Senator John McCain, who lost so spectacularly to President Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election, has scored a decisive win in the 2010 Arizona primary election against former Congressman J.D. Hayworth.
John McCain faced a stiff challenge from Hayworth, the latter of whom had Tea Party support. Hayworth accused McCain of being soft on a number of issues, including a signature issue in Arizona, immigration.
McCain, in turn, fought back hard by tacking to Hayworth’s right on the immigration issue and casting himself as a leader of the opposition to President Obama in the United States Senate. McCain also brought in his 2008 running mate, Sarah Palin, to endorse him and appear with him at campaign rallies.
J.D. Hayworth also suffered when it was revealed that he had cut an infomercial touting a dubious scheme to get rich quick with “free government grants.” Hayworth had also made some gaffes concerning same-sex marriage and President Obama’s place of birth.
In the end, the Arizona primary results were not even close. McCain won by an over two-to-one margin.
The defeat of Hayworth, who at one time seemed within reach of knocking off McCain, may be as bitter gall and wormwood to conservatives who have seen John McCain as an irritant rather than as a true conservative. McCain has often irritated the Republican base on issues ranging from campaign finance reform to immigration to taxes. But McCain’s adroitness at repositioning himself to the right of his opponent on key issues, plus his undoubted life history as a war hero, eventually carried the day.
In the meantime, Ben Quayle, a lawyer, businessman, and son of former Senator and Vice President Dan Quayle has won the nomination for Congress in Arizona’s Republican-leaning 3rd Congressional District. Quayle had to fight off accusations concerning his participation in a sex-related website. This particular story seemed to conflict with Quayle’s family values campaign.
But in the end, Quayle’s conservative credentials and his family connections won the day. Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld contributed to his campaign, and George H.W. and Barbara Bush headlined a fundraiser for his campaign. Quayle’s signature campaign slogan was a promise to “kick the Hell” out of Washington.
It appears that he will get his chance. Quayle will face Jon Hulburd, a Phoenix lawyer and businessman, in the general election and is expected to win handily. Thus another political dynasty is born.
McCain wins by wide margin, David Catanese, Politico, August 25th, 2010
Dan Quayle’s son wins congressional primary, Bob Christie, AP, August 25th, 2010