Defeated presidential candidate John McCain isn’t up for another political embarrassment, and to ensure that doesn’t occur, he is “launching a scorched-earth campaign aimed at incinerating a election challenge from former congressman, J.D. Hayworth.”
POLITICO reports that Arizona’s senior senator and his operatives are attempting, with a series of hardball tactics, to cut Hayworth down before his campaign even gets off the ground.
One source familiar with the McCampaign strategy said the offensive was only a preview of things to come, adding, “I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of this.”
Not unlike threats issued by the fictional Godfather Don Vito Corleone, the McCain effort to shoot down Hayworth has also taken place behind the scenes, according to several sources — with McCain allies warning Hayworth against a campaign. “I know some party folks have come to J.D. and said, ‘This is not good for you,’” said one person familiar with the effort.
What the McCain functionaries are inadvertently doing is grappling with more than a single man named J.D. Hayworth. During his three years as an unparalleled drive-time radio host, Hayworth has built up a loyal following. They are ready and willing to take on the unpopular McCain at the grassroots level.
Surely Mr. McCain has seen the results of unexpected and epic upsets — as recently as last week, when the decades-long held seat of his liberal ally, Ted Kennedy, was won by a Republican. Surprising shakeups have taken place in New Jersey and Virginia. Such victories can easily be repeated in Arizona, where McCain is all too well known.
As evidenced by McCain’s low level of support in his home state — a mere 9-points — during his match-up with Obama, his “Mavericky” ways have become increasingly unpopular. The people are tired of business as usual and want dependable, conservative representation. They know they’ll never get that from John McCain.