John McCain is, again, running for Senator from Arizona. At a Dobson High School rally in Mesa, Arizona, on Dec. 12, 2015, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney endorsed him. The attendees, filling the gym, were reminded of the important role McCain has played in Arizona.
Jay Feely, former kicker for the Arizona Cardinals, emceed the event. A large, loyal crowd attended the rally for a sixth term for the Senator. Arizona’s “junior” Senator Jeff Flake and other elected Arizona Republican leaders were present.
The highlight was the appearance of Romney, Republican competitor for Presidency in 2012. “We need a great American Senator like John McCain in office,” said Romney, “Someone, who understands the needs of those in uniform, and is knowledgeable about foreign policy.” Romney looked fit, happy, and, jokingly, batted off rumors of him coming to the rescue of the Republican Party in the upcoming election.
McCain stressed the turmoil in the world, and a desire for the US to be a leader, including putting “troops on the ground to confront the enemy there instead of here.” McCain got emotional about his concern and support for troops. He was critical of some of the current candidates’ positions and attacks on each other, saying they should focus on failed policies of the current administration.
McCain’s recitation of accomplishments, of which he is most proud, demonstrate his economic worth to the State. Cited projects included the I-11, which will connect Mexico with Phoenix and, ultimately Canada; the approval of the Revolution Copper Mine, in Superior, Arizona, which will provide 25% of the country’s copper and 3700 jobs for Arizonans; reauthorization of the Yuma Crossing Natural Heritage Area, important to the local economy; a new fishery in Mojave Country; and completion of the Aerospace Parkway in Tucson. McCain’s continuing support for Luke Air Force Base has been invaluable to the base, which contributes $2 billion to Arizona’s economy.
Through the years, McCain has weathered attacks from both left- and right-wing groups, and his sincerity and tenacity, popular or not, has been his appeal. For example, Christopher Carlson, a behavioral health worker from Mesa, who arrived very early so he could be in the front row of the audience, said, “ I wanted to come because I admire McCain’s reputation for being a maverick.” McCain, the maverick, has been a conformist, when it comes to supporting economic development of Arizona.