Opinion: Arizona Would Do Well to Appoint Cindy McCain as Senator

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Cindy McCain testifying before Congress. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

By Colleen O'Connor

I give Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey high marks for at least waiting until after the final funeral services for Sen. John McCain before even publicly discussing his replacement.

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Under Arizona law, the governor can name anyone he chooses as the new Senator.

Unlike President Trump, who tweeted frequently (in his signature negative fashion) and played golf throughout the various tributes and funeral services, fellow Republican Ducey performed with appropriate decorum.

“We have stated repeatedly that we would not discuss an appointment to the seat vacated by Sen. McCain’s passing until his life is honored and he is laid to rest. That continues to be the case and we will have nothing further to add,” said Ducey spokesman Daniel Ruiz.

Predictably, Trump managed to place a phone call to the governor to discuss—among other things—the replacement candidates. Trump has his priorities after all.

Ducey is in a tight race for governor, and has a handful of appropriate candidates that could be appointed without rancor.  They include former senator Jon Kyl, former ambassador to Finland Barbara Barrett, and Ducey’s own chief of staff, Kirk Adams.

But one would imagine that each of them would step aside if McCain’s widow, Cindy, wished to serve. As would anyone watching her classy comportment during the numerous remembrances, tributes, ceremonies and church services.

Just watch her face during Renee Flemings’ rendition of “Danny Boy” at Saturday’s service. That peek into a widow’s soul should be enough for any governor to gladly make the call.

Who wouldn’t be proud to have her as a U.S. Senator? As a Republican, most familiar with her husband’s views and independence of thought, who better suited to replace him?

And what a fitting tribute to McCain himself, and for the “country first” motto he practiced, than to appoint his wife to fill the empty chair.

Some suggest that Cindy would not want to run in 2020 when the seat is up again. That is fine, too.

Let her serve now, for however long she wishes. Her appointment would provide the country a respite from the current animosity dividing us, and provide a salutary encore for her husband’s service.

Governor Ducey, make the call.


Colleen O’Connor is a native San Diegan and a retired college professor.

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