party on whose ticket Romney had run after being forced into a primary battle with a far lesser known candidate. His entry into the U.S. Senate violated the (arguably silly but traditionally honored in a tradition-bound legislative body) unwritten rule that freshman senators are seen and not heard. While Romney's initial Senate speech did not repeat his previous name-calling whereby he had dubbed the president a "fraud" and a "phony," he spared few epithets a newly minted freshman would normally not inflict on a president of his party – apparently oblivious to the fact that as "the new kid on the block," he can best serve his constituents by bearing in mind that – like it or not – this is the president with whom he will have to deal for at least the next two years.

As for McCain

The senator took it upon himself to make it clear he intends to follow the senatorial model of the late senator from Arizona. Very well, let's explore the "rest of the McCain story, reviewing and adding to this column's previous summation of the less than exemplary segments of the Arizonan's record. (I should have said part of the rest of the story. The entire rest-of would probably require a book.)

Former Senator Larry Pressler (R-S.D. in his time), among others, has revealed that McCain distributed a "largely false dossier" that was the basis for the Mueller commission and many of the attacks on Trump. Note: Since this was revealed, the Mueller commission has reported that it was recommending "no indictments." That of course won't stop the congressional addicts of "Trump derangement syndrome" from scrounging for a way to "get him" lest they be humiliated by the president's re-election in 2020. Pressler surmises that "McCain was probably intensely jealous of Trump for having won the presidency (a task at which the Arizona solon had failed).

Romney's hero McCain cast a surprising and tie-breaking vote against ditching Obamacare, after (according to news reports) repeatedly promising his colleagues that he would vote otherwise. Just to spite Trump? Who knows? McCain was a grudge-carrying bitter man. So much so that he even barred not only enemies, but friends from attending his funeral. In his final days, McCain – for no discernible reason – said he was sorry he had picked Sarah Palin as his running mate in his 2000 quest for the presidency. Asked to respond, Palin, in her turn-the-other-cheek disposition, responded that the senator was "a friend."

Veteran Ted Sampley, who fought with Special Forces in Vietnam and says he "has been following John McCain's career for nearly 20 years," is reported to have said, "I know him personally. There is something wrong with this guy, and let me tell you what it is – deceit.... This is a guy who makes such a big deal about his character. He has no character. He is a fake."

Similarly, Ross Perot, who paid medical bills for McCain's first wife Carol, declared that the American people have been taken in by a man who is unusually slick and cruel, even by the standards of modern politics. "McCain is the classic opportunist. He's always reaching for attention and glory. After he came home, Carol walked with a limp. So he threw her over for a poster girl with big money from Arizona. And the rest is history."

Summing up just those starters

Surely, this can't be the man whose record is one that freshman Senator Mitt Romney would emulate. Really, Mitt? Instead of hero-searching, why not stand on your own positions and record. That would be your best platform for the start of a Senate career.

© Wes Vernon


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