Daily Beast columnist and daughter of Arizona Senate primary victor John McCain on the mudslinging in the race just ended, the role of media bias, and why her father hasn’t changed.
Tuesday night, my father won the Arizona Republican primary for U.S. Senate. Like so many times before, I stood behind him on stage proud and hopeful for the future—for both the state of Arizona and our country.
It is no secret this seemed to have been the summer of anti-incumbency rhetoric in numerous Republican primaries. This is probably most evident in the Charlie Crist/Marco Rubio race in Florida, where Gov. Crist left the Republican Party to run as an independent against the much more conservative Rubio.
My father hasn’t changed. The media bias has.
It is a complicated time in politics, especially Arizona politics. I recently moved back to Arizona, and I got to see it firsthand every night as commercial after commercial (not just in my father’s race) penned each candidate in an unflattering light. There was the mudslinging—a particular ad where in red letters the word “Liar” ran over and over again over my father’s face.
J.D. Hayworth brands John McCain a "liar" in this campaign ad.
There was the bizarre—with an ad run by Ben Quayle in which he said he was going to “knock the hell out" of Washington.
Ben Quayle promises to "knock the hell out of" Washington.
Add the controversy over Gov. Jan Brewer and the state immigration bill, and politics in Arizona has been reaching a fever pitch that doesn’t seem to be cooling as the summer comes to an end.
My favorite moment in my father’s primary against J.D. Hayworth: an old infomercial video that surfaced showing Hayworth trying to rope people into a “money-making” scam.
J.D. Hayworth filmed this infomercial for National Grants Conferences.
Of the events that I witnessed during the race both locally and in the media, the most telling thing of all is just how much of a threat my father’s presence in the Senate still remains. My father hasn't changed. The media bias has. Many politicians and media pundits are clearly aware of his continued power and influence and would have loved nothing more than to see his long, accomplished career end during this election cycle.
At the end of the day, no matter how Arizona and Arizonans have been misrepresented in the media, they chose my father because of his reputation, commitment to his country, and record of outweighing the mudslinging and fearmongering. Arizona is facing serious challenges and I have more faith than ever that if reelected in November, he will be the man to help solve those problems.
Meghan McCain is a columnist for The Daily Beast. Originally from Phoenix, she graduated from Columbia University in 2007. She is a New York Times bestselling children's author, previously wrote for Newsweek magazine, and created the Web site mccainblogette.com. Her new book, Dirty Sexy Politics, will be published in August.