A grueling and bitter campaign has taken its toll on family morale, John McCain's aunt, Rowena Willis, told The Daily Beast today in an exclusive interview.
According to the 96 year-old Willis, her twin sister, Roberta McCain, the candidate's mother, has become resigned to her son's electoral fate.
"She really doesn't care," Willis said of her 96-year old twin sister, who has campaigned for her son and recorded TV ads with him. “‘Let these bastards get in,’ she says, ‘I don't give a damn anymore. If these people want to buy votes and get their people in office, let them suffer for it in the way of high taxes.’”
"I'm hoping he wins, for the country's sake,” McCain’s aunt said. “I figure it will kill him, but he's going to die one day anyway, so he might as well do it there."
Willis has done her part for her nephew's campaign, donating the maximum $2,300 to the candidate in June. Today she joined two nieces at 6:30 a.m. to go vote at a precinct on Larchmont Blvd. in Los Angeles, California, where she said turnout was unusually high.
"I waited an hour at least," she said. "I've lived here 65 years and I've never seen lines like this."
She said she had little patience for voters who complained about long lines at early voting stations that were open throughout the week in various states.
"I sat in line more than an hour today and I'm nearly 100. We should have one day of voting and if these people are too weak to vote, too bad," she said.
In an interview earlier this month with The Daily Beast, Willis told me that McCain was losing. McCain's mother told supporters at the time to "pray for a miracle," and Willis said she was still praying for a victory for her beloved nephew, whom she described as "honest" and incorruptible.
"I'm hoping he wins, for the country's sake. I figure it will kill him, but he's going to die one day anyway, so he might as well do it there," she said, "But that man is honest—he has all the money in the world, he could do whatever he wants, even without his wife's money, which he does not have; they keep it separate. He has a good pension from the Navy and my father was very rich."
Sarah Palin also won high praise from Willis: "I think she's marvelous. I don't care how inexperienced she is or anything else—she's been through a lot. She did vote against her party and she has cancelled a lot of those pork barrel requests in Alaska."
As a mother of five, Willis said she was most concerned about how the election would impact the younger generations in her family.
"They will be broke with the Democrats in, with the number of people they will have to pay who have never paid a dollar of income tax in their life," she said. "Our children will suffer."